Saturday, December 26, 2009

that one time when jesus had a birthday and there was much taking of pictures.

Jesus had a birthday, and my camera got a workout. It all started at Midnight Mass with the Ross-a-tron. And no, the blurriness isn't from having too much of the communion wine. Ha, ha, ha!

And there was much singing:

And on Christmas Day, it was off to my parents' home to celebrate with the family. It's always so nice to walk into the house and see our tree, artificial though it may be, standing sentry in the living room. That tree has been in our family for over 20 years, and it still looks brand new. I love the ol' girl.

Of course, we also had our family photo taken:

L to R: 10 year-old nephew Isaac, my brother Geoff, my sister-in-law Danielle, my dad, my mom, and me

And a close-up of us young-ins:

Opening presents is always fun. We don't go overboard (i.e. dozens and dozens of presents, expensive gifts, etc.), but my dad makes sure to make my mom smile. After 36 years of marriage, he's got it down to a science. And wrapping the gifts in all manner of hilarious ways is his specialty. This year? He wrapped a lovely little gem of a gift (no pun intended, as you'll see) in none other than a Kleenex box:

We all cracked up, Mom especially, as the Hunt for the Gift began. Eventually, she found it:

My mom cried when she opened it, saying, "I've never had a cross. I always wanted one." And that, of course, made me cry. And then my dad got all sweet and put the necklace on my mom:

Not too shabby, huh? Dad was Very Proud of his gift to her. Of course!

My nephew Isaac had a nice Christmas, complete with Star Wars Legos...

...and a new bike. Awe.some.

And, as always, he got his annual measurement taken by Peepaw (Grandpa):

My sister-in-law? (Yes, this beauty:)

She got me this gorgeous breast cancer awareness bracelet, in honor of my own struggles with breast health issues (i.e. atypical papilloma and increased risk for breast cancer):

I'll wear it to each mammogram in February and each oncologist visit.

And this lady?

Oh, my sweet mama. She had the house all warm and welcoming, complete with candles and special dishes and tea and treats. She had a wonderful brunch ready for us, complete with this delicious fruit salad...

...and lovely table set for the family:

And then there's this guy:

Oh, Daddy. You're such a goof.

He plays the violin (and the piano!), and had his beloved instrument waiting in the wings until he serenaded us with a lovely classical piece.

And you know what else is so great about my dad? He's a heck of an artist. All during my chidhood, he used to set up his creative shop somewhere in the house: the dining room table, the kitchen table, the garage, the basement. And he'd paint. All kinds of things. And at Christmas, we were sure to get something pretty special. Ornaments have always been his "thing":

And he made this Noel train about 20 years ago. To this day, it's one of my favorite pieces of my father's love and talent:

But, by far, the most amazing things he ever made for Christmas were his famous clothes-pin soldier ornaments, complete with moving arms:

And to show his love for me and my brother, acorns made to look like our heads/faces:

Those loving artifacts bring tears to my eyes every Christmas. I will always remember my dad painting with his Testor oil paints, tiny brushes laid out ever-so-neatly, his huge hands as nimble as those of someone half his size. Such love in every.single.thing.

There was so much love at our house:

And, not to mention, food:

After being with my family for nearly 10 hours, I drove to spend some time with the Ross-a-tron and his family:

And one of my most favorite boys of all? The Ross-a-tron's sweet-as-can-be nephew, Henry, who's just as silly as me:

I loved Jesus's birthday this year. I hope you did, too.

with love from Pittsburgh,

3 lovely bits o' feedback.:

krista said...

that picture of your mom holding her necklace? so beautiful. so full of love and gratitude. made me all teary.

Lisa E said...

Your photo journal of your Christmas was beautiful. Thank you for making me smile so early.

Skeptical Czarina said...

I love the Christmas entry!! And the appearance of the violin! Wonderful :)