Merry Making...

So I've been off the radar for the past month, busy making merry with friends and family, trying to avoid to-do lists and cramming in as much Christmastime little-kid fun as possible. Sharing and creating traditions with my kids, unplugging a bit and nesting a lot, December really is the month I look forward to most each year.

This year, while lots of sadness and struggle swirled around the not-so-distant outside world, my kids offered me a brilliant, glaring reminder of the goodness that this season embodies. Their genuine joy, enthusiasm and utter faith in something that so many doubt reminded me of all the goodness there still is to believe in and celebrate. 

Christmas Eve, 1998, Adare, Ireland. The night we got engaged. 
(And drank a lot of champagne, if you hadn't noticed)

Flash forward thirteen years, a house, and two kids later...
working hard on letters to Santa Claus
I think this Santa might be the real deal. 

 watching a video message from Santa

celebrating with cousins
 and a "Domenick the Donkey" dance party

 and Grandpa

 feasting with family
preparing reindeer treats

 a visit from St. Nick on a finally silent night

 and P.J., our elf, hiding in my Charlie Brown tree, a concession for losing the artificial tree battle

Christmas morning love

Whatever you believe, whatever you celebrate, I hope you found time this month for a little merry-making with the ones you love and the things that make you happiest.

Wishing you a new year  filled with peace, joy and love.