Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Loving Christmas with family December 26, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 10:08 AM
Tags: , , , , , ,
My husband Randy and me with our three adult children, from left to right, Miranda, Caleb and Amber.

My husband Randy and me with our three adult children, from left to right, Miranda, Caleb and Amber.

IF YOU WANT to make a mom happy, return home for Christmas.

My three, plus the eldest daughter's boyfriend, Marc, opened gifts Christmas Eve afternoon. Caleb is juggling on the left with his new juggling balls.

My three, plus the eldest daughter’s boyfriend, Marc, opened a few gifts Christmas Eve afternoon before Miranda had to leave. Caleb is juggling on the left with his new juggling balls.

All three of my children were able to get back to Faribault for the holidays, although my second daughter had to leave early Christmas Eve afternoon. She was on-call Christmas Day with her job as a Spanish medical interpreter in northeastern Wisconsin. But I had her here for awhile and that made me one joyful mother.

Ditto for my mom.

After taking numerous "good photos," we decided to imitate six-month-old Hank (the first great grandchild for my mother) by closing our eyes. Missing from the photo is Alex, the photographer.

After taking numerous “good photos,” we decided to imitate six-month-old Hank (the first great grandchild for my mother) by closing our eyes and pretending to sleep. Missing from the photo is Alex, the photographer.

For the first time in many years, all six of her children and their spouses and their children, plus the first great grandchild and significant others, gathered for a pre-Christmas family celebration at my middle brother’s rural Lamberton home.

One of my favorite candid shots, my son embracing his grandma, whom he had not seen since July Fourth.

One of my favorite candid shots, my son embracing his grandma, whom he had not seen since July Fourth.

My mom repeated many times, before and after the get together, how very happy she was that everyone could make it. All but four could stay for the entire day and into the evening.

Santa shows up every year at the family Christmas. Here he hugs my second daughter. He handed out cans of SPAM to me and my siblings apparently to celebrate all the SPAM we consumed as children.

Santa shows up every year at the family Christmas. Here he hugs my second daughter. He handed out cans of SPAM to me and my siblings apparently to celebrate all the SPAM we consumed as children.

We took lots and lots and lots of pictures, as my eldest daughter’s boyfriend noted. I believe, I mean I know, he was slightly overwhelmed by the entire event. Who wouldn’t you be when you’re not used to my loud and fun-loving family, most of whom bunk out on the basement floor after the day’s festivities end?

Last year my sister Lanae brought vintage hats for all the women to wear. Here most of the granddaughters pose with grandma.

Last year my sister Lanae brought vintage hats for the women. Here most of the granddaughters model their hats with grandma.

I love my family. And I love that my 80-year-old mom experienced the joy of having her closest loved ones with her for a single day to celebrate Christmas.

I decided the men needed hats, too, so I brought Santa hats for them to model in a serious pose.

I decided the boys needed hats, too, so I brought Santa hats for them to wear, here in a serious pose.

HOW ABOUT YOU? Are you able to gather with extended family to celebrate Christmas and what are some of your traditions?

Santa always poses for a photo with my mom.

Santa always poses for a photo with my mom.

Hank, the first baby in the family in 11 years, was the center of much attention.

Hank, the first baby in the family in 11 years, was the center of much attention.

My sister Lanae gifted our brothers, Brian and Brad, with Kitty Piddle and Dog Drool.

My sister Lanae gifted our brothers, Brian and Brad, with Kitty Piddle and Dog Drool. I also received red hot sauce from her and one fabulous gift I will tell you about in another post.

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling