There were so many joy-filled moments during the holidays. There were also sibling fights, Wii privileges revoked, date nights, funny stories and lots of good memories. No Christmas is perfect, even if my Canon 40D says otherwise. I think when we look back on life, we’ll want to remember the good stuff, not the petty stuff that no longer matters.

By now, we have Christmas Eve down to a science. Scott and the big boys leave at 3:55 for the 5pm Christmas Eve to secure our family seats. We do take up an entire pew now, so one must plan ahead. I usually scoot in with about ten minutes to spare so the littles can get a nap and be on their “almost” best behavior. Hey, it works for us. Mass was wonderful. Luke had many laps to sit on, between our family, my parents, my cousin Mickey and our friends, the Bloods.

After we got home, we whipped up our annual Christmas Eve shrimp favorite and garlic bread. Of course, it isn’t a party unless you sing to the guest of honor. Olga crafted some delicious and beautiful pops and cookies and the kids belted out “Happy Birthday, Jesus.” It was even complete with the traditional “How old are you? Infinity!” Hilarious and so innocent at the same time. I’ll admit that’s a memory I hope my brain forever remembers.

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After dinner, my parents and Mickey headed home and the kids changed into their Christmas pajamas. We gathered around the tree, placed baby Jesus in the manger and then prayed over all the gifts. Our Christmas Eve traditions are some of my most favorite.

Then, it was time to open presents. Yes, we’re a Christmas Eve family. It was a compromise Scott and I made early on in our marriage. His family opened all their presents on Christmas Eve, ours opened one, with the remainder on Christmas Day. We open all our presents after Mass and then Santa visits on Christmas morning. It’s been good for our family and I’m grateful that our present time has always just been us. To us, it is perfect. This year, we opted to buy the kids three gifts, to represent the three kings and their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. It was definitely a keeper and we look forward to doing this every year. Here’s the best I’ve got from our family Christmas, my family and Scott’s family. We have one more round to go with my brother and his family next weekend and I’ll make sure to post a few photos.

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Christmas Day was full of its own fun. Another round of Christmas, cooking, eating (too much) and a pretty serious game of dominoes. It *may* have gotten a little heated. All I know is that if the winner went to the team with the highest points, Clare and I OWNED that game. And, since this is my blog and you get my memories. We totally rocked that match. Well done, Clare Bear.

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I LOVE this photo of my mom. We gave her an iPhone 5 case with all the grandkids’ photos on it. Her reaction was priceless.

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We were honored to host some sweet friends from the Panhandle for lunch, but darn it all if I forgot to snap pictures of them. Guess the photographer was busy eating (ahem).

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Over the Cotton Bowl weekend (yes, Scott and his bro went to the game!) we traveled to Dallas for the Whitaker family Christmas. Even though it was a short trip, it was great to see everyone, as evidence by all these smiles.

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My SIL said to me, “Quick, grab your camera and get a picture of that.” I’m so glad I did. I think the calendar is a grandparent favorite and this was a sweet moment to capture on film.

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Six of the seven grandkids, not bad. Sweet baby Hudson was completely worn out. We’ll get him next time!

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5 Comments

  1. Erin {Home Everyday} on January 10, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Gorgeous pictures! Blessings to you Team Whitaker!

  2. Verdina on January 10, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Wonderful! Blessings galore!

    God bless!
    V

  3. Connie Hayley on January 10, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Great pics and thank for posting & sharing and a BIG THANKS for the pic of Granny & 5 of the 6 grands 🙂 Love Team Whitaker

  4. Cathy on January 11, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Love all the pictures! The food looks scrumptious! Can you share your shrimp pasta recipe? If it is southern living I might have it!

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