Thursday, December 30, 2010


It all started with Charades, I think, this bountiful, beautiful Christmas Season, for we’d all gone down to Tennessee the day after Thanksgiving to a lovely lodge, where we gathered with the Georgia clan and the Grands’ other Grandparents, plus an Aunt and Uncle and Cousin, as well as DS#4, here for a week from California.

There were thirteen of us, a lucky number this time,  and we had one of the best family visits I’ve ever attended. We went out for seafood the first night, the whole big bustling crowd of us, bundled up in sweaters and jackets and scarves-of-the-season, bright with reds and greens and bells-on-boots. We weren't loud, we weren't rowdy, but we DID have fun. I've always been particular about the behavior of the young folks in any situation, and ours were so sweet and happy---don't you just LOVE being at the table that folks all around keep looking over and smiling at, as if they're wishing they were sitting there too?

The next day we had a big homey family breakfast in the kitchen, with Chris slicing the big ham he’d grilled the day before after the turkey came off the grill. We had muffins and bagels and fruit, with milk and juice and endless pots of coffee in the twelve-cup pot.

The three Grands and Cousin painted Christmas Tree cookies, sent by Caro for a little Craft-time, and we played board games and painted the stained-glass pages of a big book. Knitting needles and embroidery hoops abounded, going fast and furious around us as we talked and drew and played.

A break for a good energetic outdoor play-time at the playground, with Tennessee sunshine obliging, as the young 'uns whooped and climbed and ran, then all came back in for a late-day dinner.

We set out the turkey (note in the far back---she's still trying vainly to cover her bare bosom) and ham and everybody’s Thanksgiving leftovers, with homemade German Chocolate Cake and an ethereal mile-high-meringue Coconut Pie from Shapiro's.

And as the day was drawing down into twilight, a belated birthday party for the littlest.

Lots of knitting and crafts and blowing up Princess air-mattresses and spending-nights-in-our-room,

with the final evening spent in a rousing game of charades, ending with about two dozen Christmas Carols---you pantomimed the title, then had to lead the rest in singing it, and all the little ones were quite adept at both. Thus the segue from Thanksgiving's winding-down into the Christmas festivities.

A big country breakfast in the dining room on Sunday morning, with the four kiddos co-opting an empty table for their art, as we grown-folks caught up on each other’s doings, cramming in every moment before we had to part ways for another season.

Then back to the big sitting room upstairs, where DS led us in a little church service---a wonderfully familiar, spiritual time, especially the sharing of it with so many people we love---the perfect ending for such a wonderful family time, and we made lots of family pictures around the fireplace before we all headed in our own directions home.

It was a wonderful trip, a wonderful visit, and it was so GOOD to be home, in this welcoming Christmas House.
And moire non,


mustard seeds said...

Sounds like you all had a great time.

Southern Lady said...

Thank you for sharing with us your memories of that very special time spent with your family, Rachel. It did, indeed, make me wish I had been a part of it.

With my sincere wishes for you and your family for a new year filled with more good times like this special gathering.

Bev said...

Sounds like a dream! Happy New Year's hoping 2011 is happy and healthy!

Kim Shook said...

I always think, when you tell family tales, of what incredible memories you and Chris are building for the children that you love. Those Grands are lucky little folks.