Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Crackers and Family Photos

Last week I received a large package in the mail from the talented Samantha in Wales. Samantha makes gorgeous bag patterns. You probably know her from her blog, 'At Home With Mrs. H.'   If not, check it out. Thank you, Samantha!

This is the second year that Samantha has sent me a huge box of Christmas crackers! It was so much fun to receive the box, and to discover the Christmas crackers inside. Many of our family got together on the 17th and of course the Christmas crackers were pulled and hats worn. Photos below prove it.

For information on Christmas crackers, like the why and the how, please visit Mike at Bit About Britain. His post contains everything you need to know about Christmas crackers, along with some sample jokes (my favorite is the King Wenceslas one) and a Christmas cracker song for extra credit.

Upper right of collage is my dear SIL who was expecting real crackers. I'm not going to say he was disappointed, but maybe next time I should slip some lefse in there.

 Re-starting the Christmas music box,
given to me by my cousin Bobby.
Every kid loves that thing!

The soldiers march around the tower,
The doll spins,
The sailboat tips side to side.

Kitchen: Discussion and Games

Grandpa and Henry
Figuring out how to play Sequence Letters

Just the women folk

Granddaughter and her uncles

The Singing of Christmas Carols
One of my favorite things

Discussing Italy

 Let sleeping babies lie.

 Starting to get the hang of crawling

 I was beckoned to the living room.
They told me there was something for me under the tree.
Look what I found!

Mesmerized by all the lights!

Party Over.

It's always so strange when there's a flurry of family activity for a few days, and then suddenly everyone leaves. Now all I hear are the sounds of the chimes on the porch, the dryer, and the dog snoring.

Will you have a lot of family in for Christmas? Is Christmas usually celebrated at your house, or do you go elsewhere to join family or friends? Or, like Hercule Poirot, do you enjoy a quiet evening  with a box of special chocolates?


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Although I usually forget to do it, there is a chance that this post will be linked to one or more of these great linky parties:  Amaze Me Monday and Inspiration Monday and Mosaic Monday and The Barn Collective and    Treasure Box Tuesday and Vintage Bliss Tuesday and KatheWithAnE and Rubbish Tuesday and Our World Tuesday and Tuesdays at our Home and Tuesday with a Twist and  Knick of Time Tuesday (vintage)  and   Tweak it Tuesday and Vintage Inspiration Wednesday and A Creative Princess and Ivy and Elephants Wednesday and Adorned From Above  and Artsy Corner Thursday and  All Things With Purpose and Home & Garden Thursday and Good Fences on Thursdays and  Time Travel Thursday and Freedom Fridays and Vintage Inspiration Friday and Saturday's Critters


Anonymous said...

Beautiful and fun family photos, Judy. The baby under the tree is so sweet!
It is quiet in our home for Christmas as the family is spread out across the U.S. I hear much the same as you: chimes, dogs and cats and husband snoring!

Merry Christmas, dear friend!

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

What wonderful shots of your home and family - a real privilege to be allowed in. And it all looks beautifully festive. The crackers look great (much better than our cheap ones!) - and thanks for mention. I hope you, Mr Cranberry and your whole family have a really special Christmas.

Buttons Thoughts said...

Oh my goodness you have such a fun loving beautiful family. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the map of the world and where you have it mounted what a wonderful thing for dreamers and adventure seeking children and adults alike. Oh the crackers are beautiful and I can almost hear the later and feel the love your home. Thank you for sharing. Hug B

podso said...

Enjoyed seeing your Christmas pictures. Beautiful babies! So now do you have quiet days the rest of the week or is there more to come?

Arlene G said...

How fun!! And I love that big map on your wall! What a neat decorative piece. Your family looks like they all love each other and enjoy spending time together so you are a blessed Mama.

DeniseinVA said...

Christmas Crackers have always been a tradition in my home, and what a lovely gift! Your photos were a joy to see, especially with the little ones. We will be spending the 25th with my in-laws, son and his wife. Merry Christmas!

Linda Kay said...

Hi, Judy...looks like you had a wonderful celebration for the holiday early. The babies are beautiful...and that little crawler. What a cutie! Will see family day after Christmas, spending Christmas day with friends.

Bethany Carson said...

Looks like a wonderful time with family!

Deb said...

Your home is so perfect for Christmas; a gorgeous big tree, family gathered and memories being made. Your photos of the family are beautiful. We'll be gathering at my daughter's on Christmas day and again at my son's on boxing day. This is the first year we are not having the dinner at home. It will feel different but fun nonetheless. Wishing you and yours a peaceful and love-filled Christmas season. Deb

Nancy said...

