Christmas in Baltimore was pretty close to perfect. I haven't written about it yet, because I feel like trying to put it into words is impossible. There was some magic in it though, that is undeniable. Below are images that show a few of my favorite things about the Holiday Season. Some things you will not find in the pictures but I hold close to me heart is the French pressed coffee every morning, the wine that flowed all week long, the hide and peek games (you read that right) with my niece, the laughter and tears, the wonderful meals, the genuine words, the sincere hugs, Christmas morning as a group, my parents welcoming hugs, my Italian sister-in-law's bonding, Christmas Eve Service in Baltimore, walking around the Inner Harbor, watching my niece try on all the items from the dress up box we gave her, and some dear friends that were there for it all. I think our society is so obsessed with capturing a perfect image of their time together and posting it online, but I felt like this Christmas I really got to experience and be present with those that I loved, which is all I really wanted :)
1. My families unique sense of humor is something that continuously surprises me. Much like a television sitcom, we. talk. fast. I can tell when people are going to mesh and when they aren't because when we are all together it is kind of an "all-in" situation. As you can see in this photo, the words Joy Noel have been arranged to create a phrase you will often hear around the Wecker home at Christmas time "Jen Yolo". I guess a phrase isn't quite accurate, we almost refer to Jen Yolo as another member of the family. Honestly, it's impossible to explain, but we get it. Yeah it's kind of odd for me to basically be saying that it's an inside joke, but it is more than that. We are bonded over a million inside jokes, much like most families. It is like we speak our own language and if you haven't been around for some period of time you may not always be able to follow, but isn't that the beauty of big families?
Bill's family has certain things they say and refer to and they realize they have to stop and explain things to me because it doesn't make sense to "an outsider". Now granted, the more I learn, the less of an outsider I am, but that is just a part of growing up and having inside jokes. All this goes to say, inside jokes are fun and genuinely bonding and it was so nice to be around the people that a lot of my inside jokes are with.
2. Meals together are one of my favorite parts of being home. The dinner pictured above was wonderful. We brought the farm tables out from Faith and Joshes wedding that they used for their head table and lit what seemed like a hundred candles. Beautiful greens of holly from the yard were layed down the middle. My Italian Sister-In-Laws made us the yummiest Italian feast, and we just were together. Not only was the food fantastic and the ambiance beautiful, but the people were all people that loved each other. It was nice to just be together.
My dad also arranged a dinner at one of his restaurants that was incredible. We had trays of sushi together on Christmas Eve before we watched White Christmas. We ate Thai food the night before Bill and I left and we had big group breakfasts multiple mornings. Every single time I took a moment to just look around at everyone laughing and talking together. Meals with my family is one of my favorite things.
3. I believe they need no introduction, but this is my family. My parents, my siblings, everyone's husbands/wives and my niece. Sigh... They are my absolute favorite thing in this world. My heart is always with them and they are what made Christmas in Baltimore so special. As we all get older our priorities are changing and time together is so precious. Just knowing I always have their support and love is all I could ask for.