At Christmas all roads lead home

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“Christmas! The very word brings joy to our hearts. No matter how we may dread the rush, the long Christmas lists for gifts and cards to be bought and given–when Christmas Day comes there is still the same warm feeling we had as children, the same warmth that enfolds our hearts and our homes.”  – Joan Winmill Brown

Christmas at the Homestead begins in the wee hours of the morning with little boys waking before dawn, eager to know if Santa visited. Then begins the challenge of keeping them quiet until the rest of the house wakes.

Then Toby and I head downstairs to peek in the living room and check to see  if the rest of the house is awake and ready for the wild rumpus to begin.

With camera in hand the kids are called down the stairs.

It’s with shouts of joy and perhaps a little relief, at least on the part of the boys, they see that Santa did indeed stop at the Homestead. The plate of cookies is examined and the kids take note of which cookies are missing and whether the carrot was eaten by Rudolph.

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Tyler was especially thrilled to see the number one item on his letter to Santa was delivered… a giant stuffed animal to help him not feel so scared at night.

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Stockings were passed out next. This seems to be everyone’s favorite part of Christmas morning. It is fun to watch everyone empty their stocking item by item. Stockings are filled with a mixture of practical and fun gifts. The Lifesaver Candy Storybooks are among the favorites.

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Then it was time to start opening gifts. Rusty played Santa this year, handing out gifts to be opened one at a time. The kids were all thrilled with the surprises waiting for them under the tree.

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Then halfway through the fun we stopped and took a break to eat breakfast, and then it was back to unwrapping.

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After the beautiful mess of Christmas morning was cleaned up the kids sprawled around the house enjoying their new gifts…

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We played games and enjoyed the unseasonably warm weather.

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For dinner we feasted on  a delicious ham and side dishes, with pumpkin pie and Christmas cookies for dessert. At our places around the table sat Christmas crackers. At the end of the meal everyone picked up their cracker and with the help of the person sitting next to them pulled either end until it cracked open revealing the paper crown and prize inside. This year’s crackers held whistles. Each whistle was a different number so that together, with the help of the included song book, we could make music.

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It was fun but suffice it to say we are not ready to take our show on the road! 🙂

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Then all too soon it was time for us to pack up the van and head back to Patchwork Farm.

 Christmas–that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance–a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved.”
~ Augusta E. Rundell

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