Somewhere Under the Wrapping Paper

Hello dear ones, and how is your holiday so far? We’re here, buried in a happy mess of our own making, up to our armpits in food and drink, and I don’t know how it happened, but there’s little pieces of tape stuck to everything.  The holiday is very nice so far, with snow, and candles and music and no end of good things, and after a knitting  marathon of epic proportions, I have only a single sock to finish. (I made it on everything else, if you call Joe poking me awake 47 times on Christmas eve to keep knitting "making it" which I totally do.)  In these parts, the holiday goes on for days and days, so there’s still a lot to be done, but here’s some snapshots of our best moments so far.


Old Joe, relishing his grampa years, reading Santa mouse, the Night Before Christmas and How The Grinch Stole Christmas to a thrilled audience, young and older alike. (Santa mouse is a crowd pleaser in these parts.)



A beautiful Christmas dinner…

A relaxed dog, who looked like we all felt.

The surprise "big win" of the year, with Ken delivering matching tiger onesies for all the cousins.  (They could only have been more delightful with "trap doors")

A walk in the woods by the pond. 

and everything almost the way it should be.

It’s taken me 45 years to learn that "almost" is as good as it gets, and I’ll happily take it.
Tomorrow, some of the knits, eh? They’re not a secret anymore. 

87 thoughts on “Somewhere Under the Wrapping Paper

  1. Sounds pretty good to me. Hey! Christmas involves people, and often our families, and we are subject to change and we evolve into doing different things. If we are open to it, they can be good too.
    Looking forward to the presented knits another post.
    Looks like lots of good times for those involved.

  2. Not-quite-perfect is always as good as it gets.
    This year, I time the ham perfectly to be ready for 3, and then for reasons known only to the carrots had the veggies all set to go for 1. Fortunately, I realized in time to turn it all off again and re-heat closer to the right time.
    There’s always something.
    At least we had power!

  3. Santa Mouse was my absolute favorite! In addition to the cookies I left for Santa, I left cheese out for Santa Mouse and he nibbled at it. 🙂

  4. Another beautiful collection of holiday photos! Thank you so much for sharing them. And while I loved them all (your dinner table was so pretty!), I especially loved seeing your handknit blanket wrapping a sleeping baby.

  5. love the photos of your holidays. my own was just as wonderfully filled with family, food and gifts. I got all my holiday knits finished before times but am now having to alter my daughter in law’s hat. the fur portion didn’t fit. luckily I have extra pieces and can make it fit. the knit portion did fit.

  6. It looks like a wonderful holiday! Santa Mouse has been a family favorite of ours since we were kids – we all had matching Santa Mouse jammies!

  7. Stephanie, your girls are beautiful, and having them there together is a priceless gift. Matching tiger onesies are icing on the cake!! Thank you for sharing your family and your celebration with us!

  8. I’ve just given up completely. Christmas was hard enough when we thought our kids were fine. Now they’re both diagnosed as severely autistic and any seasonal joy is gone.
    Oh, and it’s really warm at the moment in Australia. Bleurgh.

  9. Santa Mouse is one of our favorites also. We started the tradition of leaving a present in the tree. This year it was a lovely candle and a letter from Santa on letterhead. Brought a tear to the 15 year old’s eye. What a sweet moment.

  10. Happy Holidays, Steph. As good as it gets is sometimes just that. There’s always next Christmas for those left undone! Family is more important than stuff.
    C

  11. The kids are grown and we still love Santa Mouse at our house. Being a grandmother myself, I love the photo of the Gram with the babe in a knitted blanket. So sweet. Christmas doesn’t have to be perfect. Less than perfect makes memories and stories for other years.

  12. Easing off the perfectionism has helped me deal with holidays and having company, but I still have much to learn. I didn’t panic when the power failed, and had contingency plans to barbecue the turkey, but our power was restored late Sunday. I thought our 22 hours without power was bad, but learned that some of my friends are still without power 6 days in.

  13. Lovely, Stephanie, thank you. We had a fine Christmas out here in California, too. My favorite moment was when my two-year-old grandson climbed into my lap with the baby doll I had just given him, and spent 20 minutes or more talking to the “babby” and giving it a bottle, covering it with the little blanket, and singing the doll the lullaby I have sung to him since he was born. Sublime.
    Happy holidays to The Blog, and may your wishes come true.

  14. That photo of Hank and your girls is PRICELESS!!!
    And Lou rocks! (How could he not, with such a megawatt smile?)
    Glad you and all of yours are having happy holidays! (Ask me how I made one furry niece happy with a peanut-butter-flavored rawhide chew bone, and another furry niece and her brother very happy with catnip-filled toys! Hope you made Millie as happy!)

  15. Looks like our family this year. Good times and great people. And I got a little ruler in my Christmas cracker. My mother got a tape measure that she immediately gave to me. Truly a knitters Christmas.

