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The above is a picture of my family a LONG time ago. 
I'm the one holding the doll. 
Don't worry, my sister is only upset because she couldn't get her doll for the picture! 

Growing up we always opened our gifts Christmas Eve. 
It was always a fun time in our household. 

Most of our "work" was done. 
My mom directed the Youth Choir in which my sister and I sang. 
My mom also sang in the Adult Choir and by Christmas Eve both musicals were over and the only thing for my father to worry about was Christmas Day service. 

My father would begin delivering the Christmas presents to the 
various people who worked in the church in the morning. 

A few times he would take me with him. 
I never really enjoyed going with him. 
I wanted to be home to smell the wonderful cooking. 

My mom would be working away in the kitchen getting ready 
for our big Christmas Eve dinner that night. 
It was always just the 5 of us, which made it special.

During the afternoon she would have cookies and eggnog set up 
for people who would drop by to wish us "Merry Christmas." 

And there was always someone dropping by!  

After dinner we would get to open our presents. 
But first we had to put the Yule Log on TV. 
Watching the fireplace from Gracie Mansion, the home of the 
New York City mayor, was a tradition in our house! 
The music was always so beautiful.  

It seemed it would take us hours to open our presents, 
no rushing, no ripping through the packages.  
Everything was done slowly and we all had to "watch" each other open their gifts. 

When we were first married and started our own family, 
the Colonel and I always opened presents on Christmas Morning. 

However, we found we were rushing through it too often. 
I was always trying to either get a dinner together for company 
or get us in the car to make the long drive to someone's house. 

We decided a few years ago enough was enough. 
We were opening presents on Christmas Eve. 

And it was so nice. 
We go to Christmas Eve service and then come home 
and spend as much time as we need to open our gifts. 

Then, the next morning, the kids sleep in and 
I don't worry about having to get a house cleaned up before our company comes! 

The only difference between now and when I was growing up is that 
the fireplace we watch is now in our house...not on TV!

This year will be the third Christmas without my dad with us.
I still can't get use to that! 
And of course my Colonel is still in Afghanistan.  
So the kids and I will go to the Christmas Eve service 
and then home to open gifts.

And then the three of us will watch a favorite movie, 
Christmas With The Kranks.

Whether you open gifts Christmas Eve or Christmas morning, 
I pray that you will take time to remember the greatest gift given to us...
the gift of Jesus, our Savior...I know I will! 

Merry Christmas!


  1. Merry Christmas!

    I know you are missing your hubby...and I just wanted you to know that I am praying for you this morning...and for him.

    Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

  2. What sweet memories. I agree, we should adapt our Christmases to what suits our families best. Of course, I know what would suit you, and I hope you get that soon!
    Hugs, Debbie

  3. I have enjoyed reading and sharing your memories with you this Christmas morning. Sending wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  4. Merry Christmas!! Thanks for sharing the memories :-) You will have your Colonel back in no time!!

  5. I hope that you and your family had a Merry Christmas.
    I remember we to always did Christmas Eve after Church and supper.
    Prayers for the colonel's safe return home.

  6. Loved your Christmas history story and the re-established tradition making a comeback into your family's lives. Our family opens gifts on Christmas morning, and we open the same as you - slowly, everyone watching, exclaiming, laughing... Our newest family members love it. It's a time of making great memories.
    Wish the General could have been here with you and the kids.
    God bless you! And have a very happy new year.

  7. Love the old photo. We opened Christmas gifts mid afternoon due to airline arrivals on Christmas day. Everyone ended up getting a virus this week so we said we hope that does not start a new holiday tradition in our home:-) Thank you for the beautiful card. Can't wait for 2011 to arrive so that you and your husband and children can all be together.

  8. What a fun picture and wonderful memories. I feel your pain missing your dad at Christmas as well.

    I'm sure you are counting down the days until the Colonel is back in your arms!

    Stop by my blog when you get a chance, I have a new post up.

    New Year Blessings to you!

  9. Love the memories...and that picture! I hope that you guys had a great Christmas (although I can't imagine opening gifts on Christmas Eve!!) :)

    Praying (extra) for your husband - and all our servicemen - during these weeks!

    Looking forward to a great new year ahead.....hugs, friend. Jennifer

  10. May your New Year be filled with many Blessings and abundances of Joy for 2011. From my mountain to yours, Until next year
    Hugs and Smiles Gl♥ria

  11. Thanks for stopping by. PSE is Adobe Photoshop Elements-- the logo on the icon is pse.

  12. Hi Lois, I've thought about you a lot through the holidays. Hopefully the Colonel will be home very soon now...and your family will be together again! It's my 3rd Christmas season without my dad too, and I totally know how you feel on that one. I found myself talking about him a lot this Christmas...the pain of loss never goes away, but it does become "softer"...Blessings for the new year! I'll be anxious to hear all about it!

  13. Hope you and your kids had a wonderful Christmas.
    Wishing you a blessed 2011.

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  16. Nice old picture. It was so cute. You and your sister is cute too.

    Seattle Real Estate


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