Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

December 20, 2007

December Daily : Days 18 + 19 + 20 + more traditions

Thanks for all the comments over the last couple of days. Not super worried about the moles – it’s just nice to have the prayers going out so thank you. Will let you know…

Here’s a look at Days 18, 19 and today. Really keeping it focused on the photos + words again. I love it like that – just a couple other fun things added for interest. And man, I love writing on photos and being able to use Photoshop to add journaling right onto the photos. Feeling thankful for that today.

The wreath on Day 18 above comes from Haru. I put it on the door to my office – love that it can be holiday, and also everyday (a great little celebration of paper).

And here’s the back of Day 18:

And Day 19:

Envelope came from Japan, flower from K&Company. The envelope includes the story from my post last night – printed out + folded up + placed inside. Rub ons and that cool metal thing (you can see it in the second photo below as well) along the photo is from 7gypsies, circle epoxy from Love, Elsie. The photo of the three of us was taken with a tripod and a timer in our dining room.  Fonts there are Avenir and Marketing Script.

The back of Day 19 and the start of Day 20:

Doing lots of wrapping around here. Got almost all of it done last night and breathed a sigh of relief at getting that job done.

Been listening to Mindy Smith’s My Holiday (thanks Gabby) and the soundtrack to Into the Wild (Eddie Vedder – not Christmas at all but man I love his voice). I haven’t seen the movie yet but loved the book (and Into Thin Air is also a favorite). I also really want to see Charlie Wilson’s War.

And as we get closer to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day I was hoping to gather up a collection of traditions that people do/eat/celebrate on either of those days. Ours seems to be always changing depending on where we are, what is happening, who we are with, etc. One thing is for certain: Simon will get a new pair of pj’s to open on Christmas Eve (we will all probably open one present).

What are things that simply make it Christmas for you?

Comments

  • 51.
    Shawn said…

    Christmas Eve day is spent baking all the cookies and candymaking. Then we have homemade chicken and noodles. After dinner, it’s off to church and then we grab a cup of cocoa and drive around looking at the really cool Christmas lights in the really cool parts of town. Our daughter gets to open at least one present when we get home…new pajamas! Also, I hide a pickle ornament on the tree and when she remembers to look for it, there is a special present for her to open. We open our presents Christmas morning…stockings first. Santa brings 3 presents for her…one to represent each Wise Man. And pretty much covers our Christmas traditions!
    Merry Christmas to you and your family, Ali!

  • 52.
    Dawn H said…

    Ali we also do Christmas PJ’s. Christmas eve we all get together and after having alittle party we sit down and open our Christmas PJ’s. We all put them on and do not take them off until we have to!! some times its 2-3 days!! LOL My kids are getting alittle older (5,9,11) and this year they are excited to open their PJ’s. I feel like we have created a family tradition. To me it represents time relaxing in our PJ’s and spending much needed family time together! Merry Christmas to you and your family!! Dawn

  • 53.
    DeniseLynn said…

    Like many families we do the Christmas PJ’s. I enjoy the PJ’s on my little ones (5&2) so much that this year we are ALL getting Christmas PJ’s (oh how the boys are going to love matching Daddy!!) I bought flannel and my mom and grandmother made them for us. Now that makes ‘em even more special and I am feeling sure this will become a tradition. Also we have several nativity sets but baby Jesus does not appear in any of them until Christmas morning when we wake up. My 5 year old is getting so excited and he checks the stables all around the house each day. And on Christmas eve before turning out the lights we look at our Christmas scrapbook then read “T’was the Night Before Christmas”
    What a fun question you asked your readers. I read many of the comments here and ended up with tears in my eyes. With our country seeming so full of hate at time I am thrilled to hear so many talking about the real reason we celebrate Christmas.
    God bless us everyone!!!
    Merry Christmas.

  • 54.
    Susan said…

    Many traditions, but if we don’t do them, boy, do I hear about it! Christmas Eve – in this order, church, t-bones (leftover bones are a Christmas gift for the dog), then the kids open their pj’s and a book. Christmas Day – open stockings, eat homemade sausage bread, open the Santa gifts, my parents show up for a late lunch/early dinner of homemade gumbo. The kids are 16, 18 & 20! I lover that they cherish these traditions.
    This year we are having to change it up some. Husband is an airline pilot and for the first time in fourteen years he will be gone for Christmas. So we are spreading it out over four days. Yikes!

