On Christmas Night, my sister-in-law and I were discussing the various Mom Types of the Christmas Season.  There are Grinch Moms, Stressed-Out Moms, Desperately-Trying-to-Fake-Christmas-Cheer Moms, and Magic Moms.

(Who are of no relation to Magic Mike.)

After much self-analysis, I decided that I have Multiple Christmas Personality Disorder (MCPD), because I cycle violently through all of the different types of Mom, most likely giving my husband emotional whiplash.

Fortunately, though, I somehow found my Christmas Cheer on Sunday afternoon (after panicking about all I had to do in the next 72 hours,) and managed to hold onto it nearly flawlessly until Wednesday’s Great Broccoli Showdown with Noah.

(In my defense, on Monday he had pitched a fit because he wanted me to buy him broccoli.)

(But apparently, after feasting on stocking candy all morning, broccoli doesn’t taste quite the same.)

But to focus on the good, here’s what our Christmas looked like, in images.

Christmas Eve:

Chris, showing off his Greek Skills to the Greekest member of our family (my Great Aunt Marie) by making Saganaki:


(Note the fire extinguisher on the table.)

No one can be stressed out when there’s flaming cheese in the house:


(He’s working diligently to perfect his recipe, so watch for a post explaining how to light your own cheese on fire very soon.)

My Dad, who is an expert wood craftsman among many other skills, likes to make the Grandkids something very special every year.

This year, Noah got a replica of “Pop’s Old Car,” including a Pop and a Noah to ride inside:


(Noah had lost his clothes after a big dinner of lasagna.  It happens to the best of us.)

Ali, receiving a craft table, designed by my Dad with some pretty fabulous details:



Noah spent the evening examining every angle of his new car,




(Yes, he was naked all Christmas Eve – he prefers  nudity when given the option,)

And Ali enlisted everyone in the house to help her make fabulous art projects.


Right before bed, I fought the kid into his Christmas pajamas.  He was thrilled beyond words.


…And then attempted the Christmas PJ Photo Op.  Which traditionally fails every year.


Christmas morning involved the usual: running down the stairs, ripping paper into shreds, and shoving as much chocolate into their mouths as possible.





In short, beautiful chaos.


We had Chris’ family over for brunch, during which I failed completely in my photographical duties.  It could have had something to do with frantic cooking of Pancakes and Sausage Rolls, but I shall offer up no excuses.

I know – this makes me the worst daughter-in-law ever.

Then, a blessed Christmas nap.


Tornadoes were gracing our area, but it ended up being safe enough to still go to my parent’s house for dinner, where my Mom (a forever Magic Mom) took great joy in making the adults dress up – supposedly for a game for the children.


Many of us were thrilled with this opportunity.


Or at least willing to pretend.


We never did quite understand the rules of the games, nor did the children.


But Mom felt the magic, and that’s what was important.

Despite the presents and the magic and the games, the hit of the night was my Grandmother’s Dog’s crate.  The children astonished us all with their ability to climb in completely and shut the door,


and only the smallest of them all managed to get stuck and need the door removed from it’s hinges and a five-person removal operation.


But that’s okay.  Because she felt the Christmas Magic, too.

But the most magical thing about my Christmas was this:


How was your Mom State this Christmas?

24 thoughts on “On Finding Christmas Magic.

  1. No Mom-state for me, but I had a nice Christmas. Lovely Midnight Mass with all the bells and smells, excellent Christmas Dinner cooked by Someone Else. Some lovely pressies. No snow, or even frost, sadly, but hey.

    My fav pic from above? Child being pulled bodily out of the dog crate. Also, flaming cheese looks fabulous!

    Merry Christmas!

  2. You know I enjoyed every picture and the notes. Thank You so much. The day after Christmas is usually a let down for me and I can keep looking at this. Great post.

