Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Christmas 2022 Recap

Let's start back on Thursday, Dec. 22.  Phil and the high school kids had the day off so I also used a vacation day and the littles had school, as their break started the next day.  While the teens slept in, Phil and I drove to Providence, Rhode Island to pick up a cake we ordered for our Christmas Eve party.  We walked around Federal Hill (Providence's little italy) and ate lunch at an Italian place called Angelo's.  Great chicken parm.  Then we drove back towards home while Phil chatted with his doctor on the phone to get results of a CT scan and bloodwork.  These clots are just causing problems six months later and he's still on Eliquis for them and now he needs to get some more testing done and see a vascular surgeon.  They also found a cyst on his kidney which is probably nothing, but he needs to get an ultrasound at the beginning of January for that.  He's still working and running and living life, but we just want to get him all back to normal :)

On Friday, December 23, everybody was home for break and we had a stormy rainy windy day, so we used it to clean and prep for Christmas.  Kinda perfect to be forced to stay inside and prepare.  As some people know, Dec. 23rd is CHRISTMAS ADAM (the day before Eve) and our family does the Sibling Secret Santa Swap on this day.  Each kid spends $5-$10 on the one sibling they picked from a hat earlier in the month.  The littles have a Saint Nick workshop at school (a fundraiser for the 8th grade) where they can buy their gifts, and the older ones go shopping.

They mostly get each other their favorite treats, though Xander was the lucky recipient of a bag of reindeer food (from the first grader) and Maggie received an unusual bracelet from the 3rd grader.  The older kids are very gracious receiving these not-necessarily-wanted gifts from the little kids who try so hard, but our youngest guy had to get a timeout talk about the way he reacted when he opened a stuffed animal toy that he didn't like.  Lessons abound all year round!  JP received Home Alone 1 and 2 so we had a family movie night:

On Christmas Eve, it was sunny and freezing and we lit our first real fire since we moved into this home 18 years ago!  We never knew if the chimney was useable, but when we had someone come inspect it to give us a quote on a pellet stove, he said we were good to go.  

We baked and cooked and ran and rested and before you knew it, it was time to go to the 4:00 Vigil Mass!  Our two oldest guys have aged out of altar serving (they could if they wanted to, but they need to get CORI'd first since they are over 18) so we were down to three servers and four kids in the pew with us.

After Mass, Declan and Brendan went around and placed Baby Jesus in all of the nativity scenes in our house and in my parent's house as well.

We threw food in the oven for our Christmas Around the World dinner and changed out of our Mass attire.  We invite over our priest friends to come over in between their vigil masses and midnight mass.  Five were able to come over this year and it was a lot of laughing and merry making!

The priests left around 10:45 and we sent the teens to bed and set up for CHRISTMAS!

7:00 am came extra early this year.  I'm sure the teens felt the same way, but you just can't be mad about the little kids Christmas joy!  Mandatory stairway photo:



For everybody's last (best) gift, I wrote them each a clue of where to find it.  We did it one by one and it was so much fun. This was a new addition to our Christmas morning, and one they definitely LOVED and I will have to keep doing.

Answer: The bathroom

Maggie was so excited to find her new AirPods

We had cinnamon rolls and I made an Amish Christmas Casserole for the first time this year (without the swiss cheese and added a few more eggs) and it was delish!  Then we headed up to my brother's house for the Sweeney Christmas party.  Everybody brought food and it was great.  JP hanging out with some girl cousins (and Maggie):

Wow I really didn't get many photos of the day but JP made a slideshow of his European adventures and showed anyone who was interested :)

We had a Sweeney Swap (pretty lame one if I'm being honest, and maybe we should retire it?) but lots of music and food and games and catching up and it was great.  The next day Phil and I finished our last long run of the year (seven miles fueled by Christmas candy) and we will be heading to Maryland later this week to have Christmas with the Martin side of the familia, where little nieces and nephews abound! I hope you are all having a wonderful break filled with family and friends and I'll see you NEXT YEAR!


  1. Oh your Christmas celebrations all sound so wonderful and full of family and fun! I love the Around the World Christmas foods (and the cookie selection is gorgeous). I hope the New Year brings simple and complete solutions to the health issues.

  2. I'm sorry to hear the clot issues continue to plague Phil. Praying the doctors find solutions quickly and he is restored to full health.

    Your celebration looks lovely. My favourite note: CHRISTMAS ADAM!!! This year, Christmas Eve, Eve (as I call it) was my favourite day of 2022. But I want to, from this moment forward, refer to that day as Christmas Adam.

    Finally, it had never occurred to me to not put out the baby Jesus in our nativity sets until Christmas Eve! But this makes so much sense. Another new tradition for us next year?

    1. I would be happy to share both those traditions with you :)

  3. Love that you and Phil squeezed in an afternoon date in the middle of Christmas errands. The pic of Maggie is awesome. The food from around the world is such a fun tradition. Sounds like you had a great Christmas. Great photos. Hope everyone is enjoying some down time to relax while school is out. Happy New Year.

  4. I love your Christmas traditions. Christmas Adam should be a thing for all of us.
    Yay for your fireplace working; it looks so cozy.
    I hope Phil continues to have good health and the Dr's can put an end to any questions. Happy 2023!

    1. Let's make it a thing up and down the East Coast!

  5. Such a wonderful Christmas! I love that you have the priests over!

    1. Thanks Beth, and they love having somewhere to go and recharge and eat/drink between "working" that night :)


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