I think our Christmas season – and yes, it’s technically still Christmas until January 6 – can be summed up in one sweet word: JOY. I pray yours was filled with the same. Here, I’ll give you another word: LOUD. Another: UNFORGETTABLE. And one last one: NUTS. That pretty much sums it up…joy, loud, loud, nuts, unforgettable, joy, joy, nuts.

We started the season by heading up to Bowie the weekend before and celebrating the Whitaker family Christmas. Amazingly, we didn’t freak out nephew Alex. He and Clare had a great time with the wrapping paper. The kids – and by kids I’m speaking specifically about John Paul and Anna-Laura – had Academy award-winning reactions. There were lots of “Yes!” and “I knew it” and “AHHH”. Classic. We even filled up a whole pew (and then some) at Saturday evening’s Mass. Granny, thank you for hosting such a joyful get together.

Then, it was back home to celebrate Christmas with Uncle Daniel and Aunt Amanda. It was pretty much the same scenario of oohs and ahhs and performances. Scott felt like the pits, though. So, we ordered in Chili’s while he slept on the couch. Aren’t we nice?

Christmas Eve, we met my parents and cousin Mickey at Mass. Will was in the choir and did a fabulous job. I must say, at the end of Mass Msgr. Bill dimmed the lights in the church, we hugged those next to us and sang “Silent Night.” That was when God let the peace in. It was a precious moment. Afterwards we tried for a kid picture in front of the Christmas tree out front. Exit unforgettable. Enter nuts. The pasta dinner at home was eaten in lightening speed, then it was on to present opening. Yes, we open them all after Mass. This year, we did something different, though. We wrapped all the baby Jesus’ and placed them under the tree. We prayed together as a family and then the kids opened the package. The excitement was contagious as they ran through the house placing Baby Jesus in his rightful place. It was also dangerous as one lost his head. Remember this post?

We dutifully spread reindeer food out front and baked delish cookies for Santa. What sweet innocence. I now know there is a God who performs miracles – our children did not get out of bed until 7:14 AM. Did you see that?? 7:14 AM!!!!!!!!!!! We enjoyed the rest of the day at my parents and then hit the sack with a heavy head that night.

Oh, but the festivities didn’t stop there. 3 Christmas celebrations were not enough.

We decided it would be fun to head up to Amarillo. In a car. With 4 children. For 19 hours. Enter loud.

I’ve bored you long enough, though. Check back in tomorrow for the evidence that we survived, had a blast and made it back home in one piece.

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