Nothing better than a houseful at Christmas - lots of laughter and wonderful memories being made. I love the photos you posted.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What a wonderful time with your family. Enjoy your week my friend! Holiday hugs, Diane

TexWisGirl said...

so very cute. lucky you to have a home filled with family. love the wall map and the mugs hung above it! very cool!

Debbie said...

Looks like you had a wonderful celebration...great pictures! Yes, it's always soo quiet after everyone's gone...We are going to one of my son's Christmas Eve and another's on Christmas Day. Everyone who is coming here this year and has already been and gone. Sure makes it easy for hubby and me. Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

Ruth Kelly said...

That was a lovely bunch of photos and it looked like quite the celebration. I was impressed with a large map of the world and the coffee cups hanging above them.

Susie said...

I love your little gift. So soft and squeezable. You can kiss it forever. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

Diane said...

Love Christmas Crackers! That looks like quite an amazing music box. Glad you had a good time!!

Audrey said...

Thanks for sharing your Christmas with us. Looks like so very much fun with your lovely family and beautiful babies. Love the huge map on the wall. Great conversation piece.
Christmas Blessings,
Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

I grew up with Christmas crackers and for the most part carry on the tradition. Not too many want to wear the paper crowns though... They are fun for the snap and treasure inside - imagine yours coming all the way from Wales!
We've had both daughters and families for dinner and will enjoy a quiet turkey dinner ourselves on Christmas day.
Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday Judy.
Merry Christmas!

Ginny Hartzler said...

Everything looks beautifully perfect! We bought a box of poppers, I always like them and think they are fun. Phil made me stop at one box because he does not like them or the noise they make. Your tree is beautiful and your family is beautiful! I love your map wallpaper, and I suppose you have a mug for each country? Cool! I take it you have traveled extensively?

Elizabeth Edwards said...

what fun. i think it is funny that both you and Mike (i see he commented as well on this post) that you talked about crackers. & i have never had one before. i have heard of a lot of folk overseas using them. but never around here in VA. i wonder why that is? do you think it is a state thing or what??! i do wonder??! curious now about that. ( :

Linda said...

Ooo's & Ahh's..what a lovely post. Everyone/family/friends knows where we will be...they are more than welcome to join in if they like...and we were just told this am to expect 2 more. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Debby Ray said...

Wonderful family photos of Christmas cheer! May you and your have a wonderful looks as though you are getting a head start!

Primitive Stars said...

Love the Christmas family pictures, wonderful memories. Crackers are so much fun, have them every year Christmas Eve.Blessings Francine.

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

Hello and thank you for your visit and comment! I came over to say hello. Your home looks warm and welcoming and there is so much I like about it, including that it was full of people for celebrating Christ's birth. As for me, I think I'm more like Hercule Poirot, but there is room in this world for all kinds, thank the Lord for variety! We all make life interesting for the others. Blessings to you and yours.

Michelle said...


Thank you for sharing your family Christmas.
I love music boxes and yours does look interesting. I can see why all the kiddos like it.

Stopping by to wish you a Merry Christmas!

Enjoy your day of quiet!

I have plans of cooking, beginning Christmas Eve.


AnnMarie aka Vintage Junkie aka NaNa said...

So nice to have the family around. My daughters, SIL's and grandchildren will be here Christmas Day. Christmas Eve is just me, hubby and my 16 year old son. Oh, and Miss Kitty. I just love the map on your kitchen (?) wall! I will have to look up crackers because I have no idea what they are!! On to a new year....Happy New Year!

Lynne said...

What fun the "Crackers" brought for the family. I loved seeing the photos of your family. We usually get so busy we forget the pictures. I, like you, enjoy the hustle and bustle and get a bit of a let down when the house becomes empty and the quiet is everywhere. Not sure if there would be any chocolates left at our house!
Merry Christmas Judy . . .

Cheryl said...

What delightful pictures of your celebration! Beautiful, happy faces galore! Good times!

Our family gathers here. A group for breakfast...a different group in the afternoon for a buffet. Again...good times!

Margaret Birding For Pleasure said...

fantastic shots of the family and all the festivities. Looks like you all had a wonderful time.

Chatty Crone said...

I have to say this - you have a lovely home and lovely family. The baby under the tree- imagine him a few years from now! lol

And where do you keep that map? That is huge.

Yes you get so busy and then it is all quiet -

Merry Christmas.


Pamela Gordon said...