  • 55.
    Karen C said…

    Our traditions are still evolving as well. Up until four years ago we used to spend Christmas Eve morning with my husband’s immediate family, then head over to his aunt’s house at night to celebrate with his extended family, go to bed, get up Christmas morning, open Santa’s gifts, and head off for a six hour drive to my parent’s. (My stepson was with us on Christmas Eve and then dropped off at his mom’s – this is why we wouldn’t leave sooner.) After a crazy time of it four years ago when our son was two, we realized that we were trying to please too many people and that we needed to begin our own traditions.
    We now still visit my husband’s family on Christmas Eve, but on Christmas morning, we wake-up, our boys take their time, and open gifts (we also do the three gifts from Santa). We open one at a time so everyone can see what each other receives, and sometimes the toy gets taken out of the box – so gift unwrapping can take a long time, but you know what – that is exactly the way we want it. We stay in our pjs all day, my husband cooks, I bake a cake to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and we just enjoy family time. After the bustle of the weeks leading up to Christmas, it is such a welcome to relax and enjoy.

  • 56.
    Traci Gann said…

    On Christmast Eve we set a large, lit candle (the hurricane kind in a nice big safe glass) beside the creche where it can be seen from the window. It symbolizes the Christmas Star leading the Wise Men to Jesus in the manger, and also that this home is one where a stranger with no where else to turn can find shelter for the night. Granted no one has ever turned up for that reason but you never know!
    My kids have always loved lighting the candle and saying a prayer before they went to bed. They go upstairs in their new jammies with the candle lit and no baby Jesus in the creche, and when they come down Christmas morning the cndles is still lit but the baby has arrived (and so has Santa)!

  • 57.
    Paola Norman said…

    Every Christmas Eve, we go for a special train ride throught the magical Christmas forest. (Its a mini-rail for kids that’s set up with lights just for the week before x-mas). We then sit by the bonfire and drink hot chocolate. Then we visit a family member before going home. Joseph (6) gets new pj’s and opens a gift..we then either watch a chrismas type movie or listen to christmas music while watching for santa clause on the computer, as soon as he gets near, Joseph jumps in bed and we don’t have to remind him.
    Your album is looking good, love that pic of the three of you! MerrY Christmas!

  • 58.
    Cary said…

    Ali,
    You have been a holiday inspiration all month. Our tradtions are similar to the rest. One gift on Christmas Eve after dinner at my mom’s. (We got to pick…. from one or two presented to us. sometimes it was the batteries for the gifts we would get the next day!!) Some years we attend church, or a friends for “GROG”. Home to set out cookies for Santa on a special plate. Then as the kids got older (21y) they add a few mini’s to help Santa on his trip!! Christmas morning gets later and later. At 10 yr. my husband insisted on the child’s one unwrapped Santa gift then over to the kitchen for a family breakfast. The kids never complained. We ate a great breakfast with Sunshine Warmups or Mimosa’s for the adults, then we would open gifts. WOW… how the morning was stretched and sometimes we didn’t finish gifts til noon, cuz they sleep in! So many special memories and how they evolve as the years go by. HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO THE EDWARDS FAMILY.

  • 59.
    Shelley said…

    my daughter is only 2.5 years old – and totally gets it this year. last year – i tried some of the traditions – but of course they were more for me than her. so this year – we’ve been doing the advent calendar. (made the one from MM) so we check out our little treats each morning. but christmas eve – OH i can’t wait. we don’t have a fireplace – so we will hang the magic key out on the front door. she already knows what this is! we will then head out front into the freezin cold – and sprinkle “reindeer food” on the snow – it’s magic because it sparkles and lets Rudolph know where we live.(oatmeal, sprinkles, and glitter) we will then open NEW christmas jammies for all of us. we will make some kettle corn on the stove, some hot cocoa, and pop in Jim Henson’s Emmit Otters Jugband Christmas and do our Christmas snuggle. (she calls it this – because we have snuggled each night a Christmas show has been on and had popcorn and cocoa.) I have watched this on Christmas eve since i was about 6. Such a touching little story! then it’s cookies and milk for santa and of course carrots for the reindeer. and then off to bed for sugarplums dancing in heads! enjoy!

