Bless us all, who gather here,
The loving family I hold dear.
No place on Earth, compares with home,
And every path will bring me back from where I roam.
-The Muppet Christmas Carol
Christmas with the family is one of my favorite times of year, and I must say, having done Christmas twice abroad, nothing quite compares with being with the family. I think between the real candles on our tree and the wide assortment of small traditions–from the annual screening of The Muppet Christmas Carol to stealing away the most inconvenient morning for an outrageously early breakfast out with my brother and sister, from a glorious night ending at the Dube to the fact that the Whittington family pretty much takes over the 11 pm Christmas service, musically, our Christmases are really something special. I didn’t take a lot of pictures this year, but here’s the whole family at church on Christmas eve!
I feel little need to narrate a pleasant week at home, particularly as some of my main readers were participants. There was (almost too much) shopping, planning, baking, cooking, gift giving, and countless conversations. My family is, as always, amazing, and as always, I am always a little sad when it’s over, even while simultaneously looking forward to the next adventure. Our tree was, as always, lovely. Trust me, when you’re raised with real candles, it’s really hard to imagine anything else.
And a few images from our dinner and celebrations, too, while I’m at it.
And my now annual contribution, although perhaps somewhat less successful than last year’s.
Over too soon. But nevertheless pleasant. And now, my bags are packed, my passport’s ready. In a few hours, I’ll be off to the airport, connecting in Chicago and Warsaw en route to Kyiv, with plenty of adventure greeting me on the other side. Still, I can’t help but feel a little bit like it’s the breaking of the fellowship. It’s been wonderful, as always. And we have much to look forward to in our coming months. Looking forward to the next family sesh, in full force probably at Easter. In the meantime, Merry Christmas to all!