Sunday, December 28, 2008


It was Boxing Day, and most of the family - about 25 of us anyway - were at my parents' house for Christmas dinner. A few us stragglers stood around the island fixing our own plates while a half a dozen kids aged four and under were being wrestled into seats at the little table with theirs. Wine bottles were being uncorked, baskets of rolls were being passed, seats were being stolen, and plates and silverware were being clinked. It was the chaos that has intimidated just about every newcomer into a corner. It was Christmas at my house. It was my home, my family, the way it has been for as long as I can remember.

And it was the answer to a question that I've been asking myself a lot this Christmas season. Since I'm a person who observes religious holidays with a half-hearted attempt at best, why do I hold Christmas so dear?

Family. A full house. The chaos that happens when there is too much love, laughter, and happiness to be contained by four walls.

For just a moment, I took it all in, and I had my answer. Christmas morning at my house, with my girls, is of course so precious to me, but Christmas Time for me will never be complete until I have stood at the center of that din and realized that just about everyone that matters in the word to me is safe and happy and together. It happens so seldom, and I'm grateful for having had just a few seconds to appreciate it.

* * *

Okay, on with the show. I did take some pictures this year.

I didn't get back into my house really until Christmas Eve (and we're still not all set, to be honest) so we put the tree up and decorated that evening. Then we tried to do our Christmas-Eve-in-front-of-the-tree portrait. This was as good as it got :-)
Listowel Kitchener and Waterloo Wedding Photographer

The girls put out egg nog and cookies for Santa, and the leftover Reindeer Food in case Rudolph and his pals were feeling peckish. And of course, a letter for Santa.
Listowel Kitchener and Waterloo Wedding Photographer

The kids (and I) love taking breaks to play with the toys as they unwrap them. They totally loved the Potato Family bucket.
Listowel Kitchener and Waterloo Wedding Photographer

Two days before Christmas Bria decided that the ONLY thing she wanted was a Fur Real Friend. Thankfully, Santa had time to get her one.
Listowel Kitchener and Waterloo Wedding Photographer

Rissa loved the dress-up stuff. Here she is - Sir(ette) Rissa-Roo!
Listowel Kitchener and Waterloo Wedding Photographer

And, here she is, half way into a Princess costume, pooped out in front of the dress up box, which is also my new killer purple ottoman with tons o' storage.
Listowel Kitchener and Waterloo Wedding Photographer

Oh, and I am still "Cans for Comments"-ing. I'll make my first donation on January 2 or 3rd or thereabouts - have to check the food bank hours.


Tracey said...

The first part of this post is my thoughts exactly! Can't be Christmas until you experience the crazy, fun, fabulous housefull of family at Mom & Dad's!!!

Love your pictures!!! Looks like your girls had a fantastic Christmas!!

Lisa B said...

I love the images, you captured from beginning to end!

Family is what it's all about, you can have anything, but when you don't have family, then you can feel a void!

Happy New Year, Amanda and family!

Dodie said...

I am so glad that you were able to get back into your house and have a wonderful Christmas Eve and morning with the girls. Like you, my favourite part of any holiday, but especially Christmas, is to have as much of the family together as possible and watch them laugh, love and play together. It is chaotic and probably a little frightening to others, but it is our family and there are none better - I totallly love every second of it!!

Tami said...

As always, you have taken my feelings and put them into words much better than I ever could. Ditto what you said sister! :) Now excuse me as I wipe a tear at your sentiments and also that my little sister is old enough to grasp the 'true meaning of Christmas and family'. I love you Munchie.

Anonymous said...

Love your pictures, and the cans for comments thing is a fantastic idea!