  • 60.
    Vanessa said…

    Ali,
    Your daily album is amazing! I’m putting together a 6×6 version inspired by yours and I’m loving it! Thanks so much for sharing your life with us and creating such inspiring art every day.

  • 61.
    Alison said…

    When I was little my sisters and I would get to open one gift on Christmas Eve. Now that I’m married and have moved 15 hours from ‘home’, my husband and I do our Christmas together a week before since we are always visiting family the week of Christmas. One tradition my husband and I do that I did as a child is drive around and look at the beautiful Christmas lights on Christmas Eve.

  • 62.
    Vanessa said…

    Oops! I got carried away and forgot to post my holiday traditions! Christmas Eve is spent with my family first (pretty quiet there) and then we go to my in-laws’ house for a festive and crazy get together. On X-mas morning, we get up early and have a really special gourmet breakfast with Spanish omelettes, pate, empanadas, and other international goodies. Then we get to open our presents. After every one of them is passed out, we start to open them all at once. We don’t have kids yet, but I hope to add to these traditions when we have our little ones!

  • 63.
    Libby said…

    I have two things to share:
    1. If you like Jon Krakauer, you should check out the Iconoclast series on the Sundance Channel (if your cable company provides it). I didn’t really know who he was before I saw this show and the episode I watched featured Jon and Sean Penn – loved it!
    2. I meant to share this during an earlier post when you asked for holiday traditions. My family does two things that are very unique and that I love. The first is that we have a manger with hay around it set up in the living room (my dad made it when I was young and now I have it to share with my family). Every day when someone in the family does something good or “Christ-like” he/she gets to add a small handful of hay to the manger. The idea is to be able to fill the manger with hay before Christmas so that the baby Jesus will have a warm and cozy place to be born.
    The second unique tradition that my family has is that Santa Claus doesn’t fill our stockings. Our stockings are filled by the three kings on the Epiphany (the 12th day of Christmas). When the three kings finally arrive to see the new baby, they bring gifts with them. And on the day that we celebrate their arrival, so we get gifts too.
    I love both of these traditions and I think they are somewhat unique to my family. So I thought I’d share in case someone else would like to incorporate them into their celebrations too.

  • 64.
    Stephanie D. said…

    AEbleskivers and monkey bread Christmas morning after the kids open their presents. I use my grandmothers AEbleskivers pan. Merry Christmas Edwards family.

  • 65.
    Anne Alley said…

    The thing that really makes it Christmas for me is to put cookies out for Santa, on a special plate that a friend of my mother’s made for her the year I was born. Matty’s favorite tradition is to sprinkle oatmeal with glitter mixed in, on the front lawn, to help Santa’s reindeer find our house! This year I’m hoping Sofie can do it too, without eating the oatmeal and glitter :)
    After we get the kids to bed, we watch “It’s A Wonderful Life”, and finish wrapping gifts
    I just can’t wait!!

  • 66.
    Laura Reaux said…

    I would like to add something new for us, too, but I’m not sure what. This is what we do already:
    On Christmas Even we all open our wrapped PJs and put them on after our baths. We watch a Christmas movie, eat pizza, bake sugar cookies, and read the Christmas story (from the Bible), the Polar Express & ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. We put cookies & milk out for Santa & carrots out for the reindeer.
    Christmas morning we will have breakfast (I’m hoping to find a good make-ahead casserole) and open gifts. Then we head out to visit & have a big Christmas lunch with my family. We STAY in our Christmas PJs ALL day! We’re comfy, cozy and so relaxed. :)

  • 67.
    Lauraall said…

    Your card is just amazing! I enjoy reading your blog so much!

  • 68.
    Cate said…

    Every Christmas Eve we would have tacos for dinner. Then my dad would put on his Santa suit (it’s beautiful like Miracle on 34th Street) and we’d drive around to our friends (or as we got older younger children’s) houses and my dad would tell them to go to bed so he could come back with presents (he always checked with the parents ahead of time of course). Then we’d go home and watch A Christmas Story (with the “major award” *S*). Christmas morning my bother, sister and I would always wake up around 4am and have our stockings sitting at the end of our beds. We’d wake each other up and go through them together and then sneak down to check out what Santa had left us in front of the tree. My parents definitely always made Christmas magical for us!!

