the magic of christmas day

there is nothing more magical than christmas morning. it's like time stops. you are surrounded by family and everything is warm and cozy and there are treats all around, people are laughing and it is the heart of winter and you are snugly wrapped in bliss.

we woke up late on christmas morning after a wrapping extravaganza the night before. joey and i made monkey bread and my little household relaxed waiting for the whole fam to arrive.

i went and put on the dress i've been saving for the big day. i procured this pretty gunne back in the summer i think! the velvet trimming at the bust is a deep forest green, set against the scarlet red calico, in the classic gunne prairie-girl style...she's my ideal holiday frock! 

beattys begin to gather....

ready to hand out gifts....

being older and wiser gifts to each other is super fun in a whole new way. nothing too extravagant, a lot of special handmade items, and always hand picked for the individual in mind. 

one of my absolute favorites this year, that brought tears to my eyes, was a photo album darin put together for me. all the photos were from recent trips and excursions, sometimes just the two of us, sometimes with the whole family, sometimes just me by myself in nature. looking through it, i felt like a queen or a famous person, like a goddess, so loved and blessed by all the beauty i've encountered. plus, we never print out our pictures anymore so it was just so fun to see them there in front of me in a little book, each hand chosen by my husband with his artistic eye, and with a beautifully textured and hand-drawn cover and binding that he designed. here's my dad looking at it....

he made a little album for joey and em too, choosing his favorites of photos he has taken of them on our adventures.

and mikie made this rad wood-engraved frame for addie, which brought tears to her eyes. we are nostalgic and sentimental folk, through and through.

by this time it was late afternoon. we all headed down the hill to sacramento where my 99-year-old grandma georgie is in a care facility because she fell and broke her arm. she looked so old and fragile in that bed without her glasses or her teeth, but her spirit was just the same as ever! she was coherent and funny and cute and talkative.

here she is cracking up with addie and joey.....

mostly she was just thrilled to see her little room so squished with family.
she has always been the most family-oriented person i know. she has about a hundred grandkids and great grandkids, and she knows all their birthdays. we are all eagerly awaiting her big 100th bash this feb!

back at home, it's getting late and we set right to work making out big mexican feast!
i made veggie enchiladas, joey made a mexican style frittata, mikie made spanish rice and black beans, and we chopped up a whole ton of salad fixins on the side. plus dad made two huge containers of his famous salsa! by the time we ate we were so starving that we polished off plates as high as hillocks.

everyone stayed late playing Seinfeld Scene-It, laughing, and eating all the leftover fudge and goodies.

what a day. it is enchanting to have a whole day like that. darin and i slept out in the living room by the fire, and i felt so blessed as i snuggled in to read, look through my photo album one last time, and finally rest my head.

hope you all had the sweetest christmas ever!


Amanda said…
sounds perfectly lovely!
Bridget said…
Love the Gunne!
your family is so cute. i'm glad you had a nice day and got to see your granny. much love you!
Teeny said…
You know, i think you're onto something big with handmade gifts. I'm determined to introduce this concept to my fams (my brothers) and see if i can get everyone to agree. Xmas day is just so awesome with family huh, I love it. I still get totes excited like a little kid. Yay for Granny Georgie!
Bridget said…
...and LOVE the new banner!
anne said…
before i forget- i like your blogs new look!

where to start? how about with your beautiful gunne! you look sooo christmasy and pretty. i love darin's slippers too. and his gift to you sounds amazing! we never print pictures anymore either. a definite downside to digital cameras.

seinfeld scene it! i think i need that game!

i hope your grandma's arm heals nicely. i bet her 100th will be quite a party!

overall, it seems like a wonderful day! and as usual, i am filled with a warm fuzzy feeling after reading your post!

much love to you heather! here's to an amazing 2012!
Violet Folklore said…

i love the looks of that photo album from Darin, what a sweetie. And you look just like a kid on xmas morning in that first photo of you :-)

Perfect Gunne! I love the Gunne xmas dress tradition, I hope it catches on! The neckline is gorgeous.

The picture of Grandma Georgie laughing is priceless- so, so sweet.

I like the new look of your blog Heather!! Much love sister.
ruby said…
How very lovely what a perfect Christmas, your grandma laughing made me smile, hope you have a fantastic new year x
happy new year and new banner!

the albums, the frame! we went handmade only with a couple branches of the family this year, and it was awesome and emotional and truly captured everything that this time of year is supposed to be.

you and your are pretty makes me misty to think of another smile being added to the mix next holiday season :)
Missa said…
Aw, this just might be the most heartwarming Christmas post ever! You and your family are absolutely adorable and the way you all embrace the Christmas spirit and eachother is so idyllic and inspiring. Thanks so much for sharing all the love with us!

Not to mention, your Christmas Gunne is PERFECTION!!!

Much love and the Happiest of New Years to you Heather dear, it's gonna be an exciting one indeed!
whit said…
As I was reading over your blog and looking at the pictures I felt an overwhelming feeling of love for all of you. Oh how I wish we lived closer. Grandma looks so cute! Can't wait to see you all for her party because we'll be there!!
Rachel said…
What a lovely day! Our family regularly has monkey bread on Christmas morning too!! It looks like you had a wonderful time with your family, and it's so heart-warming to see you all piled into your grandma's hospital room!

I hope you have the happiest of New Year's!
Milla said…
I love your family! Beattys are the best! Happy New Year, Love!
Andrea said…
Why hello Ms. Heather, Happy New Year and other belated holiday greetings :) It has been nice enjoying a bit of time off and away. It has been a while!!! I love the new blog layout with larger pictures... they are always so pretty and worthy of larger presentation. Your family is just beautiful, and my what a lovely and inspiring Nana you have!!!!

PS: Is that creampuff?
Truly lovely capture of our Christmas day fun. Oh the blessed life we lead! And to think how much more is to come!
Celynne said…
That gunne looks amazing on you! You're so beautiful :) I'm with you on how gift giving gets better when it's more personal. I love making personal DIY gifts. Those photo albums sound like such amazing gifts! We spent Christmas at my grandmother's, our first after my grandpa passed this spring, but the house was filled with love and joy as it should be. So all is well :)

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