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Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

December 2017: Snapshot Summary: Traditions

December 2017

December is always a happy month for us, filled with traditions.

 We begin the month celebrating Saint Nicholas day by filling shoes with some sort of goodies. My boys, of course, are older now, but they still don't mind an unexpected treat or two, or following traditions that remind them of their childhood days.
My family insists on a live Christmas tree, and the best way to insure that they will remain green throughout the 12 days of Christmas (which, by the way are not the twelve days leading up to Christmas, despite what the stores would like you to think, but begin on Christmas day) is to cut it yourself, so that is also a tradition for our family.
On another day, we decorate the tree, accompanied by Christmas music and mugs of hot chocolate, made by Sam this year. (This photo, however, was taken right before we opened the presents Christmas morning.) 

The ornaments are a collection of blown glass ornaments (some of them antique), ornaments the kids have made, the kids First Christmas ornaments and ornaments the grandparents have given the kids. Lots of tradition there.

 James and Katie went Christmas Caroling with other residents of Betterton, while Quentin, Sam and Steven went to see It's a Wonderful Life in the theater. I stayed home with Alex, but we did go out on the porch to wave to Santa and the carolers as they went by.
 Katie and James also went to a live nativity...
 and gathered mistletoe from the trees in the park.
Steven and I celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary. We went to Crackle Barrel to celebrate and to buy Secret Santa gifts.

 We baked lots of cookies, including having our annual Cookie Bake with Hope, in which seven of us made 12 different kinds of Christmas cookies.

 Despite the fact that it wasn't actually a white Christmas on Christmas day, we did have several snow storms in December. I really liked this photo of one of the snow storms that James took in which you can actually see the snow fall.
A sampling of the paintings Alex made as gifts.
Alex and I enjoyed painting gifts for friends and family this year...
and Katie enjoyed making ceramics gifts as well.
 It was a lovely Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. After Mass on Christmas Eve, we opened the Christmas Eve presents of pajamas and Steven read The Night Before Christmas...

and then we set out the Christmas stockings that we handmade by Steven's mother...
which, of course, were filled by Christmas morning.
 I am blessed that I was able to share Christmas with all of my children. I can see that soon they will be sharing Christmas Day other places so I am cherishing the ones I still have with everyone there.
We decided to have a Colonial Christmas dinner this year, with Williamsburg Ham, Peanut Soup, Southern Green Beans (similar to Green Beans Splashed With Cider Vinegar), Kings Arms Tavern Sweet Potatoes and Colonial Corn Pudding.
Steven made his traditional Steamed Pudding with hard sauce for dessert.
 Later in the week we celebrated Christmas with Hope and Eddie...
and then with Brenda.
Sam and Katie successfully finished their first semester at AACC, and Sam got straight A's! Katie also did well, getting two A's (Statistics, First Aid), and two B's (Ceramics, Drawing I).
We celebrated James' 17th birthday...

and we celebrated New Year's Eve with Hope and Eddie.

How was your December?


  1. That meal sounds wonderful. Happy New Year.
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. What a lovely post Phyllis! I felt like I was there with you, celebrating alongside your lovely family x

  3. Williamsburg ham is so salty! That's my memory of it.

    It looks like a lovely Christmas, and I now want hot chocolate. I might have to go make some.

    Happy New Year!

  4. I love your traditions!

    I grew up with a live tree at Christmas and never have had one since, sadly. I need to convince David of this!!

    It looks like a great Christmas season for your family. And you are right to hold onto as many memories as you can since they're growing up too quickly!


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