Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Eve Traditions...The Stockings Were Hung...and Happy Birthday, Chelsea Noel!

Good morning, all!  What a beautiful day here in California--it's pretty cool outside, but the sun is shining, and all is sparkly and bright!  Can you believe it's only 2 days until Christmas?!  Pretty amazing, yet here it is!  Hope we're all ready!

Yesterday was my oldest daughter Chelsea's 20th birthday--20!  I can hardly believe it!  Really...she was just a baby yesterday...

We were looking at our family scrapbook yesterday from 1996--my youngest, Annie, was just a few months old, and my family was complete...we were enjoying the photos of Chelsea's 7th birthday, so I thought I'd intersperse a couple of then and now shots...(hope you don't mind the family stuff...there's a card in a minute...stick with me!)

Chelsea getting a little present-opening help from her Auntie Becky, cousin Lyndsie on the right, and our red-headed Sarah...

...and now.  She'll be mad at me for posting make-up!  I think she's just  beautiful though!

And how about the cake?  Then...

...again with some help from cousin Lyndsie and how they're all gazing at the cake in different ways!  My Sarah's little face there makes me realize why I love Cupie dolls so much!  What a Cupie face!

...and last night...happily contemplating 20 blazing candles on her cake!

Here's a little card I made yesterday...Chelsea gave me a few of her birthday minutes so I could selfishly make a fingers were just itching to create something!

I had so much fun with this one!  Love this sweet little image from Crafty Secrets' "Christmas" Images & Journal Notes booklet!  It just reminded me of my three girls...then I thought of making some stockings to hang alongside the image, which I topped with a little Liquid Applique' for some fluff on top--love it!  A little gold Stickles on each one for my girls' initials...

...some lace, ribbon, tiny rick-rack trim...more beautiful paper from Graphic 45's "Christmas Past" collection...

...I made my own saying on the computer with one of my favorite fonts--"Craft Roman"...

...and we can't forget the glitter!  Love that Martha Stewart "White Gold"--just shimmers like crazy!

Been thinking alot about our family's Christmas Eve traditions.  Our dinner tradition is funny...I grew up in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio.  There was a large Polish influence in the area...probably still is!  One Christmas Eve, we had kielbasi, pierogis and sauerkraut for our dinner...not sure why.  We loved it so much, we had it again the next year, and the rest is history! 

To this day, each and every one of my siblings and myself have this as our Christmas Eve dinner...our spouses have graciously conceded to this tradition--thanks to you all!

The other thing we do each and every Christmas Eve is a little family "program"...something that must be done before children are sent scurrying off to bed before Santa comes.

My dad would always gather us in the living room and he'd choose one of us to read the account of Christ's birth from Luke chapter 2 in the Bible.  We'd always act out the Nativity if we had enough children around, or the little ones would act it out using the homemade Nativity set my Mom had made.  Here's a bit of  1996 to illustrate again...

Next, the silly part!  Sometime...about 30 plus years ago, we were introduced to a poem by Ogden Nash called "The Boy Who Laughed at Santa Claus".  Dad read it one Christmas Eve, and again--it stuck!  We got this most wonderful book one year, and now each one of us has a copy for our own families, pulled out lovingly each and every Christmas Eve...

Trust me, it's hilarious, and your family will love it!  The dad of the family needs to read the poem, but all the dad's do as my dad has always done...the family all knows the poem so well, that he'll leave off the end of every other line or so of the poem, and the family all shouts it out together--so much fun!

Here's my Dad reading "Jabez Dawes", as we've come to call the poem (the name of the boy in the poem)--love you, Dad!

Next comes someone reading Clement Moore's "The Night Before Christmas"--then it's off to bed for the little ones, and off to work for all the Santas!

Isn't it funny about traditions?  Sometimes we can't even remember the moment they start, but something magical happened once, and they become part of the fabric of your family forever...just wonderful!

Thanks for letting me share all of this with you today--hope you're still here!  My, I've been long-winded lately!  Here's hoping you fill every minute of the next two days before Christmas with wonderful family memories, traditions, good food...and maybe some new traditions will pop up unexpectedly, and oh, so magically!

Merry Christmas!


  1. thanks for sharing all of the photos, and of course the fabbie card!

