Sunday, December 27, 2009

Puttin' away the Punch Bowl

We had a wonderful Christmas celebration this year...the first few days after Christmas always feel a little funny. We've spent so much time getting ready for the day and waiting for the day and then it's here and its over. It sure was nice though.

My mom, sister, brother in law, and neice all arrived on Christmas Eve. We had a big turkey dinner with all the trimmings...I have the Portmerion Christmas dishes which I absolutely love. Gotta give a shout out to the beautiful pottery ya know...

My husband always reads Twas the Night Before Christmas to the girls before they go to bed. Well, actually, now that they are older we're pretty much the ones going to bed and they stay up late late late but you get the idea. And our book is in a box in the basement that has not been unpacked so he was forced to read it off a printed copy this year. He knows it by heart but reading the story is a tradition carried over from his own childhood and sometimes when he reads it the memories come a calling so it's best to have the words at hand.

We always open one gift on Christmas Eve and it is always jammies of some sort for all the girls.

We finish up the wrapping later in the evening and are all set for Christmas morning....

One of our Christmas morning traditions is to take a photograph of the girls sitting on the steps before they come into the tree room.

And this house also has a railing across the upstairs hallway so they were forced to stop smiled for a photo there too.

And we may have actually taken two or three or ten pictures on the steps because they're so cute plus its fun to prolong the anticipation of the morning. They may or may not agree.


We really do our stockings up big and like to take our time with those and watch everyone open...and we snack on bubble bread and a delicious cake my mom's neighbor gives us every year.

And our sweet pup may have also sampled the Bubble bread when we were out of the room and suffice it to say it is sticky. Very very sticky. Daughter1 tried to capture the cleanup in a photo but Santa wasn't laughing so she changed her mind.

It felt like we opened gifts all day. My brother and his wife arrived about 10 am from my sister in law's house where they'd spent Christmas Eve ... they were just in time for the traditional Christmas breakfast of sausage and egg casserole. My younger sister and her family arrived about noon...they have a 3 1/2 year old son and he opened his gifts from Santa at home before they drove up to our house. He got a Spiderman costume from my brother and sister in law and that was pretty much what he wore all day long. It was fun to have a very excited little boy in the house this year.

We had a super yummy glazed ham for Christmas girls are such a great help in the kitchen

They both enjoy cooking which is really fun for me. Here is Audrey Hepburn daughter2 making the squash casserole.

I had Christmas crackers from England and we had fun with those. You absolutely have to wear the's the law you know.
As if all of this weren't enough excitement (not to mention calories!) my sister's birthday is the day after Christmas so we had a little party for her on the 26th. We took some family pictures too since we don't have everyone all together very often...

And then it was time for everyone to head home. Sigh. I'm always a little bit sad to see it come to an pull out the vacuum and take the leaves out of the tables, and pack away the punch bowl. A friend of mine (thanks Donna!) posted this quote by Stuart Briscoe on her fb page recently and I told her I was going to add it to my blog because I loved the message so is a lovely reminder that Christmas never really ends.

"The spirit of Christmas needs to be superseded by the Spirit of Christ. The spirit of Christmas is annual; the Spirit of Christ is eternal. The spirit of Christmas is sentimental; the Spirit of Christ is supernatural. The spirit of Christmas is a human product; the Spirit of Christ is a divine person. That makes all the difference in the world."


  1. Looks like a wonderful holiday! Now time to rest and recover!

  2. Joyce,
    It looks like you and your family had a wonderful time being together and celebrating Christmas. I love your husband's tradition of reading, "Twas the Night Before Christmas". I might like to use that idea. :-)

    Is the "Bubble bread" aka Monkey Bread? We also have a casserole as a tradition called ham strada and later on in the day had a baked ham as well. It's nice to hear your traditions and realize that ours are very similar.

    I broke out the Christmas crackers which my aunts had never heard of and thought were very neat. Speaking of "Port Meirion", my hubby got a blue and white tea set with plates, a cake server, and other things from there for me for Christmas. It's very beautiful.

    I know what you mean about that feeling of when Christmas slows down and things begin to be put away. It's a little sad, and yet that poem says it perfectly.

    Blessings and Hugs,

  3. Loved your post, pictures and reading about your traditions and family, Joyce! *sigh* Sounds like a lovely, lovely Christmas. The poem at the end is beautiful! AND you look more like a sister to your daughters than their mother! :-) Happy New Year and the Lord's warmest blessing to you and your family!
    Oh, and when our son Daniel was still at home, I used to read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Parker to him and his dad every Christmas. Of course, it's a bit longer than The Night Before Christmas, so I would usually begin reading it to us around the first of December. We would pile into our bed each night and I would read a chapter or two until we finished it! *sigh* Precious memories. :-)

  4. Looks like a great Christmas! We also give our kids a present on Christmas Eve and it is always new pajamas! Your house and tree looks so beautiful and I love the quote you posted at the end of your blog!

  5. What a full and wonderful day - And, again, the pottery - GORGEOUS!

  6. Looks like an awesome Christmas. For the first time ever, I messed up several dishes. I got so caught up playing with our 2 1/2 year old granddaughter I over cooked the mac and cheese, and a couple of other dishes. We did not let this hinder our dinner or fellowship. It was a beautiful day.
    Blessings, andrea

  7. Great post...Beautiful picture.....So glad to be back to reading my favorite blogs....and off a ladder decorating trees...
    I am so glad that I joined the blog world....and have made so many sweet friends....Blessings in 2010

  8. Looks like you all had a fantastic time! Beautiful tree and I love those dishes!

  9. First off - the dishes are to DIE FOR!
    2nd - your girls are just adorable! And they can cook too! :)
    3rd - your home looks just wonderful. I know . . . new home . . . new city . . . old/new country. But Christmas is Christmas no matter where you are . . . as long as we have our family. You are very Blessed.
    I'm off to finish up taking it all down and pack it up and put it all away. And enjoy the "space" again, although the house seems so empty right after Christmas.
    Have a safe and Happy New Year!
    Hugs! Karen

  10. You have such a beautiful family and traditions. Loved reading this.

  11. Looks like such a great Christmas for your family! I know you loved having everyone together - and I'm glad that you guys did Christmas crackers! :)

  12. Joyce,

    I loved reading all about Christmas at your house. You all have a beautiful home and a beautiful family. I love the dishes! I didn't even get my Christmas dishes out this year. :(

    I get my daughter pj's every Christmas too. :)

    This year was so different for us because of the bad weather and traveling conflicts with the kids. We weren't all together to open gifts and I missed that part more than anything because we take turns opening and like you mentioned, it takes us quite a while.
    God kept everyone safe and sound though and we did eventually get to see both our kids. I'm thankful.

    I'm off work tomorrow and will make a point to take the tree down and put things away. It did all seem to come and go too quickly this year.

    Glad your family had such a blessed Christmas.