That's my kind of Christmas! Lots of people around, playing games, singing carols, laughing, eating.... Ours will be quiet with our son and daughter-in-law, and Murray's sister and brother-in-law for early dinner then they'll leave and we'll be alone. That's the part I don't care for. We usually do a family gathering with my side of the family on Boxing Day but not this year since my brother passed away last month and we are all grieving and also ( a bit of good news), his daughter is due to give birth any day so they will be staying close to their homes. We hope to visit them all after baby comes. Christmas crackers will be on our table too, as they are a family tradition. I read Mike's interesting blog about them. I hope you and your Mr. have a blessed Christmas. Hugs. Pam

Stephanie said...

What beautiful family photos! It looks like everyone had a lovely time and how wonderful to sing Christmas carols together :)

Merry Christmas to you, sweet Judy! Hugs and blessings!

Cheryl @ TFD said...

You have a lovely family and home, Judy. And your Christmas tree looks beautiful! Love the wall map! I see the kitty on the back of the sofa...makes me feel right at home. lol! Thanks again for sending the wonderful soaps so quickly. I'm already enjoying the Christmas one. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Donna said...

it will be a quiet Christmas this year....Merry Christmas!

Deborah Montgomery said...

Looks like a very special Christmas together Judy. The picture of the lights shining in the wee one's eyes is really precious. I also loved seeing all your books and the giant wall map. We have all the holidays here, and have for years. Love having everybody home, safe and sound and together.

Vee said...

What a fun package to receive and share with the family. We did Crackers one year. It was fun, but not something that we do every year...they are expensive and often difficult to find. I will follow your links here momentarily.

Lovely to see your beautiful family gathered together. No wonder the grands love to keep the music box going...what a treasure. You know, lying under the tree is one of life's greatest pleasures. Too bad so many of is give it up at such an early age.

Enjoy a lovely Christmas. Ours will be different and I would prefer it to remain the same, but nothing ever does...remain the same. I'll try to "be an elf."

This N That said...

Looks like a fun family gathering..Nice pictures.We have had those "crackers" at Christmas time since I was a little girl..My stepdaughter carries on the tradition..Merry Christmas..

Theresa said...

What a fun post! I enjoyed seeing all of the pictures! I will go read about the crackers! Have a blessed evening dear friend, HUGS!

Terri D said...

Your photos make me feel right at home, Judy! You are so blessed to have a house full of loved ones, and yes - it is always much too quiet when they leave. We will have Christmas dinner with friends (they come here for Thanksgiving). We go to Mass on Christmas eve, then open out gifts - just Joe and me. No alarm for Christmas morning. Too quiet, though. I long for a house full of laughter and we just get it in smaller doses throughout the year, which is fine.

Carla from The River said...

Loved seeing your photos. I love the photo of the girls looking at the map.
All looks so nice and festive.

Wishing you a great Christmas.

Unknown said...

Beautiful have a lovely family. Such a cute present that you found under your tree :-) All my family is on the other side of the world, NZ and Aussie. My husband has to work Christmas day, but I will be spending the day with some special friends :-)
Have a lovely Christmas..

ann said...

Here I am at the bottom of a very long list. We have never done crackers before, though I have seen them in the stores during the holidays. I think my daughter and granddaughter are going to try to make some. I am going to go back and read about them. Sweet babies in your post. We do Christmas here. I am the grandma. It is our daughter's birthday Christmas Eve so we have a big party. The kids then go to their in-laws on Christmas Day, and we have a very peaceful day, cleaning up the mess. Merry Christmas.

Lea said...

Lovely family celebration!
We will have a Christmas meal around noon, but afterwards a quiet evening with chocolate will be great.
Merry Christmas!

Fun60 said...

What a fabulous series of photos recording your Christmas traditions. have a fabulous 2014 Christmas.

Trace4J said...

What a very beautiful family.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

Billy Blue Eyes said...

I lik ethe thought of out traditions finding their way over to you.

Inger said...

A post full of Christmas spirit. Thank you for becoming a follower of my blog. I am now one of yours. To bad I didn't make number 800, that would have been fun.

I will check out the British blogs as I love all things British. I lived there for a couple of years when I was young.

May you have a Blessed and Merry Christmas.

Cathy said...

Sounds like a really wonderful time was had by all. I loved all the pictures.

Merry Christmas!

Cynthia said...

Great pictures and kiss that baby. So precious and something to cherish . Merry Christmas to you and your family


Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Such a lovely family, what fun times you all are having!
Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your wondrous moments. We'll travel to our daughter's house this Christmas. I look forward to the "sprawl on the sofa" when it is all behind us. :)

Laila said...

Wish that your Christmas was great. Have a nice start of 2015 too.

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

I loved seeing your pictures and how everyone seemed to enjoy sharing time together.

Robin said...

What great pictures. The babies are so adorable. Did you read my blog while I was in England? If not here's the address


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