Sunday, December 26, 2010

And Heaven and Nature Sing

A lovely gift from Amanda, of 32˚ North.

A long time ago I figured out that I enjoy the preparations, and anticipation of Christmas. I spent some years doing everything for Christmas day, then found myself worn out, and kind of feeling letdown, because of pent up anticipation, and counting on all the joy being released in one day. I am glad I know better... that each activity, every gift found, and candle lit, every song playing, every cookie baked, every reflection of gratitude and goodwill is Christmas, so that I can enjoy many days, and moments, of celebration and joy.

My new approach has served me especially well this year, because just when the fun and hopes were reaching a holiday climax... I got smacked down with an epic holiday humbug. Max too. We are doggone sick. Really, really meh-yuck.

Frustrating? Yes, and sad too, but not a total loss.

My biggest concern is that we are sending my mother and grandmother away with a lurking holiday humbug, that will smack them down too. And it makes me sad that they are leaving, in search of healthier accommodations. But I understand the need.

So. I console myself. I am glad I did not withhold my happiness, and fun-seeking, for Christmas Day alone. I am glad we saw Kevin B.'s holiday light show, benefiting the Community Resource Center. It was amazing. I am glad we decorated the house, hung lights on the fence. I am glad we made it to the Sniffphony, had a TRON night, and our early, family Christmas dinner. I am glad mom and I shopped together, for food, and curtains, for toys, and clothes, and all the odds and ends that make holidays complete.

And downloading the camera, I see plenty of evidence that we have had a full and merry Christmas. Maybe with another long nap, and some hot tea, I can recover in time to play some more...

And maybe the oven part will come in, and we can bake for Epiphany, or for FRC Launch!

At least we had Trader Joe's gingerbread house kit, and Puder Zucker!

Maria and William decorated a beautiful chalet.

And Alex affixed an addition to another chalet. Always the gingerneer!


Swoon! Look at William's snowman, the snail, the little red capped mushrooms!

God bless teachers, especially the ones that take pictures of our children on the first day of school, and then help them create these glittery treasures! Good thing I thought to clear out Maria's backpack before the new year!

God bless jolly friends...

and good children.

After Santa's visit, we sat with the grandmas and watched "The Snowman." I found this gem while visiting Daughter of the Golden West, a lovely blog, full of delights.

And then we brought out our collection of songbooks, and we sang carols. All of us together... my happiest Christmas memory for sure. Angels We Have Heard on High... Oh, Holy Night. I love Christmas carols.

And then came Christmas morning!
It was Ferris' first Christmas, and he sort of went nuts!

My mommy. And her snug new vest from Alison and Bill.

We open one gift at a time, and we should be done later today... just kidding. We just love appreciating every new gift, every clever present, fun toy!

Rocket engines? Very interesting... what could come next?

"Just what I wanted! How does that happen?!"
That's easy... there wasn't anything she didn't want!

Ah, Santa... how do you know what everyone wants?

Christmas dinner... with fair warning that some of us are under the weather, we arrive at tutu Ruth's home for Christmas dinner. Her lovely home is aglow with
Christmas cheer.

And cousins to play with!

We enjoyed a delicious feast, including nut loaf, and lemon bars, and Holly's healing pomegranate martinis!

William in his Christmas fez, and vest... dashing!

Yes, a full and merry Christmas, and when this bug has been kicked to the curb... we will no doubt continue to make merry and bright.


Miriam said...

What a full and special Christmas you are having - although if I could I would wish away that humbug that came calling! You are an amazing family, with a real gift for love and celebration - inspiring!

Anna Banana said...

Santa, I know him!!!! Just saw Elf all the way thru and White Christmas. The dancing in WC, fabulous! And we had lunch at Romano's and pie in the alley. All good. Hope you feel better soon!

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

May the bug be gone very, very soon! At least you are surrounded by family and friends and lots of good cheer.

Tarie Sabido said...

I love you and your gorgeous family so much!

I'm still praying we all get to meet one day. *hugs*

ArtyZen said...

Despite the bug, you still manage to send Christmas cheer, love and joy far and wide across this wonderful web. And we send you back all the healing, healthful hugs we can. (And of course, virtual chicken soup!!) Much love, Axxxx

Susan said...

I think yours is the loveliest Christmas I've seen! "Gingerneer"! I love it! There were so many things I wanted to do with the grandkids and didn't get around to doing. It seems a lot got pushed aside for more pressing matters, but I vow that next year there will be more planning and better executing.

That is a beautiful range! I could do some cooking on that thing! Hope your oven part comes in soon.

I'm so sorry that you and Max were felled by a nasty bug. I hope you both are on the mend and things are looking brighter.

Your mommy is so beautiful! And what a darling picture of her!

I have the same Christmas carol book! I've had it since my kids were little.

How does Santa know? :-)

judy in ky said...

A lovely Christmas. And lovely pre-Christmas anticipation. It is fun, isn't it? Yay to Christmas spirit, and Bah to the bug!

Tracy said...

Humbug... heavens no, not a trace of humbug here... Such WONDERFUL photos, Natalie! It looks like it's been a very merry time there. But I do know what you mean about the humbug. I get my humbug moment (yes, even I have them ;o) a few days before Christmas when I'm beating myself up mentally for not having do it all, made it all, sent it all, etc. But once the Eve arrives, the happy comes back. We're just emerging from the festive days. I do have my word/motto for 2011, which I plan on writing more about next week, and really looking forward to the change of year. Later in the week is my birthday. Wishing you a very happy birthday too, as we share the same day! :o) And then we ring in New Year already--it's a great time just now! Happy Days, my friend ((HUGS))

Random said...

Apropos of nothing, I absolutely love:
a) that picture with the protractor-wielding.
b) the fact that everyone seems to have a freaking amazing hat - a fez, a top hat, anything - amazing hats. Love 'em.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Random... I think you would have a good time here.

Tracy... only the bug is humbug. In spite of sickness, we have made merry. (((Hugs))) dear friend. And happy birthday to us!!

Judy... thank you. I liked your post about Christmas Eve... more of that wonderful anticipation, right?

Susan... I have a list of *stuff I missed,* and I am half way decided to extend our fun to Three King's day, just so I have an excuse to play a bit longer. Although, since when do I need an excuse?! The carol book... me too, and I found more this year when I was in some favorite second hand stores. Now I am going to be on the look out for them, because it was so wonderful getting all to sing together.

Annie... thank you for the soup, and as it is virtual, may I request some paella and churros con chocolat? Por favor!

Tarie... it is fated. We will hug in person. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Sara... thank you for your good wishes. Happy New Year... a healthy one for us all!

Anna B... good movie choices, and Romanos too? Very nice. My holidays will not be any good if you and I cannot get together for even a little fun.

Miriam... thank you. Sometimes it's just a matter of turning the camera in the right direction, and then I see that there is goodness, even in the midst of this wretched hum*bug*! Happy New Year.

Amanda at 32˙North said...

You are so sweet to feature that ornament -- thank you! I am also into the pre-Christmas stuff. The day itself is always sort of, well, the end. Would you believe I got all my decorations down and put away already? I was inspired to have the tree's space back for workshop space :)