Let me give you a wee picture of what happens behind this closed door on Christmas Day...
in the morning.
We always do brunch with the family.
Some traditions change from year to year...
but that is one that has remained the same.
We have the very same menu from year to year as well!
I'm not allowed to mess with that...
so I have been told.
Christmas Morning Wife Saver (breakfast casserole)
Fresh Fruit Salad
These two were here before the others arrived.
Lucy fetched Baby Jesus from the nativity scene...
and cradled Him for a bit.
Maggie returned Him to His place among the shepherds, wisemen and angels.
My nephew came next.
He lives in our area...
and has no immediate family nearby.
And he is always fun to have.
Just ask the kids!
He decided to don the Santa suit and be the greeter as the rest arrived.
All pretense was over...
as the beard fell to the floor.
Since when is Santa tall and skinny anyhow?
Once brunch was over and done with...
we moved to the living room.
We could have lingered at the table much longer...
had Lucy not insisted it was time to open the gifts!
Emme read the Christmas story for us...
from the Children's Storybook Bible.
She had everyone's attention...
even the wee ones.
We started a new tradition this year.
The gift-opener sat on the 'gift-opening chair'.
That worked well!
How was it that these two both got the same gift from the one who had their name?
I was glad that the Furby's were not staying at Grammy's house...
especially when I learned that there was no OFF switch. :)
Emme and Spencer will be playing tennis with us this year!
Brendan loves nothing better than a good book!
I'm not sure he was all that impressed with the books he was required to read on Christmas Day.
But he was a very good sport...
and read to Micah and Lucy for well over an hour.
Ranen and Maggie changed into their new jammies...
and nibbled at chocolate monograms they found in their stockings.
And before we parted ways on Christmas Day...
Ranen played some carols for us on her violin.
And she played one of my favorite old German carols...
Oh, come, little children, oh, come, one and all,
To Bethlehem’s stable, in Bethlehem’s stall.
And see with rejoicing this glorious sight,
Our Father in heaven has sent us this night.
As she played...
the words ran through my mind in German...
like I learned them so long ago.
Ihr Kinderlein, kommet, o kommet doch all!
Zur Krippe her kommet in Bethlehems Stall
und seht, was in dieser hochheiligen Nacht
der Vater im Himmel für Freude uns macht!
And that was Christmas 2013...
behind the closed door.
There was laughter and joy...
good times, good food and good gifts.
But there was also sadness...
as we acknowledge that in a family there are difficult times.
Even at Christmas!