  • 69.
    Nicole said…

    We live in Central Queensland, Australia. On Christmas morning our tradition is to go down the beach first thing early (say 6.30 am) for a swim. If DH is home early from work on Christmas eve we will also go for a swim (But this year the weather is not looking good for either – windy and overcast) This is always the best! Mid morning we ring all the relies (or they ring), because they are so far away. And we tell them how tough life is, because we have already been for a swim!
    After lunch we will also email around photos from our Xmas morning.
    This year I would also like to take a photo of the lights on our house at dusk (maybe with us in it). We talk about it every year, but never seem to get around to it.
    Really loving your Daily December album now. You have sold me on the clear pages. I am going to try using StazOn ink on transparencies.
    Have a lovely Xmas

  • 70.
    Haylee said…

    Loving your album! It’s looking so good. The things that really make Christmas for me are our tradition of prawns & oysters for breakfast, listening to Christmas music while we open presents, having a bbq lunch with all the family & going swimming in the afternoon. Last year we had our first ever beach Christmas which was a lot of fun. Summery Christmases are so much fun, but I would love to have a white Christmas one year.

  • 71.
    Jennifer said…

    Love your album. As usual. :) There’s never a page that I am not inspired by. Great Christmas picture, by the way. I’m trying to keep up as well. I am behind but that’s okay. I’ll get caught up. :) It’s been too much fun. Some pages I get a little carried away but I’m having fun so I don’t really care.
    http://jennifermartinovici.typepad.com
    I’m loving the Xmas Season this year. It seems to have snuck up on me. It’s amazing because I say that every year. :)

  • 72.
    Jennifer said…

    Love your album. As usual. :) There’s never a page that I am not inspired by. Great Christmas picture, by the way. I’m trying to keep up as well. I am behind but that’s okay. I’ll get caught up. :) It’s been too much fun. Some pages I get a little carried away but I’m having fun so I don’t really care.
    http://jennifermartinovici.typepad.com
    I’m loving the Xmas Season this year. It seems to have snuck up on me. It’s amazing because I say that every year. :)

  • 73.
    julie macneil said…

    it was so much fun reading every bodies traditions! my daughter is 17 this year and very busy with school and her job so i guess we won’t do most of our traditions from when she was little (and that makes me sad) but with growing up comes a new blessing. usually we wake up and open presents and then i hurry around and clean up and start dinner cause my parents arrive around 1:00 but now our daughter has a boyfriend and is going to his family’s house for lunch and then back home for supper which means i can relax all morning not even start cooking until hours later then normal! a much more peaceful Christmas! i am really looking forward to that part! julie

  • 74.

    TFS that beautiful creative but ‘quiet’ album; love every page of it! Don’t get me wrong but when I read “3ofUS right now” I expect there’s more to come… is it? ; )
    Well, Dutch Christmasses doesn’t have many traditions yet besides visit church and have brunch or diner with the whole family. That makes it so weird we’re having 2 Christmas days. At ours we take it very very easy in the morning… pj breakfast… pj coffee…. and then get dressed to cook till the guests are coming (both 25 & 26 december)… Wish you and your famiy lovely warm holidays!

  • 75.
    Jill said…

    Lots of holiday traditions in the Conyers’ household. Christmas Eve is a very casual time to slow down, relax and just simply enjoy the moments with family. We have a living room picnic by candlelight (many many candles which is my favorite part). We sit on the floor and enjoy an all appetizer-type menu followed by dessert. We open one gift and end the evening with one person reading Twas the Night Before Christmas. For the past few years it has been my son who reads. He loves that part :) The evening is about being together!
    Happy holidays to you and your family.

  • 76.
    paula jablonski said…

    I love the candles and the pic of the three of you right now. I love all of your page entries and you (and Simon and Chris) will treasure this book for years to come.
    I need to kick myself and get going with some things! Thanks for the inspiration!
    Paula

  • 77.
    Beth said…

    My family is all about the food :) On Christmas Eve, when we have dinner with our neighbors, my mom always made something red and something green as part of the meal. A few years we had chicken with two sauces – a pesto and a tomato; red and green! We also have eggs benedict for breakfast with my parents on Christmas day. Another tradition is piling the wrapping paper up on the dogs and taking a picture. We also get together with family on Christmas night and have desserts and play games. Merry Christmas, Ali!

