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God bless us, everyone

I’m sporting soggy feet from an aggravating trip to Lambeau Field, anxiously tracking packages from a last-minute, late-night on-line shopping spree, futilely trying to tune-out the mounting chaos in the adjoining family room, and feeling like the luckiest person in the world.

Our house, our bellies, and our hearts are full.

God bless us, everyone.

Christmas means family and, once again, we get to celebrate with all of ours, an event we never take for granted, especially now that most of our children have scattered.

Voices echo through empty rooms long after our intrepid travelers return to their alternate residences in New York, Chicago, and Madison. While they’re here, we’ll store up the laughter and love, the inside jokes and outside ambition, the memories and mayhem, revelry and rivalry, jabbing and joy.

We’ll battle for hot water and the last fortune cookie, draw straws for the dishes and snow shoveling duties, collect stray water glasses from all corners of the house and crank up the washing machine for load after load.

We’ll sleep a little less, laugh a little more and make several unscheduled trips to the grocery store.

Our family, like most, understands the fleeting nature of happiness, the traumatic phone call, the frightening diagnosis, the looming stress.

So we’ll take these Christmas moments, we’ll store them carefully and pull them out later, during the long, lonely, grey days of February, when dust settles on the dinner table and quiet steals oppressively over a too-tidy house.

Tomorrow morning someone will wake too early, will slam a door, drop a glass or grind coffee beans and our day will begin.

I, for one, will take it all in — the whir of the blender, the whine of the sleepy brother, the shout of the excited sister and the animated recap of the previous day.

And I’ll send a prayer of gratitude.

Here’s hoping all of you enjoy some Christmas family time in these next two weeks. God bless us, everyone.

Family Christmas Vinnie and Erin

Vinnie gave his goddaughter Erin a magic kit for Christmas and spent some time with her putting together some of the tricks. Mostly, they made balloon animals.

Family Christmas Erin and Vinnie

…and then they fought.

Family Christmas gingerbread house

I loved this gingerbread house made by the girl cousins.

family christmas Jenna olivia hug

My niece Olivia and my sister Jenny enjoyed a Christmas hug.

Family Christmas Kostelnik girls

My nieces Rachel, Olivia and Hannah and their mom, Robin.

Somebody loves chocolate:)

Somebody loves chocolate:)

Katherine commissioned our family friend Nicky Krause to paint a picture of the Parisian restaurant in which she got engaged for a Christmas present.

Katherine commissioned our family friend Nicky Krause to paint a picture of the Parisian restaurant in which my sister Kathy (Katherine’s godmother) and her husband Keith got engaged. The picture (and the marriage) turned out beautifully.

My seven-year old niece Erin captured the theme of the holiday with this sweet drawing.

My seven-year old niece Erin captured the theme of the holiday with this sweet drawing.

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Posted on December 23, 2013, in Christmas, Family and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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