Christmas 2000 - Can you tell who's who?
Christmas at our house has always a very busy, crazy, and fun time. Some of our traditions are probably a little different than most people’s, like the fact that we have to tie the Christmas tree to the wall with wire because Lauren and Alex tried to scale it with a jump rope when they were little and then knocked it over. Back when we had a dog, he knocked the tree over, too, so it became clear early on that tying it to the wall was going to be a must in our house.
Then there was Lisa, whom we found drinking the Christmas tree water when she was about two years old. And this is the first year we’ve actually been able to put presents under the tree without any little ones opening them before Christmas! One year, Christina, Alex, Lauren, Dani, and Christian pulled out their sleeping bags and slept under the Christmas tree every night for the week before Christmas (except Christmas Eve, of course).
Christmas Choir - Do you recognize Mike, Christina, Katherine and Lisa?
While we lived in Northern California, we used to put together a Christmas choir for our church, made up of my kids and their friends. They would rehearse for about a month before Christmas and then perform some really beautiful arrangements of Christmas carols and pieces from Handel’s “Messiah” during the 30 minutes before Mass, and then leading the congregation in song during the Mass.
Alex the Drummer Boy - He's in the middle, with Mom Cimorelli at the piano
We decorate our house with a Christmas tree, a manger scene, poinsettias, greenery down the stairwell, a wreath on the door, and an advent wreath on the table. Christmas carols start blasting in our house on December 1st, which gets the kids in the mood for Christmas caroling around the neighborhood as it gets closer to Christmas. Our neighbors usually have cookies or hot chocolate and invite the kids in, so it becomes quite the social event.
Every year we make lots of Christmas cookies and candy, which somehow disappear within hours of making them. The girls like to make homemade presents for their friends, which sometimes include elaborate scrapbooks, “books” with a story about their friendship, or some sort of crafty room decoration that usually involves pictures of themselves with their friends.
Alex and Lauren wiring up the tree
Christmas is a time for giving, not just to each other and our friends and family, but also to those less fortunate. The church in our hometown had a lovely tradition called the giving tree, which had paper ornaments on which were written specific needs of families in the area. We always took several ornaments, bought and wrapped those presents, and placed them under the church’s Christmas tree. One year we donated boxes of books to some local shelters, and another year we gave CD’s and players to a children’s hospital cancer ward.
As Christmas Day fast approaches, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and the Happiest New Year possible!