  • 78.
    Aimee said…

    Your book is just mindblowing…I love how things look great from every album despite the clear see through feature…i have tried it and things seem to be not falling in place as well as yours do…
    Thank you for being oh so inspiring. Can’t wait to keep playing and get the knack for it. if you have any tips on placement ease, please share!
    Thank you and Merry Christmas

  • 79.
    Lydia said…

    A tradition that started when my youngest (now almost 13) was about 6 mths old, and would only take a nap in a moving car is that we take an evening as close to C.mas Eve as we can manage, and we drive around looking at the lights and decorations in nearby neighborhoods. We do this for about an hour or so, and then we stop at Starbucks for a special drink and dessert. That’s were we’re heading tonight. I love seeing how people do up their homes.

  • 80.
    Dawn M. said…

    Hey Al! Been thinking of you lately!
    Our Christmas traditions are rarely strayed from. Christmas Eve we go to Jeff’s parents house to celebrate. We eat chili for dinner, watch A Christmas Carol and open presents. Once we leave, we drive by the same house every year because they have a life size mechanical Santa in the window every year and we tell the kids we need to hurry because he is almost to our house. Oldest son figured this one out a few years ago and so he just plays along. We then get home to get the kids in bed so Santa can come. Christmas day, once coffee is made:), the kids come downstairs and we open presents as a family. Later in the day, my brother and his family come over and we have a huge meal of prime rib and all the stuff that goes with it.
    It’s pretty much the same every year. This year, I bought everyone new pj’s to open on Christmas Eve. I’m thinking about those morning photos!:)
    Dawn

  • 81.
    Marge said…

    When my son was little and he woke me around 5:00am every Christmas, I would let him open only the things in his Christmas Stocking, while I made some coffee. After I had a couple of sips, and the stocking emptied, I was then awake enough to enjoy seeing him open the rest! I would also make Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls to tide us over until real breakfast (just what he needed, sugar before breakfast!). Merry Christmas to all!

  • 82.
    VICKI DALTON said…

    We simply read “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” and my son gets to open one gift from us.

  • 83.
    julie said…

    My family celebrates Chanukah but we have wonderful Christmas Eve tradition, spent with a dear family friend. He comes over and we eat bagels, lox and cream cheese, potato latkes and blintzes. We pick a good movie, build a roaring fire, and settle in for a cozy evening. Its been a special night for us for many years!

  • 84.
    Kristine said…

    Tradition: going out xmas eve night to look for xmas lights and my son trying to spot santa in the sky–
    I discovered Mindy Smith’s holiday disc about 2 weeks ago–her voice is amazing–love the mix of old and new.

  • 85.
    Terri said…

    Waiting for my grandma’s package to arrive…… not filled with store bought things…….. it’s filled with homemade goodies from her oven. Over the years I’ve learned to bake/make all of the goodies she sends me but some how they taste so much better when she makes them for me. As soon as it arrives we all stand over it just praying that our favorite has been sent each year and without fail they are always in there.
    And our Christmas Morning tradition is having baked french toast for breakfast. While we open our presents it’s bakes away and just the smell of it makes me think Christmas and family.
    Happy Holidays !

  • 86.
    Annie said…

    Oh Ali, I hope you will share a “master list” of traditions with us…my kids are at the age where they are staring to notice/remember these things.
    Some of our traditions:
    New pjs and either a book/game on Christmas eve
    Read the Nativity story before above gifts
    Stockings and Santa gift first thing Chirstmas day, then big breakfast (and lots of coffee) before opening rest of gifts!
    xo

    • ….
      Trix said…

      I never thought I would find such an everyday topic so enngrallith!

  • 87.
    jenn shurkus said…

    hey ali ;) eddie can sing anything to me and i’ll listen ;) and i also look forward to seeing charlie wilsons war.. its getting great reviews… no holiday traditions for you since my dad is kinda a bah humbug… and my ex bf matt was too… this year is just full of celebrating with lots of different people….
    when i was a lil girl… my mom always made this amazing cheese souffle and that was a christmas morning breakfast.. i could also open my stocking before my parents got up

  • 88.
    Nicole said…

    Love that man’s voice, too.