  16. To Andrea, 5:31 – Severe autism is not a death sentence, nor does it define your children. Hopefully, the categorization will lead to a better understanding by others of their needs, & an empathy by & for your family of them.
    Certainly take some time, but don’t give up. The new year may present a different view of all your lives.

  17. For Andrea at 5:31 p.m.: After posting my comment at 8:10 p.m., I went back and read other comments. I am so sorry to hear about your very difficult situation with two autistic children. It must seem very bleak and hopeless now, but I hope you will try to find some help.
    I have relatives and friends in Australia and have visited there (Melbourne) several times. It has always seemed to me an enlightened country with good social services. In addition to the medical and other professional support you already have, I imagine it would be helpful to be in contact with parent and community groups for mutual day-to-day support. I did a brief search and found this website, which looks like it has some potential for finding information and local support:
    http://raisingchildren.net.au/children_with_autism/children_with_autism_landing.html
    Please don’t give up, for your own sake as well as for your children. I will be thinking of you and wishing the best for all of you.
    P.S.: I remember the heat at Christmas time. I once had a sunstroke after walking in the Public Garden without a hat when the temp. was 40 C. It’s still a great country!

  18. We dragged Christmas, 2 kids, my 79-year-old mum (and knitting!) half way across North America to be with family. It was chaotic and fantastic all at the same time. Blessings to all!

  19. You bring me so much peace…thank you…not been a good month (or year for that matter)…but reading your Blog helps me get through it all…THANK YOU. Peace and a Happy, Healthy New Year to you and all of your loved ones.

  20. I love Santa Mouse. None of my friends in New Jersey have heard of it, so it’s lovely to see it loved in another family. Almost perfect is very good indeed, and often more than plenty.

  21. Congratulations that you finally got it. Almost is as good as it gets – for now. My father used to say; almost is not half there. In negative things: almost drunk, almost bankrupt, it was scarinf. In good things, like finished Christmas presents, Christmas, dinner cooked, it was a good thing, not even halfway, yet nearly there and able to make a good finish of it. Only perfectionists have glasses half empty, the rest of us have glasses (still) half full. I know where I would rather be, like happy wit a half full glass opposite to unhappy with a half empty glass, so I guess will be yours. I love Kens jokey choice of a gift, 4 mouses to listen to the Sata Mouse tales read by Old Joe. Have a nice leap into 2014. DM

  22. I haven’t seen a copy of Santa Mouse in years! Good on you for keeping a classic alive. And the Grinch? 🙂 I used to run an elementary school library. I read the Grinch to eighteen classes of children every year for nine years…”Mrs. Yoder, you’re reading it without even looking at the pages!” LOL Merry Christmas to you and yours, and a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.

  23. Our Christmases go on a bit too :).Only 4 of us today as opposed to yesterdays’ chaotic and glorious 10.Love all of it, the rowdy and the peacefull and we need all the memories we can build since my OH was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers 3 years ago.As good as it gets is the best…cherish and enjoy.x

  24. It looks perfectly lovely. You are right about “almost” being just fine ~ we didn’t have power but we had a generator providing lights, heat, and running water. Who needs Christmas dinner when you have fruit, cheese and crackers, chips and salsa, and cookies that were made before the power went out two days before? Enjoy all the days left to celebrate ~

  25. I couldn’t miss that baby blanket. Still beautiful!
    And thanks to whomever gave us the link to Lee Valley. I got a very early start to next year’s Christmas with the purchase of the ice candle forms!

  26. I knit a pair of socks for a dear friend, which I gave to her on Christmas Day at her home. I’m a fast sock knitter and I started two weeks before Christmas, which should have been time to knit several pairs. On December 23rd I had one-half of a sock complete (life happens). I kept thinking of you knitting steadily on your Christmas gifts, as I knit as fast as I could on those socks! I finished the toe of the second sock on Christmas morning. Steph, I was with you in spirit!!

  27. Happy holidays to you all and happy knitting in the new year!!!!Glad the ice storm didn’t damper any of your holiday spirit! Love the onesies sooo cute! I’m trying out the sock pattern and its going well I was fortunate to get a yarn ball winder for Christmas so I’ve been winding almost all my yarn, my husband is wondering why “isn’t it already in balls?” Its just so much fun and they look so neat and tidy in their boxy shape. My only problem is I’m now running out of room for all my perfect little gems. I’ve filled a decorative bird cage and an antique glass car battery box full of yarn…mmm where else? The yarn looks so neat!! Thanks for the gift suggestion! Happy New year to you Stephanie and your whole family!!!

  28. Happy holidays to you all and happy knitting in the new year!!!!Glad the ice storm didn’t damper any of your holiday spirit! Love the onesies sooo cute! I’m trying out the sock pattern and its going well I was fortunate to get a yarn ball winder for Christmas so I’ve been winding almost all my yarn, my husband is wondering why “isn’t it already in balls?” Its just so much fun and they look so neat and tidy in their boxy shape. My only problem is I’m now running out of room for all my perfect little gems. I’ve filled a decorative bird cage and an antique glass car battery box full of yarn…mmm where else? The yarn looks so neat!! Thanks for the gift suggestion! Happy New year to you Stephanie and your whole family!!!

