Saturday, January 10, 2009

Belated Christmas Tale

Our Christmas began on the 24th.  A large family gathering was scheduled for Christmas Day, including a 1 1/4 hour drive, so we decided to spend our special, close family time, on the day before.

We rose from our beds in anticipation and all nine of us tripped downstairs for a splendid game of "In Plain Sight", our idea for this year's stockings.  We hid all the presents too large to fit in stockings, "in plain sight" all over the house.  It was a boisterous, rousing, happy game, with happy laughter and happy tears.

After our traditional, and very special, Christmas breakfast of date and apricot pastries, gourmet scrambled eggs, Orange Julius, hot chocolate, and coffee, we retired to the living room for the "revealing" of the gifts.  

This year's celebration was amazingly unique.  So much was handmade, and so wonderfully so, and we had all worked very hard.  Planning had been going on since September!  I loved doing nearly all my shopping online, and nearly all of that on Ebay.  What fun it was.

Here is a peek into what transpired....


Laughter...


Oh!  The joy of vintage suitcases!

Then it was Matthew's turn...   Introducing...  THE MATT CASTLE    Believe it or not, this edifice is actually made from a gigantic cardboard box, the epitome of creativity that transforms.

"Run for your life!"


Here is a glimpse of Sarah Anne's tower, a lovely flowered canopy, complete with a bed for her doll and a faerie costume...

Preparing Grace's surprise...


"You made that?"  Tears fell with her words, and hardly an eye in the room was dry.

The doll armoire, a custom cabinet complete with a special shelf for her doll's piano, and with enough room for all the doll clothes we have.

Next came Mom...


Unlocking a treasure crowded with bright things.

Johanna came next...


She was greeted with this indescribable hope chest...


With her name carved inside.


Then it was my turn, and my goodness!  Was I in for a surprise!

The loveliest of antique chairs, all my own.


They said there was more, that they has something else for me, and I was led outside, rather dazed, my eyes closed, hardly able to know what to say.


I could hear Grandma gasping behind me as my feet tread familiar ground, the December air touched with a gentle warmth.  Sarah Anne was giggling.


And then my eyelids were opened, and light flooded in.


It was my graduation gift, early.  I thought I would faint.  Mom and Dad were crying.  I could feel the emotion swirling around me, unable to know what emotion to feel myself, completely surprised.


And entire set of living room furniture, 1940's reproductions of Victorian furniture, with roses carved in the wood, and marble tops for the tables, and button back upholstery, and even a dining room table and chairs.

They had run across it way back in October and gotten it for a steal of a deal, hiding it in Grandpa and Grandma's garage.


But the day was only half over.  Back to the house we went, and began again.













And for now, farewell.

Emma and Johanna

11 comments:

The Jantzen family said...

What an AMAZING Christmas you all had! What beautiful furniture and Johanna... that hopechest is beeeautiful!

Miss you girls immensly!

emme said...

How indescribably lovely!

~Emily

Laura said...

Emma & Johanna!! I have missed your posts!!

And this is such a very yummy one. I found myself gasping at each and every picture! What goodies!!

Everly Pleasant said...

What beautiful things...and a beautiful family to enjoy them! I am glad that your Christmas was as joyful as our own.
Merry (Belated) Holidays,
Everly Pleasant

Stephanie said...

How simply wonderful!! It looks like your family had a lovely Christmas!
I am so glad you posted! I have missed hearing from you!
All of your gifts were so wonderful! The furniture was beautiful! And your hopechest Johanna was simply breathtaking! I love hopechests, such a wonderful thing don't you think! Graces doll armoire was so awesome! I would have loved something like that for all my doll clothes! And I love Sarah Anne and Matthews Castle and Tower. I used to love making things out of cardboard to play in with my brother when we were little!

I am so happy for your family that you had a delightful Christmas! You do have a lovely family! I wish I could meet you all someday! God Bless and have a wonderful Febuary!

Jolie Christine said...

Oh my goodness!!!! Everything looks so lovely, so breathtaking! Johanna, the hopechest is so, so, so gorgeous. It's even more beautiful than I had ever imagined. I love it!! And Emma--what a BEAUTIFUL graduation present! That furniture is so elegant looking, and I'm sure it's even prettier in person. (though that's a bit hard to imagine ;) ) Wow, it looks like y'all just had an amazing Christmas--very blessed indeed. =) Great photos! I enjoyed looking through them soo much. =)

Miss C the Second said...

:gasp: Girls...

I am seriously at a loss for words. I second everything said above! Wow. How special. It's all so perfectly amazing...I loved seeing pictures, it greatly helped me feel as if I was there!!!! ;) This post brought tears to my eyes. Love you guys!!!!

sara said...

What sweet gifts (and family)!! The cardboard box tower is Amazing and I love Sarah Anne's new clothes!

Hannah said...

Wow, what a great christmas!

I would love your lemon square recipe, by the way!

Amy said...

WOW!!!! You girls had such a beautiful Christmas with your family!!! I've missed you!

Ashley said...

What beautiful Christmas gifts!