  2. Thanks for sharing all of this Julie. It really made me smile which is necessary as my younger daughter gave me an early pressie of her cold and I'm feeling sorry for myself.
    My elder daughter is 20 too and sometimes I can't believe how quickly time has flown from when she was little.
    Hoping you and your family have a lovely Christmas and a very Happy New Year.
    Fliss x

  3. What a wonderful visit this was into a part of your past & present!! LOVE the photos of the girls and yes, the expression on little Sarah's face is priceless!! Love the card you created for Chelsea ... awesome as always!!
    What a fun tradition you all have with the story readings ... I never had that but sure enjoyed sharing in yours!!
    Being POLISH myself, I'm very familiar with kielbasa & pierogis ... but usually had that meal more at Easter than Christmas. I still love that combination and usually make them at least once a month.
    How blessed you are my friend ... with your loving family, beliefs & traditions ... thanks so much for sharing them with all of us! You certainly know how to warm one's heart!! Thanks! HUGS ...

  4. Your card is so pretty! Doesn't time just fly! Before you know it they're 20 (or in my case 17)!

    I hope you and your family have a lovely Christmas!


  5. Julie, your daughter is so pretty. I hope she had a wonderful birthday. Lindsey was supposed to be born on Christmas Eve and I was going to name her Lindsey Noel. Instead, she was premature and born Nov. 7. I named her Lindsey Michelle instead, she still wishes I'd named her Noel. Traditions are what make Christmas such a special time. I hope your family has a very special Christmas this year! Twyla

  6. Julie, thanks so much for sharing your lovely family traditions with us here today. You have very beautiful daughters, but no surprise there, they have a beautiful mom!! I am sure that Chelsea had a wonderful birthday. It is such a challenge at this time of year making sure that their Birthdays are special and apart from Christmas. I know, because I had two of my children born in the weeks preceding the holiday. We had the family tradition of picking out a family that we thought needed help and dropping off a special package filled with Christmas goodies anonymously to their doorstep on Christmas Eve, and then it would be home to ours for hot chocolates and Christmas stories and of course the Christmas Story. There was always much excitement and such a warm feeling in our home. I miss my family very much now that there is only Todd and I, and I live so far apart. Thanks so much for sharing yours so generously with us, and another new card, a special card too! It's so beautiful. I just love the images that you used and the sentiment behind it. Merry Christmas Julie, may your holiday be filled to overbrimming with goodness!!! xxoo

  7. PS - We love perogies in our home too, my homemade cheese and potato ones, with lots of sour cream and fried onions! Yummo!!

  8. Thank you for sharing your lovely Christmas traditions with us, Julie! I appreciate the gentle reminder, too, of how quickly time goes. Shannon is seven this year, and I know we will blink, and she'll be turning twenty as well.

    We love pierogies here too! In Western Pa, we're not far from your hometown, and some of the churches have homemade pierogie sales. YUM!

    Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

  9. Merry Christmas to you too Julie! That book looks great! I love funny family traditions :)

  10. Good morning Julie. What a lovely spot to start my busy day. Love the children's pictures; thank you for sharing.; you are so right about traditions; not sure how they started but they are part of our lives.
    Happy Holidays!

  11. Hello Julie

    I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas and thank you for being a great blog buddy nnd for sharing so many wonderful moments (and recipes) with us all.

    B x

  12. Happy Birthday to your beautiful daughter!

    Your Christmas traditions are very close to ours. We have a program too...soup dinner, reading Luke out of the family bible (100+ yrs old), Christmas remembrances, and then gifts. Then some cookies and milk (and leave some for Santa) before bed.

    Merry Christmas Julie!!

  13. Hi Julie,

    I love your blog wallpaper!

    The pictures of your daughter when she was young are precious. They brought tears to my eyes since I always wanted children but never got the chance. Married too late in life! lol

    I hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday season and every one stays safe and sound.

    xo Cathy

  14. Happy birthday to your daughter. I know it is amazing how fast they grow. Wishing you and yours a very merry and blessed CHRISTMAS!

  15. What wonderful Christmas traditions to look forward to! My Polish grandfather would love your Christmas Eve dinner. So if you grew up in a Cleveland suburb with a Polish influence, was it close to Parma? I'm originally from NE Ohio (Salem) and also lived in Chardon while working in east side Cleveland suburbs for several years before moving to Maine. So I'll send you cold, snowy Christmas wishes from Maine to your warm and sunny California!! Have a great holiday, Julie!

  16. Thanks for letting me come to the party!!!!
    We read the same stories!!
    I enjoyed your wonderful christmas post, and merry merry to you and family!

  17. Happy belated to your lovely daughter. Beautiful even without makeup. You have so many wonderful holiday traditions in your family. It's much quieter around here as it is just us. The stocking card you made is just absolutely gorgeous. Love the old age look of it. Wishing you and yours a day of wonder and for the new year much peace and joy. Holiday blessings :) Tammy