Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

My Christmas wish list year was very brief: To not spend it in the hospital in labor and/or giving birth. As excited (and a bit anxious) as we all are for our baby's arrival, I really just wanted one last Christmas with Clare and Danny and a reliable family schedule. I am happy to say my wish was fulfilled!

Clare and Danny had lengthier lists that everyone nevertheless managed to exceed. Fortunately, they remained honestly appreciative of every gift, and watching them really made the day for the rest of us. Clare continues to astound us in the self-control department, too: We had settled on 7 a.m. as the appointed time for everyone to reconvene in the morning. I heard Clare use her bathroom at 5:30 a.m., and I knew full well that she did not go back to sleep. As they walked down the hill from their accommodations at our gracious neighbors' house, Karen and Brian reported that they saw her light on and her walking around her room. Yet she did not so much as crack her door open until Tim went to retrieve both kids. Suffice to say that she bounded down the stairs very eagerly once she was officially released!

For his part, Tim wowed us all with a new recipe for Christmas dinner that we will definitely prepare again: mustard seed-crusted prime rib roast. This, paired with the first white Christmas Atlanta has seen in 128 years, was just one of the many elements that made for a magical holiday.

We had a beautiful Christmas Eve, too. While mass in the school gymnasium is never ideal, but necessary unless we are willing to arrive two hours early to nab seats in the cathedral, it really was a nice affair. Every year we see more and more familiar faces, and this year we lucked out with Fr. Frank as our celebrant. From church we went home to prepare our annual feast of fried shrimp and twice-baked potatoes, followed by the kids hanging stockings, placing Baby Jesus in the manger (this year accompanied by Clare on the piano), and preparing cookies for Santa. There really is nothing like tradition.

We are so grateful to Karen, Brian, Donna and Larry for making the trip to join us for a very merry Christmas. Now we're looking forward to a very Happy New Year!

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