christmas 2010


Although it will be Monday when you read this, it is Sunday night as I write it. The weather outside is well, frightful. The fire inside is delightful. But the big house in which we live is apparently not big enough to keep my girls from grating on one another’s last nerve.

I can’t say I blame them. Forty-eight hours nearly atop one another takes its toll. Add in the excitement of Christmas (which is a nice way of saying, “Whose big idea was it to mess with my predictable, structured life, damn it and what are all these people doing in my house?”) and then stir in a blizzard just to ensure that no one can leave the house and well, here we are.

So things being what they are, I’ve got a couple of options as I see it. I can wallow in the moment. I could join my older daughter in an oversensitive huff, roll my eyes at every turn and decry the unfairness of it all to anyone within earshot. I admit, it has its appeal.

Or, I could take my cue from the little one and simply wander away when it’s too much. I could tag out to Luau. I could steal the Snuggie that Katie got for Christmas, sneak upstairs to the office and dive headlong into yesterday’s photographs, searching for those that captured the magic of the day.

So yes, I’m now wearing a Snuggie, if that’s the appropriate verb. I apologize for burning that image into your head, but truth be told it’s pretty dang cozy and well, absurdly practical. And while I snug, I’m searching and sorting and parsing and cropping. And most of all remembering.

I’m remembering a day that worked. A day in which every member of the family participated in the celebration of the holiday in his or her own way. A day upon which compromises were struck and expectations were sent out to sea. A day in which any unnecessary demands were dispatched. A day when small prizes were treasured and time was valued above all else. A day that never would have been possible just a few short years ago.

And so, here it is. The day in pictures, or at least a few of them …



The Tree



Gratuitous Winston shot



Brooke had to get ALL of her Sesame Street Friends

To introduce them to their latest addition – Berry Lou

No, I’d never heard of her either, but thankfully someone on Ebay had



Katie helping Brooke open her gift –

Pete the Repeating Parrot – An echolalist’s delight



With much fanfare, Mary Magdalene finally makes her debut



And ‘meets’ Jesus

( ed note: The tenderness with which Brooke is touching Mary in this photo is enough to kill me. The moment was not unique; there are scores of pictures like this. I can’t stop looking at them.)



Yes, that’s the Burt hat that I said no to on Katie Day

Can I help it if Santa said yes? The guy’s a pushover



Yes, it was a good day …


A day in which an entire family – Mama, Daddy, Sisters, Grandparents, Aunt and all, gathered to honor the most important tradition to its youngest member.

Despite Mama singing disastrously off key, the day was complete as we all sang Happy Birthday to a very special guest …



Hoping yours was a very Merry Christmas.

Ed note: Photography credit goes to my Mom’s husband, the wonderfully talented Grandpa DD. (Except for the video, which was taken on my phone, in case that wasn’t obvious.) Thank you, Grandpa DD for the wonderful memories of the day! If anyone in CT is ever looking for a photographer, he can be found at Terrabyte Studios.

24 thoughts on “christmas 2010

  1. Wonderful Christmas.

    I’d been wondering how things went, if the expectation of getting every last thing on the list (because that’s what the script said) would fade in the face of the joy surrounding everything that DID appear under the tree. According to the pictures, it looks like joy won out. πŸ™‚

    • Oh, she definitely didn’t forget! Never does. She ran through the litany of the things that she didn’t receive, but thanks to the whole family’s participation in the CONSTANT repetition of our pre-Christmas mantra (We don’t get EVERYTHING we ask for!) she understood. Though she’s already planning her birthday list πŸ˜‰

  2. Off to keep the kids alive while hubbie digs us out, but had to steal a moment to say how happy I am that your Christmas was wonderful, and I have pics of Z looking at Rudolph with that same beautiful stare that Mary’s getting (and they still make me teary too!).

  3. I’m so glad to wake up to this post! I have boys…so I love reading about your beautiful girls. The fighting and nerve grating is universal. Looks like there were some good moments. Those are the blessings.

  4. LOVING the phrase “tag out to luau”
    and that bert hat is genius! LOVE it! Merry Christmas you guys! πŸ™‚ Glad you got into the snuggie and wrote to us all!

  5. Once again, Jess, NICE JOB! I am so thrilled to hear of what a wonderful celebration you all had together! We, too, had many new and exciting moments to cherish, as RM really seemed to try to engage in the HubBub this year.
    Happy Birthday to Jesus, indeed.

    Bless you all!!

  6. I’ve been itching to listen to my Godspell LP since I learned of Brooks’s enjoyment of it. Maybe today!

    What a magical day for your family!

  7. just an aside..that your daugther can play like this- and especially to the extent that she does (many dabble in some symbolic play)- is really a great sign of potential. also her language ability is beyond what many kids with autism have. you have much to be hopeful and grateful about. merry christmas!

  8. Hi there,

    I came across your blog on the Autism Speaks page, and now I can’t help but follow along. The heartwarming stories you write about your beautiful family and reading about your daily preserverance are like chicken soup for the soul. Thank you for sharing them with us. Sending your family warm wishes from Florida. =)

  9. Pingback: Weekly Whirl – Our Favorite Holiday Blogs! « Autism Speaks Official Blog

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