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 this...no make-up!  I think she's just  beautiful though!

And how about the cake?  Then...



...again with some help from cousin Lyndsie and Sarah...love 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 card...my 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!