The warmth and glow and magic and joy that is Christmas continues to spill over and dominate our days. Holy Mother Church tells us Christmas is an octave of feasts and a whole season of rejoicing, and we are so happy to comply, carrying on with music and feasting and celebrating day after day.
Some of my favorite Christmas memories this year come courtesy of Eliza, who firmly believes that it is very much still Christmas. She continues to greet everyone in the family numerous times a day with a sincere "Merry Christmas", and she is not happy until you respond in kind. The Christmas tree still delights her so- she runs from shiny ball to shiny ball to peer at her own shining self. We will always remember Midnight Mass where the two little ones blissfully slept through it all until the very end. At the first notes of the recessional hymn, Angels We Have Heard on High, Eliza woke with a start and declared It's Christmas! Indeed.
After Mass again Christmas morning and much needed naps we all settled in to open our gifts. Surely Christmas is the celebration of mankind's greatest Gift, but that doesn't mean we don't revel in our humble gifts to each other. Each family member takes turns passing out their gifts.
Gifts made with their own hands and made for the sole purpose of delighting their recipients.
And delighted they are. Mary Rose is thrilled with her new bow and arrows.
You know you have the best brother in the whole world when he gives you your very own battle ax.
But we relish 'boughten' gifts as well. Lydia was tickled with the boxed Legolas her big brother found for her at the thrift shop (and everyone knows Queen Susan gets her best moves from Leggie).
And the dudes were in dire need of new hats.
Finally, at an extraordinarily late hour that is too embarrassing to mention Jonathan and Lydia made gnocchi for a late supper. When it's just the immediate family you can do that sort of thing, and make Christmas dinner when you are hungry and get around to it. Though we have not a drop of Italian blood in us, they can make awesome gnocchi like an Italian grandmother - light fluffy pillows of potatoey goodness.
Despite being so tired from the late night and early morning no one wanted to go to bed, and we ended our festivities by singing late into the night. It was a most blessed Christmas Day from start to finish.