an imperfect and wonderful christmas

we had a quite imperfect christmas. 

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our tree was so, so dead - droopy, dry and brittle as can be.
our washing machine broke, mid-cycle and full of mo’s clothes - necessitating a trip to the laundromat (well, three or four trips to the laundromat throughout the washing/drying cycles) on christmas eve.
i completely forgot to prepare an entire dish that i planned to make as part of our middle eastern christmas eve meal (baby brain?!)
we got stuck in awful traffic on our way to and especially from the christmas evensong service we attended at st. paul’s cathedral (which was crazy crowded and not really what we were hoping for…)
we had to concede defeat on one of our favourite traditions - reading a christmas carol together throughout december - by the time christmas day came we were only ten pages in!
some guests we invited to our christmas eve meal had to cancel because of a sick baby :(
the hollandaise sauce i made for christmas morning eggs benedict was a total fail (completely runny).
our gingerbread house this year was (hilariously) sub-par (see pics below). 
the pictures i took on christmas eve and morning turned out grainy and blurry (i need to figure out the light in our front room!) - pictures are one of my favourite parts of christmas :) 
and the only truly sad thing on this list - moses was running a low fever and not feeling very well from 24-26 december (what is it with him and getting sick on special days?!) 

but! we had such a wonderful christmas.

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both ian and i were bursting with joy watching our little son take in all the magic of santa and lights and presents and also the real magic of baby jesus. 
i felt completely flooded with that peculiar brand of sweetness that comes from worshipping the savior while reflecting on his birth at christmastime during the christmas eve service at church. 
there was only one ornament casualty, which i think is pretty dang good with an 18-month-old running around the house! 
we watched the muppets christmas carol while wrapping presents after moses went to bed on christmas eve. that is a seriously fantastic film. 
moses was the cutest ever in his christmas pjs, and was well enough to get pretty darn excited about christmas morning. 
there were several gifts exchanged between ian and i that were genuine home-runs. 
it was just a simple, beautiful, peaceful christmas in our new home as a family of three and a half. 

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we call our traditional christmas eve dinner the “jerusalem supper.” we have middle-eastern food, invite friends over that don’t have family to gather with on this special day, and talk about what mary and joseph’s meal the night before jesus was born may have been like. we also have christmas crackers (filled with paper crowns!) because we are in england, after all! poor little mo really wasn’t feeling like his normal bubbly self but nibbled on some pita bread, was transfixed by the lighting and spinning of our german christmas pyramid and the carols we sang, and was very excited when we told him santa was coming to our house that night...
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after moses went to bed we could finally put presents under the tree (put them there any earlier and they would certainly be opened by little chubby hands!). (ps can you tell i used two different brands of lights on the tree? - ha!) i woke up at 5am and couldn’t go back to sleep because i was so excited. little mo woke about 7:30 (he’d had a rough time sleeping at the beginning of the night) and we all gathered in his room to open our stockings. the first thing moses said when we went to his crib was, “nana???” (that is how he says santa). he had remembered that santa was supposed to come last night! he was pretty pumped about the treasures in his stocking!
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moses got to pick which presents to open when and was really into unwrapping and playing as our front room got brighter and brighter with the rising christmas sun.
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moses got lots of books and musical intstruments - two of his very most favourite things!
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this is by far my favourite picture of the day ^^ that is one satisfied little boy, surrounded in his spoils and enjoying his first licks of candy cane. 
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uncle brigham and aunt lucia sent moses his first lego set! 
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and little mo’s gift from mom and dad was this biiiig book of animal pictures. can you tell he was excited about it in that second picture?!
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we had the eyre family traditional eggs Benedict for dessert. despite the runny hollandaise sauce, it was yuuuum. ian prefers his eggs scrambled :) 
we like to leave all the wrapping paper and presents strewn across the floor on christmas morning. we embrace the mess and revel in it! 
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despite the misadventures getting to st. paul’s and back, we were glad we took some time on christmas day to actively worship baby jesus. we are so grateful that he was born and for all that means for us and our family. 
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after moses went to bed on christmas night, i made our traditional birthday cake for jesus. i have to say it was pretty delicious and really the icing on the cake of a wonderful day. 
the next morning we walked to kensington gardens and took our traditional christmas bike ride! (i know, traditional this and traditional that - traditions everywhere! but I love them sooo much and am so dedicated to them!). it was cooooold but so fun. moses loved his first spin on a bicycle (we were suuuuper careful and stayed on empty park paths!). he traded off between holding onto the handles with dad and putting his hands in the air to let out little hollers of joy. 
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we also spent some of our boxing day at harrods, letting moses run around and freak out at the awesome window displays and the treasures in the toy kingdom on the third floor. 
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after having the pieces of our from-scratch gingerbread house on our kitchen counter for weeks and not getting around to putting them together or decorating them, on the evening of the 26th we finally bit the bullet and, purely for tradition’s sake, created an awful little masterpiece - ha! we decided to forgo the stained glass windows and fluffy snow that we usually make and even used leftover sugar cookie frosting instead of making royal icing for sticking on decorations. we (read: i) just felt like we had to make some kind of gingerbread house to continue our beloved tradition, and it was pretty hilarious how it turned out. the decorations didn’t stick and the house was rapidly falling in as the sugar glue was hastily applied and pooled in corners. it was a fun and funny shared experience. 
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imperfect, indeed. wonderful, for sure. 

after all, 
like all things in life that are truly meaningful, chirstmas is never about perfection.
(i heard this quote on call the midwife.)

i hope your christmas was just the same! 


  1. Sometimes the more that goes wrong at Christmas the better the memories. Our Christmas Day guests cancelled because of sickness too so it was just me, hubby and baby girl and it was delightful. We went to a carol service we hadn’t planned on going to and stayed in our pj’s the rest of the day watching Christmas movies

  2. Wonderful memories of Christmastime. Mo has gotten so big since I last read a post on your blog.

  3. We had to take our 11 month old to urgent care for an ear infection on Christmas morning so I know what you mean! In the midst of the bah humbug baby sickness, it was still magical.

  4. You know, it’s funny because this past week I have been asking people in my family what their favorite christmas’ were. Then I sat down to think of my own- and honestly one of the most memorable ones was the year that so many things went wrong. I look back on it now and realize that i have come so far as a person and in my marriage, and I am glad I haven’t forgotten that not-so-merry holiday years ago. I am glad you document all of this and I know you will treasure these memories :) God bless you and yours.


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