  3. Lol! I can feel the magic from here…you all look hilarious dressed as the various Christmas characters and how special that your Dad hand makes their Christmas gifts- I am impressed. So sad I had to miss the Zannis shindig, I hope everyone had a happy Christmas!

  4. Oh, that video is precious! He reminds me of James in that he is constantly moving in it.

    Isn’t it funny that the children have all those new toys and they are playing with a dog crate?

    Tell Pop I want a craft table like Ali’s and if he can find a crafty person to do the crafts for me that would be great also. :)

  5. Your father is an incredible artist. I am insanely jealous.

    I think the fact that neither of my children had a tantrum all day is the result of being the Controller Mom. I insisted no one may go overboard and as a result, they were adequately spoiled but not too overwhelmed. Now I just have to demand it every year…

  6. The picture of Grandpa watching Noah play with his car is just beautiful! Well, so are the rest of the pics! Looks like a blessed holiday for all. Thanks for sharing with us!

  7. HI Rachel. It looks like your family had a fabulous Christmas. And your mom is so full of Christmas cheer! What great sports you all were to participate in a game you didn’t understand. lol. Your dad is wonderfully talented. So glad you shared your Christmas. Ours was quiet. A big breakfast and one gift each, but we only have a furbaby so no stress trying to find the right toy.

  8. I am in awe of the beautiful handmade wooden gifts! Loved the Christmas jammies too! I fell into the Desperately-trying-to-work-up-Christmas-Cheer-despite-the-stress category, but our holidays were lovely regardless. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Oh. My. Word. I’m smitten with your dad and his fabulous wood work skills! What precious treasures the kid’s presents will be!! (also…how’s your dad doing?!)
    I spot a yellow plasma car (or whatever people are calling them in the states) in the background of a pic. Did someone get it for Christmas? Those are EVERYWHERE here!!
    And Noah’s video is precious. So glad ya’ll had a Mewwy Frismus!

    1. My Dad is doing very well! He didn’t lose any vision, which is amazing.

      The Plasma car was a gift last year (or the year before?), so it’s been around for a while.

      Have a fabulous New Year!! Although I guess it’s not the right time to celebrate it there, right?

  10. Wow! Your dad is amazing. Your mom is too actually! (: Nick’s face cracks me up. I’m glad to see you demolish presents too. We go some places where it feels like paper is not allowed on the floor or the next present can’t be opened without the prior one’s paper being disposed of.

  11. Your dad did an awesome job! Your kids will be able to treasure those gifts forever. I hope your dad is doing well after his health issue.

    I totally get you when you say you have MCPD as I suffer from this devastating affliction as well. I was doing well in my attempt to be Magic Mom up until Christmas Day, and then after the presents were opened, I instantly turned into Stressed Out Mom in a full-on panic attack. I couldn’t get the wrapping paper picked up quickly enough and the toys put away. I am now back to myself, thank goodness!

    Thanks for sharing the pictures of your beautiful family!

  12. Your dad’s creations are spectacular! My husband is in the garage right now, building a loft bed for Abigail, so we’ve been studying a lot on woodworking lately. I can tell that your dad is a master craftsman. What’s the latest on his eyes? Hope everything is great. Merry Christmas.

      1. So glad he didn’t lose his eyesight!!

        Thanks; the loft bed is coming along slowly, due to the low temperatures, demands of children, holiday traveling, etc. I’ll eventually put up pictures on FB when it’s finished.

  13. Mmm saganaki! We’ve been perfecting our recipe too; Brendan and Chris will have to trade notes :)

    Looks like a lovely Christmas! Couldn’t help contrasting Naked Noah with my child, who wore long Johns, tights AND pants all at once and then wanted snow pants too. Clearly we live in different climates :)

    1. We’ll definitely have to compare Saganaki Notes!

      Yes, Christmas morning was downright warm, then a tornado came through and cooled things down – it got into the 30’s the next two days (and had been in the 70’s before!!)

      Alabama weather is bizarre.

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