Hello 2011! Happy New Year, my dear friends and family. During this unintentional -- but much needed -- blog break, we have enjoyed a beautiful holiday.
On Christmas Eve, our dinner started out with a sampler we had ordered from Salumeria Biellese.
We spent the evening in the plesant company of our dear neighbors with a dinner large enough to get us through the rest of the weekend on the leftovers.
Christmas morning I put a Cowboy Christmas Breakfast in to bake (I had put it together the night before), and Greg read the children some of our Christmas story books while I did the morning dishes and readied our house for the day.
Lavella woke up with a fever, so she was languishing on the other couch listening to the reading. Poor babe.
After breakfast, we gathered around the tree, and the boys were in charge of handing gifts out to each person. We try as best we can to not let it turn into a manic gift-ripping-wild-toy-flinging experience, and this year, while exciting to be sure, was at the same time just a little bit graceful. Also, I managed to stuff the wrappings into a large garbage bag after each gift, so that helped a little to keep the children from becoming buried up to their eyeballs in who-knows-what. It's nice to actually see what everyone gives and gets, and to take a moment to appreciate them.
An embroidered pillow with a backing that matches Andrew's new pajama pants that I sewed for him a few weeks ago.
The chess set that the boys had been asking about for the past few months.
An apron and a tiny wool-felt cat that I made for Lavella.
Two wool-felt monkeys that I hand-sewed for the boys.
An art project that Elijah made at school as a Christmas gift for Greg and I.
A calendar that Andrew made for Greg and I.
Matching red sweatshirts from Jonathan.
Lovely gift tags on the books that Jonathan sent me.
Swords from Poppy and Nana
After all of the gifts and the playing with new toys and eating our Christmas Eve leftovers, there was this: Softly glowing tree, darkness fallen outside the windows, tiny bare feet, a favorite book...
Of all of the time and energy and money spent in preparation for this one day, the beauty of a moment like this is the best gift I could ever hope for.
For more pictures of our Christmas, click through to the Flickr set here.