  • 89.
    Lorrie M. said…

    One thing we did last year that I will do again is set up the camcorder on a tripod. We actually all seemed to forget it was there. So we have a lovely tape of everyone interacting and no one behind the camera. So wonderful.
    Besides that, pj’s, cookies for Santa, and maybe a train cake with candies, a big family breakfast after opening gifts and just enjoying being a family.
    Wishing everyone a beautiful, wonderful time!
    Lorrie

  • 90.
    Michelle Bradtke said…

    Ali:
    where can I see the comments re: your December album starting with Day 1? I see the link to the actual photos, but you gave some useful tips on where to get products, etc, under the photos in your blog each day. Thanks,
    michelleB

  • 91.
    Colby said…

    LOVING your Christmas book and daily documentation/photos. Hope your family has a very Merry Christmas!

  • 92.
    Holly said…

    Our traditions are…well…pretty traditional. We all get new PJs on Christmas Eve and change into them before reading a Chrismtas book before bed. We leave milk & cookies for Santa, and carrots or celery for the reindeer. In the morning, we have stockings from Santa (everything is individually wrapped) and we open those first before digging into the other gifts.

  • 93.
    dana Ramsey said…

    Hi! Our Christmas Eve always consists of new jammies, hot chocolate with a candy cane in it, a fire in the fireplace and a viewing of “It’s a Wonderful Live” with Jimmy Stewart. The old black and white version. I LOVE that movie and it reminds us what Christmas is all about, all over again. Then, Santa treats (even though my boys are 10 &15, we can’t forget that tradition!).

  • 94.
    shimelle.~* said…

    love the photo of the 3 of you. so lovely.
    no one in our generation has kiddies yet, so we are still the younger ones who don’t get to host something traditional…so we have made our own and it has developed pretty darn well over the last three years…christmas eve and christmas day are more the traditions everyone expects, but we host boxing day on the 26th. everyone comes to our place for a totally chilled day. we eat easy-but-yum stuff like chili and pick one movie that everyone would really like to see and make a little in-house-cinema event of it…and then there is the mandatory adults-acting-like-children activity, which is different every year. this year it is decorating gingerbread houses…which they don’t know about yet. because it’s all grown ups, i bet it will get so competitive! but should be fun.
    merry christmas!

  • 95.
    josette said…

    About Into the Wild I have seen the movie (EXCELLENT) and currently “listening” to the book on my ipod…..DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND DOWNLOAD THIS! The man who reads it has a great voice!

  • 96.
    marg said…

    ali, not sure if you read the blog http://simplicityinthesuburbs.blogspot.com
    beautiful post and tribute there.

  • 97.
    Angela said…

    One of the things I’ve enjoyed about following your art is the story of your family. My daughter is just one year younger than Simon, so it’s nice to see what another little family of three is like. Love the family photo!
    I’m intrigued by the packaging for the teachers on the back of that photo. The tags and string look so cute. If you have a chance, can you describe those items or the inspiration?
    Thank you for sharing your craft and your life with us. Wishing you and your house full of family a very merry and blessed holiday.

  • 98.
    Terri said…

    Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful and inspiring album with us. I love the family photo. Wish you a very blessed Holiday and wonderful memories. Hope you get to spend time with your mom too! We loved meeting her at the Bellevue Convention!Merry Christmas! – Terri- Kirkland

  • 99.
    Marjorie said…

    My mom always made Swedish Cinnamon Bread for Christmas morning. We opened presents and then had breakfast of oranges, swedish cinnamon bread, milk and pistachios. Ü Then we all crash for a nap. Now that I’m married, I make the bread for family get togethers. It brings back so many memories. My DH and I go to see christmas lights Christmas Eve and then sit together to watch a christmas movie before we crash. No kiddos yet but the holiday is just as fun with just the two of us.

  • 100.
    Tammy Bauman said…

    Traditions for Christmas Eve…One gift (or maybe two if our daughter can sweet-talk us into it) to open on Christmas Eve, at least one Christmas movie / show, and just some quiet time as a family…I’m thinking this year we might start doing s’mores. Dana (daughter – 12 yrs old) loves them and we bought a little s’mores maker kit…I’m sure she’d love that. Aaron (son – 27 yrs old) will be coming home Saturday. That’s when it feels like Christmas, when both the kids are here. Last year Dana began a new Christmas morning “tradition” … she walked into her brother’s room and played a Christmas song very loudly on her trombone to wake him. Her dad and I just laid in bed and started laughing! She told me last night she’s been practicing a new song for this year! Enjoy your holiday, Ali – you’re in my prayers!

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