These pictures show the joy of Christmas Eve, although they leave out the visit to my mother after evening Mass. This was the first year since we have been married that she did not come to Mass with us, exchanging presents by our tree afterward. In many ways, this Christmas feels surreal and incomplete, yet, even in sorrow, there is great rejoicing--a time to laugh, a time to weep.
Daddy snapped this photo, although it would have been so much nicer if he had been in it. I love the way the little ones are tending to their crying Eileen. As you can see, I remain true to form, looking like a combination of Olive Oyl and Ruth Buzzi:
Usually, our tree is up about a week before Christmas, but this year we were putting ornaments on minutes before leaving for church:
After Mass, it was Marie's turn to put the Baby Jesus in our outdoor nativity:
We did not manage a "path lighted by candles," but our candlelight procession cast a warm glow on the cold winter's night:
The flames needed to be protected from winter wind while we sang carols:
And Marie tripped in the tangles beneath her feet, yet was none the worse for wear:
Warming up indoors, Daddy lit a fire and we exchanged our annual Kris Kringle gifts. Marie, my Kris Kringle this year, presented me with this lovely ornament:
And a picture worth treasuring:
Here is the newest tradition at our house--the Christmas Pyramid--a wonder of engineering given to me this year by Daddy and the children. It runs on the heat of three candles:
If you would like to see our new pyramid in operation, please click here: Christmas 2007. The children, right down to three year old Maureen, do a heartfelt and unrehearsed rendition of Away in a Manger. (They all think it sounds horrible, but I still love it, even with the little ones singing off key!)
Eileen's expression perfectly captures the warmth and joy we wish you this Christmas and always!