Festive Times

Now that Grandmom’s Christmas is securely in the past (in fact we started school again today … Sigh) I probably ought to write my promised Christmas Post.  Even though it’s already the 4th.  Better late than never, huh?

Anyway, Christmas was wonderful as ever.  Actually, Mom observed that this year’s Christmas was maybe better than most.  Not in the way of gifts, per say (though I am delighted with all of mine!) but in the air of joy and peace which filled our house.

Christmas Eve Eve (which we refer to as “Christmas Adam” in our house) had our church’s candlelight service.  I’ve always loved candlelight services.  It’s so pretty: the specks of glowing light, the wavering beauty of a handheld flame.  Like stars in the night.  Of course, the effect was someone detracted from by the fact that I had to wear a mask.  (It’s a lot harder to see a candle through fogged-up glasses.) But I still enjoyed it a lot.

Christmas Eve the oldest four of us (which is Pippa, me, Bea, and June) got to go to Grandmom’s church’s candlelight service.  That was slightly less enjoyable for me, mostly because I didn’t like the music as much.  But it was still good.

Afterward, we had some friends and family at our house for a small party.  We exchanged early gifts and ate dinner, and had a generally pretty fun time.  Also, those of us who can crochet presented Mom with the Nativity we’d been secretly making her for the past few weeks.

There was also a Milo photoshoot which might be worthy of note.

After the party finished, Pippa and I were allowed to help Mom stuff stockings:

The past couple years we’ve been allowed to help her arrange the presents under the tree, too, but this year we were sadly excluded from that.  Still, Mom managed to do a pretty good job without us:

Then it was off to bed, and the next day was Christmas.

I’ve said already that Mom thinks this was our best Christmas in recent years, perhaps ever.  I feel similarly, even though I couldn’t quite muster a festive feeling for myself.  We moved at a slower pace than we have recently, opening presents one at a time and exclaiming over each one before moving on.

First there was the Waiting, which occurs every Christmas morning, but never gets any easier.

Then we opened our stockings, which were great, with gloves and chapstick and a TON of candy.  (Mom made us pause there for a photo, which I was not happy about at the time, but is actually pretty helpful here):

On the very first present opened (apart from Secret Santa presents, which are rarely very exciting), which was a storybook for Freya, written and photographed by Pippa, everyone crowded around Dad to hear him read it.  Everyone forgot about their own presents and listened.  I don’t know why it happened, but it was lovely.  And apparently, Mom took another picture while I wasn’t paying attention:

We spent much of the morning/early afternoon playing with our new toys and trying out anything else we’d gotten.  I crocheted during that time, not because I’d gotten anything to crochet with, but because, exciting as my presents were, there wasn’t really anything I could do anything with.  Yet.

Then we headed to Pop-pop and Debidee’s house, which was absolutely delightful.  Debidee had prepared a sort of one-sided gift exchange, where we all pulled a card with a number corresponding to a small gift bag.  We opened the gift bags; they each contained a pair of festive socks and some chocolate.  Then there were larger wrapped gifts, also randomized and corresponding to the numbers we’d been given.  They all held LEGOs.  (Mine were Harry Potter, which is perfect because I love Harry Potter.  Such a coincidence!) Then there were yet more – personalized this time – gifts to be unwrapped.  I was given a “Draw-Through-the-Year” workbook and a blank book and guide to write your own children’s book.  I’m excited about both of them! Actually, that entire half-hour of gift opening was awesome.  I opened the socks and chocolate, and I thought, “Oh, good, I love socks.”  Then there were more presents, and I was like, “Legos? Cool!” and was perfectly ready to be done opening presents; and then I was given yet more, which was even more exciting.  It was crazy and terrific.  And the dinner (crab bisque, I think, which I didn’t try because I’m a vegetarian; and rolls and veggie meatballs and vegetables) was delicious.  And then we went home and that was that.

The next week passed uneventfully, I suppose, but it was great because we didn’t have school and I could literally spend the entire time writing and drawing and having a generally good time.

Then came New Year’s Eve, which was nice but equally dull.  Some of the older kids (it’s Bea, Pippa, June, Niko, Coraline, then me in the picture below) got to stay up until midnight, watching The Great British Baking Show and then The Truman Show.  We didn’t really properly hail in the new year, but it was still fun to stay up late, eat popcorn, and watch a movie we were promised last year but still hadn’t seen.

The next day was “Grandmom’s Christmas,” which was as exciting as, if not more than, the real thing.  She sent most of us out of the house to buy donuts and prepared Christmas while we were gone, stuffing her stockings (mine is black and grey, which is perfect) and arranging presents all over the place.  I received a new mug (it’s very pretty, sort of blue-green), a box of Earl Grey tea (one of my favorites!), a beautiful leather-bound sketchbook, and a set of socks.  We spent that afternoon lounging about enjoying ourselves (actually, Niko hosted a very serious Connect Four tournament, but I didn’t participate) and then Christmas was done.  And what a lovely Christmas it was!

And there’s my Christmas post, written in a single evening.  I am so proud of myself.  Now I guess I don’t need to write again until my birthday? (Just kidding.  Maybe.)

By Romilly

My name is Romilly Young and I am the loving second-oldest sister in a family of thirteen kids. In age order, they are
Philippa (Pippa), born 2004
Me, born 2006
Nikolai (Niko), born 2006
Delphinia (Delia), born 2006
Thaddeus (Teddy), born 2006
Lewis, born 2007
Beatrix (Bea), born 2007
Juniper, born 2009
Coraline, born 2011
Annis, born 2014
Verity, born 2016
Freya, born 2018
Milo, born 2020

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