Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Morning

Our tradition has always been that the children wake up early on Christmas Day, peek in their stockings to see if good old St. Nick returned and then get ready for morning Mass. It is such a quiet, uncrowded  Mass. The monks at the Abbey who have already said Midnight Mass and celebrated the arrival of the Christ Child are allowed to sleep through their usual 6am call to morning prayer so they join in community to say them right before Mass. It is beautiful to get to hear their chanting as you arrive for Mass on such a special day.
Off to church!
After Mass, the priests are usually still a little sleepy (maybe even a little slaphappy) but very cheerful and happy to socialize. One of the older Hungarian priests told us he was without any hot tamales this year. He made sure we understood that he liked them HOT! Not hot from the oven, HOT as in SPICY!!! Our friend, Fr. R. who grew up in San Francisco very much enjoyed the Ghirardelli chocolates we gave him. He passed the bag around to everyone who walked by saying "These are authentic San Francisco candies!"
We came home, put brunch in the oven (ham and egg cups, toasted English muffins, cinnamon rolls, left over Nutella Dream-Cheese Ball, clementines, biscotti and coffee) and then sat down to open some gifts.
The first gift we open is always the best gift. I usually place all of the baby Jesus's from the nativity sets we have on display (we have too many to count and don't always set them all out) in a wrapped or decorated box. The youngest child gets to open it. Once all of the baby Jesus's are all snug in their mangers, we move on to the other gifts.
My favorite part of the day was when the children opened the stack of books we had picked out for each of them. Some were books they had already read but that we didn't own copies of and some were new surprises. 
A hush fell over the house. 
Not even the tempting call of bigger presents under the tree could pull them away. 
Food however, did get their attention... if they could bring their books.
Everyone loved the other things that had been chosen for them. LEGO sets for the boys and some kitchen things and cookbooks for Shortcake, a play mat for Cupcake. However the best reaction was Sunshine's!

Guess what she wanted for Christmas...
She got it!


  1. I would like to go to Mass on Christmas morning but we have so many traditions related to Mass on Christmas Eve that my husband is just not into it. Maybe as the kids get older. I love how peaceful your morning seemed. And I love books at the table the most--it is hard for me to tell my kids to put their books away sometimes! :)

  2. nicole,
    Peaceful is exactly what it was and it is what we look forward to every year but especially this year with a new baby in the house for the first time in a long time. The worst crisis we had was the wrong kind of batteries for the remote control car my mom sent (thanks Amazon for printing the wrong info. from the manufacturer!).

  3. We do the same thing as you guys, a sneak peek, but we don't open anything until after Mass. The kids know this and seem to enjoy our tradition. I love morning Mass and while I used to love Christmas Eve Mass, I don't think I can ever go back to a crowded Christmas Mass.
    Funny, about the books, I seemed to have a lot of misses this year, but with the books, I got it right!

  4. My favorite line was "A hush fell over the house."

    I always want to stop the present-unveiling after the first one or so. "Look!" I say. "They're playing happily!"

    This is a happy post.

    And I love that last photo.

  5. Love the pictures! Can you please share how you make the delicious looking ham and egg cups? I've never seen anything quite like it but they look yummy!

  6. Merry Christmas to the whole family! I love that look on Sunshine's face when she sees her yarn... and the bow on cupcake was TOO CUTE. I love baby bling. B.

  7. I'll have to show dd your blog so she can say hi when she sees you at Mass :D She usually goes to the Abbey on Sundays vs. Mass on campus at UD.
    We are Midnight Mass goers here. Ever since the boys started serving they've been slotted to serve Midnight Mass so we bundle everyone up (9 kids from 18 months to 18)and head out in the dark and quiet. It is lovely if not exhausting :D

  8. Ah, I'm so glad to think about kids reading Zita the Spacegirl on Christmas morning!

    Sadly the Sequel won't be released until September 4th. But I just discovered that you can pre-order it already.

    And I'll be posting the cover illustration online in about a week...

  9. Precious family. You guys should be proud of your children (Christian pride, that is).


Thank you for sharing your thoughts and yourself!