Christmas Time at the Croce’s

The kitchen has that warm family gathering feeling to it: a mixture of baking bread and lingering coffee aroma, jazzy music in the background while conversations are going on around the table and the counter area, organized mess everywhere. It’s Christmas Eve day and we are all getting ready for our celebration together. Daniel is still out shopping, Maelys is finishing icing her fancy Christmas cookies, Matthieu and Amber are eating some leftovers, I am finishing the bread, and Rich is rocking away in his traditional rocking chair and taking in the scene. The house feels wonderful, and I am thankful to be included in this family.
A few hours later, we migrated into the sunroom, crowded and happy. Time to exchange our “dollar gift,” a cherished tradition around here! Matthieu was the winner this year. What makes a winner you ask? Well, either a really good deal, or a very thoughtful and imaginative gift. He won by getting us all Old Navy scarfs for just one buck each! He got to wear the Musical Santa Hat, and he is now its keeper until Christmas Ever 2010.
Our traditional Christmas Eve dinner, fondue bourguignone, got prepared in the midst of it all–Amber cut the meat, Daniel set the table, Rich got the pot ready, Maelys made cookie trays, I made the salad and Matthieu, of course, is the Great Sauce Meister. The dinner is fun and loud and soooo delicious, it gets better every year. Gift time… this takes a long time, and we love every minute of it.
There is indeed a time for everything under the sun. A time to work hard, a time to be apart, and a time to come together and simply enjoy the sheer wonderful feeling of being a family.

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