Let’s just all agree that Christmas Eve should forever and always be on a Sunday.

Oh, I realize that’s not the way Christmas works, but wouldn’t it be nice? Last year, Christmas on Sunday was lovely. But Christmas Eve on Sunday is even better. It meant that we had to check off our to-d0 lists, finish the shopping and bustling on Saturday and then simply settle in for Christmas Eve.

It was peaceful, beautiful… holy.

We’re very proud of our Bûche de Noël we baked the night before complete with meringue mushrooms, a spun sugar nest and marzipan eggs;

our matching outfits for church,

our cute little gingerbread cabin (the baking muse was smiling upon us) 

and these fantastic ‘Small World’ blocks Ben and Sammie made for their niece and nephew.


Ben and Sam also painted the paper on every one of their gifts.

With only one hour of church, it was easy prepare a 4 p.m. dinner, invite Erik’s parents, have time to open gifts, read Luke 2, and sing carols before the young marrieds went to dinner with their other families.

We sang every carol we knew!

After everyone left, we cozied up to finish a few last-minute projects and enjoy ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’ We like watching it together because no one gets annoyed when we shout out every line, rewind our favorite parts and talk over the dialogue. That movie never gets old. Every bit of it is pure perfection.

Mary spent months making her gifts and finished sweet notes to everyone on Christmas Eve.

Christmas morning! We woke early for Xander’s Skype call.

He kept us laughing the entire hour.

And when we had to hang up, we drowned our sorrows in chocolate.

Mary spent hours and hours making us these gorgeous crepe paper bouquets.

Hans stood in line for hours at Barnes & Noble to get books signed by Brandon Sanderson for Stefan and Gabe.

‘Cat Coliseum’ by Ben.

Everyone received Canada shirts and socks.

The perfect gift for Hans from Ben and Sammie.

All the kids chipped in to turn  our family photo into a blanket from Shutterfly.

Aunt Ruth sends the best gifts;

and I buy the worst ones.

But not always…

I should have taken a better photo here, but the gift has a LONG history. When Stefan was five-years-old I started knitting a sweater for him. It was bright and colorful and covered with chickens. But life got in the way and I never finished the sleeves. For years he asked about his ‘chicken sweater’ and it was just one of many things I felt guilty about never completing. But this year I had the brilliant idea to turn the remains into a pillow– even better than a sweater!

Ruth sent these ornaments to represent Xander’s mission (told ya she’s the best)– a moose for Canada, fortune cookie for Mandarin speaking.

And then, I put away my camera and just drank in the beauty of the day– beautiful music, so much chocolate, the Light of Christ and of course… Legos.

January 19, 2018



  1. Cath

    January 15, 2018

    I love your wonderful family.

  2. Anne Marie

    January 16, 2018

    So much love here. Thank you for sharing

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