Catholic Family Vignettes

A collage of literary snapshots from the life of a large traditional Catholic family


christmas memories

O Christmas tree…

Yesterday, we made a trip to the Albert Family Tree Farm in Amanda, Ohio…a family favorite, ever since we had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Raymond Albert (may God rest his precious soul!)

I am in no way opposed to a lovely artificial tree…last year, were it not for the hasty purchase of such a tree, we wouldn’t have had a Christmas tree at all…

No…the reason I prefer a real tree has more to do with the “how” than the “why…”

IMG_2697It’s all about the memories.

IMG_2707 IMG_2709The cold, the snow, the discussion on the merits of this tree vs. that tree.  The laughter.  The hot cocoa afterwards…

IMG_2714 IMG_2722 IMG_2728 IMG_2731 IMG_2736 IMG_2739 IMG_2742 IMG_2744 IMG_2750 IMG_2751 IMG_2752 IMG_2756 IMG_2761This year’s tree isn’t particularly perfect.  To quote my Meredith:  “all the trees out here are beautiful.  They’re all natural beauties.  Does it really have to be “perfect?”

IMG_2769No.  It doesn’t.  At least, not subject to our ideas of perfection!

IMG_2780 IMG_2791 IMG_2795In the end, relieved of the burden of finding the “perfect tree,” we decided on a tree at the end of the first row we’d looked at…

IMG_2802 IMG_2806 IMG_2810IMG_2813Today we’ll decorate that tree and it will no doubt be quite lovely.  But loveliest of all are the memories; we had the most fun we’ve ever had looking for a tree…without a doubt. And the hair-raising, tire spinning, nearly slamming into a grove of trees, nearly permanently stuck, ride back to the barn…earns this trip the title of MOST HILARIOUS!!


Just before midnight…

Excited, and a bit sleepy, the children pose for the requisite Christmas snapshot in front of the mantle:

Fr. Thomas Longua, F.S.S.P., prepares to offer Midnight Mass at Sacred Heart in Columbus. The four boys assist.

11:45…does Emily look a little tired?

10 minutes later…she’s out!

The trip home and the revelation that a few elves had been at work, was more than enough to awaken everyone…more on that later!  The entire family was stunned…

It has been a Christmas of tremendous surprises, blessings and as ever, a beautiful reminder of our Loving Father’s generosity and providential care…May God bless you all as you continue your Christmas journey…

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