A sprinkle of December without the snow

“‘Twas the night before Christmas…” Oh wait, someone else already wrote that.

Although somewhat contradictory to my deep love for writing and picture-taking, I don’t send Christmas cards. But if I did I might include a favorite family photo from the year or an individual picture of each of the kids, or one of them together much like the masses. You know, like the people who send them to me in envelopes that I rip open with eagerness and put on display — sometimes all year-long. A sincere thank you to all who included us on their card list.

However, since I post stories and pictures on Britta’s Banter all year-long I give myself a free pass on the ‘ole holiday card. I mean, how could I choose which photos to use or who to send them to?! I have a difficult time encapsulating the year into just one piece of paper. I am long-winded like that! Plus, terrified I might leave someone important off my list. The horror!

So while, no, you will not receive a Christmas card with a Petrich Family return address label in your mailbox, I give you a sprinkle of our December without the snow.

Merry Christmas/Frohe Weihnachten 2013!

Merry Christmas/Frohe Weihnachten 2013!

Tonight, on the night before Christmas, I feel moved to share a few warm and fuzzies from this month.

We have mailed a few packages…


We have Christmas shopped at Target… Again and again. And again.


A baby lovin’ baby girl was born. I’m talking — she pats her babies on the back with love, she hugs them, she rocks them, she kisses them, she crawls with one in each hand. At not yet 11-months old, Vivian is 100% in love with babies. For real, real.

Do you see that __ affection?

Do you see the enthusiastic affection?

Tiny Lady has a tiny baby.

Tiny Lady has a tiny baby.

We have baked…


Eyes on the prize.

Lance’s job was to unwrap all of the Hershey kisses. I totally saw him sneak a few, and I pretended not to notice. That glimmer of success in his eye when he snuck one in “behind my back” was worth all the cookies on the tray. Although I have to maintain law and order in our household all year-long, and I am often the fun-buster, even Mommy’s have to loosen their reins to keep the magic alive for wee ones this special time of year.


Who could resist?

Happy does not even begin to describe Vivian’s current disposition in life. She has most certainly entered into my most favorite baby stage — interactive, curious, personable, sleeping through the night, and mostly still innocent despite being the recipient of the first “no-no’s” from Mommy and Papa. She has a few first words — Mama, Papa, Ut-O, beep, and no-no (go figure!). She gives high-fives, enjoys passing toys back and forth to anyone who will engage, and continues to add new “tricks” to her current repertoire of understanding. Yes, yes I am holding onto the baby stage tightly.


Vivian’s First Christmas.

We have read and read and read about Christmas and snow. Maybe we will get some after Christmas snow showers to tantalize our yearning son who wants to play in it.


I managed to get a decent 2013 brother/sister Christmas picture of them in holiday clothes. There. Done. No expectation for Christmas Day. Just flying wrapping paper in the air amidst a family in pajamas all sporting bed-head.


Many a night this month when I have gone in to peek at the kids before bed, I have found them both asleep in Vivi’s crib. Apparently, we have a mischievous, climbing brother on our hands. Too cute not to photograph, but not to cute to move him back into his own bed, despite Little Sister’s acceptance of the company.


I have captured a new favorite photo of Vivian. My sweet daughter, who will be a year old next month. Wait, what?!?!?!


Lance’s obsession with puzzles is through the roof-top. He will stay focused on a puzzle longer than ever, which forever amazes me. He craves new challenges like I crave a cup of coffee the minute I open my eyes in the morning.


His side interest is belting out the lyrics to every Christmas song he knows, which came to a boisterous crescendo at his pre-school program. Head banging and jingling bells with exuberance was an added touch.


Look at that “O” shaped mouth singing with some          serious form. The Peanuts gang would be impressed.

I think he might have been just a little thrilled that Oma and Opa were in the audience for his program.


They are finally here!

We have written a letter to Santa in which Lance wished for three toys — planes lego set, dump truck & mini Lightning McQueen, and a cars/trucks puzzle. He also claimed he has been “pretty good.” Then yesterday, better late than never, we got a modest tree for Santa to drop presents under. In fear of having to tell Lance not yet over and over every morning this month when he woke up wondering when Santa was coming, and in fear of Vivian yanking it down on top of herself in a fit of fascination, we waited to get our tree.


Well worth the wait and the opportunity to decorate it with Oma and Opa where opinions flew like wildfire on where to put it (by the door or window?), how to display it (raised up or on the floor?), and how to decorate it (ornament here or there?). That, my friends, is what it is all about. Now imagine the discussion being carried out in two languages and the fun is instantly doubled.

Of course, now our tree is beautiful and just right because it was a collaborative effort among loved ones. Eye rolls and laughter all the way.

A few pictures from today — December 24, 2013, Christmas Eve.


A crisp, yet sunny stroll.

Santa and his elf.

Santa and his elf.

Tonight Santa will come!


The stockings are hung. Warm, tasty smells are coming from the kitchen. The cookie tray is full. Later we will put a few out next to a glass of milk for Santa before luring little people into bed with the threat explanation that Santa will not come unless they are both asleep.

The magic is alive and well in our house, even in the minds of parents and grandparents who get to relive it through the eyes of two pairs of little, twinkling eyes.

Before the presents are “delivered”, Jan and I get to sneak out for a late-night Christmas Eve service at church. The warm and fuzzies are already rising up in a big, sappy lump into my throat at the thought of that feeling I get every year.

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!” Oh wait, the same guy already wrote that. (Well said Clement C. Moore).

In my own words I will say: If you are lonely this Christmas, you are not alone. If you are grieving, there is always hope. If you are joyous, sing loudly. Christmas stirs up so many different emotions in all people. No matter what, close your eyes and believe. Have faith, and surrender to the goodness of a meaningful life. ©

I wish you a wondrous and blessed Christmas Day.

“Hark! The Herald Angels sing. Glory to the newborn King!”

(Thanks Charles Wesley for that one; some things are not meant to be rewritten).

In peace,

The Banter Lady

An ornament only a word worm would own.

An ornament only a word worm would own.

About britta326

blogger, picture-taker, diaper-changer, runner

One thought on “A sprinkle of December without the snow

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