  29. Looks as though you are all having the most wonderful time!! I WANT A TIGER ONESIE!! I did almost buy myself a onesie after seeing my 21-yr-old daughter’s one, but she nixed the idea (‘You’ll look ridiculous!’) — but your pic gives me new inspiration … enjoy the rest of the holiday and have a wonderful 2014!

  30. You have gorgeous young people in your life. Luis still is the cutest ever. But the rest of your family also looks like they belong in a magazine spread!

  31. Happy Winter Holiday to you and all your family. It must be nice to share a big meal with the family. I was all alone on Christmas day as I have no family, both my parents died a few years ago. Well done on getting “It” all done on time you must be proper pooped. No rest for us Knitters eh? Nowt like receiving a handknit gift or three eh?
    Any chance of new book yet? I find your books are hilarious you have me in stitches.
    I wish you a Happy Knitterly New Year. All the best
    Kniterella

  32. It must be nice to have all your family around the table, you are so fortunate. I was all alone all Christmas cos I have no family my parents died years ago. Well done on completing “It” you must be pooped working so hard on your knitted gifts.
    I wish you a Happy Knitterly New Year all the best
    Kniterella

  33. Santa Mouse is a favorite in our house! My now 43 year old brother had Santa Mouse pajamas, the 2 piece kind where the footed bottoms snapped onto the pajama top. I doubt they are made anymore, but we still look for them everywhere on earth for HIS son. We love the Santa Mouse story. We haven’t been ‘home’ for Christmas for a few years. Thank you for this reminder!

  34. This year, I gave my mother a single mitten. She asked if she was going to get the other one. “It’s in the kitchen, on the needles.” I pointed out that the gift tag also had a single mitten. And it was fine. Nothing bad happened.

  35. Love the pictures…..I can hear someone in the background saying “Wait! Wait! Nobody eat anything until I can take a picture of the table!!”
    Usually that’s me saying that. Glad to see I’m not the only one in the world who says that…Merry Christmas all.

  36. I like to think I’ve finally learned that enough is good enough, but it is hard. We had our second Christmas ever with just my husband, my daughter and me. It was lovely. One couple came for dinner and we sat around the table laughing and telling slightly dirty jokes. The kid is 21 now so I’m pretty sure she knows about such things. I missed my mom and I missed her house all decked out for Christmas, but my ornament stand from IKEA was pretty and it will fit in my suitcase as I journey on.
    Now I’m busy wondering where we will be for Christmas 2014. I have an inkling, but nothing is sure. I bought beautiful ornaments to remember this place just in case.

  37. I LOVE Santa Mouse. One of my proudest “Mommy” moments was reading it to my munchkin for the first time!
    Our holiday was “almost” as well, and it was just fine. But it is such a hard lesson to learn. Christmas gets me every year, no matter how well I plan. Maybe some day I’ll learn to just except that too!

  38. “Santa Mouse” is waaaay more important in our family than “The Night Before Christmas.”
    And “The Night Before Christmas” is epically important to us. 🙂
    Santa Mouse and his tiny, shiny boots forever!

  39. SANTA MOUSE?!?!? OMG seeing that book cover gave me a flashback 40 years! I’d totally forgotten about that book – sitting here in tears. Thank you! Off to Amazon to get a copy…..

  40. Thanks so much for sharing your Christmas. I love seeing the pictures and all the happy people. May 2014 be the best year yet for you and all of us!

  41. Almost fell off my chair when I saw “Old Joe” reading to the kids! He could have been my dear, departed father! Glad you all had a lovely Christmas together. Happy New Year. Marylyn

  42. Almost fell off my chair when I saw “Old Joe” reading to the kids! He could have been my dear, departed father! Glad you all had a lovely Christmas together. Happy New Year. Marylyn

  43. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so
    much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.

    I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this
    is great blog. An excellent read. I will certainly be back.

    Here is my page :: best dating sites nyc

  44. Very good info. Lucky mme I discovered yiur blpog by accident (stumbleupon).
    I hqve saved it for later!

    Here is my webpage: most popular dating sites [Asa]

  45. Greetings from Los angeles! I’m bored at wwork so I decided to check outt
    your website on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the info you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.

    I’m shocked at how fast your blog loaded on my phone ..

    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, exccellent blog!

  46. Appreciating the time and energy you put into your website and detailed information you provide.
    It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a
    while that isn’t the same outdated rehashed material.
    Fantastic read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your
    RSS feeds to my Google account.

  47. Admiring the time and energy you put into your site and detailed information you provide.
    It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that
    isn’t the same old rehashed information. Great read!

    I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding
    your RSS feeds to my Google account.

    My web page; comment creer un blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *