Monday, December 26, 2016

When Christmas is Over.....

Christmas Day began for Tom, Jan and me with a stop at the local Starbucks to pick up some lattes and thank the baristas for working on Christmas Day. Yes, we left a tip and a personal "Thank you!"

We went on our way to Jill's house, just a ten minute drive on a quiet, cold, foggy morning.  The night before, after Isaac and Irene had gone to bed, we had played Santa and arrived in our sleigh (mini-van) loaded with wrapped gifts we had been hiding away until Christmas Eve. Jill had her stash too.  We stuffed stockings and stuffed packages everywhere they would fit.

When we arrived Christmas morning, the kids were already playing with fun things they found in their stockings. We joined them. All of our stockings were well stuffed. 

Then we prepared breakfast, which was closer to brunch, since we finally sat down to the table about 10:30. Irene decorated the Swedish Wreath bread. 

Isaac and Irene had new friends. Santa seemed to find just the thing that the kids had been visiting in the stores, apparently with a little help from Jill. Irene has been hugging that giraffe in a toy store at the mall for years now. I guess that store will have to get a new pet now. 

 Tom played with his phone and Jake played with his Lego while we cleaned up. Yes, I still give my man-child a small Lego kit each Christmas. What boy doesn't like Lego. 
Then it was time for the main event, the unwrapping!

 And more unwrapping.
Some people got some special shoes.
 Irene loved the smell of her new Converse shoes. Kind of like a new car smell, I guess. 
 It was well after 1:00 by the time all of the treasures were revealed. Yes, we do know how fortunate we are to have such richness of giving and receiving.
 Tom stuffed the bird and got it on the charcoal grill for our traditional smokey turkey. 
When he sat down in a sunny corner to rest, he attracted some company. Tom relented and Mr. Whiskers settled on his lap. 
We "kids" played Exploding Kittens. No one had to wear the cone of shame for forgetting which direction we were going, but Irene was close. I exploded early and was out.
 And then I was involved in a lot of activity in the kitchen, where Jill and I prepared the rest of the traditional turkey dinner. Typically, I got no photos of that meal, of course. But I did get the dessert!
You did hear that the Sounders are the champions, didn't you? :-)

It was a very good day, and a very good Christmas pageant, through weeks of preparation, baking and decorating and shopping and festive parties and gatherings and celebrations and visits.

And now Christmas is over for another year. It always makes me a little melancholy when Christmas is over. I do love the build up and not the let down that can come after.

But I remember the song I learned from the characters on Sesame Street in their Christmas special from many years ago, a video of which we have viewed many times. The end of the song goes like this:

Christmas means the spirit of giving
Peace and joy to you,
The goodness of loving,
The gladness of living;
These are Christmas too.

So, keep Christmas with you
All through the year,
When Christmas is over,
Save some Christmas cheer.
These precious moments,
Hold them very dear
And keep Christmas with you
All through the year.

Let's all hang on to the spirit of giving, the goodness of loving, the gladness of living as long as we can. 


  1. I'm glad you had a beautiful Christmas, Linda!

  2. good advice and there are New Year's celebrations yet to come...

  3. It looks like you had a lovely family Christmas. I've never heard of the game Exploding Kittens, it sounds like fun! Nigel still likes Legos too.

  4. A wonderful, warm, loving Christmas! Yes, let's keep it going all year long, especially the cookies:)

  5. Nobody does holidays and birthdays like the Reeder family! Looks like even the cat enjoyed the day! You must have started shopping months ago. I've been known to forget gifts I purchased months in advance.

  6. You certainly had a wonderful Christmas Day. I love the huge stuffed animals, but I particularly like the giraffe. What fun.

  7. You could say you had the old fashioned Christmas with giving and good food. I've never heard of "Exploding Cats".

  8. That was quite the Christmas. My grandson has been hugging a giraffe just like that in the local mall, but I guess Santa did not take the hint. Exploding Kitty -- that's a new one to me!

  9. Lovely Christmas, Exploding Kittens? We love games, will have to check this out.

  10. Looks like Santa was really good this year! :)

  11. Thank you for sharing your beautiful Christmas! I love the song and your excellent advice. Enjoy the rest of the season and have a Happy New Year!

  12. I LOVE Christmas at your home, or Jill's home! Oh my goodness! Looking at the pictures, it was like being there with you. That Hippo is amazing. I was in Walmart before Christmas and there was a lady searching for a Hippopotamus for her twelve year old grandson. Of course, she found nothing like your Hippo in Walmart. Such wonderful gifts you give each other. Maybe I'll say it one more time, :) you have such a beautiful family. All of you!

  13. What a wonderful family tradition you have. I kept noticing how much Irene has changed in the past year, and now she is a beautiful young woman. I feel like I've known her since she was a mere toddler! Happy holidays to you and yours, Linda. I sure enjoy your blog. :-)

  14. You obviously had a Merry Christmas so I will not wish you a Great New Year.

  15. Lovely party and lovely day. Aloha from Hawaii.

  16. Thanks for sharing your Christmas pics! Love seeing all your family enjoying being together... and your decorations, goodies, etc. Oh, and those giant stuffed animals! Everyone looks like they're having a wonderful time... even the cat! Merry Christmas!

  17. What a wonderful Christmas with family, gifts and great food. Loved that giraffe. The kids seemed so grown up this year. Time sure is flying.

  18. What an enormous amount of gifts. Yes you are a very fortunate family. Family time is the best part of the holidays. Glad you enjoyed it and shared with us.

  19. I didn't remember the Sesame Street saying. Very appropriate. Looks like you had a lovely family get together and lots of great food.


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