Mother’s Day: A Letter To My Children

To all my children,

On this Mother’s Day as I get to enjoy being extra celebrated, I feel like I should be celebrating all of you.  I want to sincerely thank each of you for truly bringing out the best in me, for giving me life, and purpose. For teaching me what God’s unconditional love looks and feels like, and for teaching me what patience and forgiving seven times seventy looks like.  (And then how to do it all over again the next day and the next.) Continue reading “Mother’s Day: A Letter To My Children”

On the eve of Christmas Eve

The fourth week of Advent started on Christmas Eve Eve this year.  If I’m completely honest we forgot to light the candle on our Advent wreath.  We aren’t perfect. And even Advent is unmastered some times. But we did light candles.  Lots of candles. First at the candlelight service at church and then on top of a birthday cake while we sang Happy Birthday to the Savior of the World. Continue reading “On the eve of Christmas Eve”

Going to See Santa

“All the little kids waiting for pictures with Santa were wearing their super fancy Christmas outfits.  We shoved two people in a sweater and called it good.” ~Nina

The tradition started when Trevor was one week old, and has continued for the past twenty one years.  The Mastrantonios go to the mall and take Santa pictures.

When they were little it meant those same matchy-matchy Christmas outfits Nina was referring to.  Now it is regular clothes or ugly Christmas sweaters. And while they would never actually admit it, I think they kind of like the tradition.  Or else they pretend to so they won’t hurt my feelings. Either way I get a picture of all of them together, so I’m good with it. Even my brother, their beloved Uncle UB, said this year, “I used to feel sorry for the kids having to take Santa pictures at the mall, then I thought that poor Santa for having such big kids on his lap, but he looks really happy.”  So. . . . progress.

They laugh while waiting in line, discuss who is sitting on Santa’s lap this year, and make silly faces at all the babies and toddlers waiting in line too.  And my heart swells. Every year. With people bustling around us. Hurried and worrying, rushing to get this and that done. We are calm. We are happy. We are giggling at inside jokes.  We are slowing things down in spite of being at the busy mall. And I love it.

This year they decided to wear ugly Christmas sweaters.  The fifteen year old was missing her older sister so much that she chose a two person sweater for them to wear.  The nineteen year old was a little less thrilled about this. But 
she was a good sport, and Santa loved it. He insisted that they be the ones to sit on his lap so he could poke his head over the top.  I couldn’t love it more.

I love our traditions, big and small.  I hope they will always want to take Santa pictures, and I hope that over the years the pictures gets bigger and bigger as grandchildren fill in the open spots.

Kicking off the Christmas Season

The Saturday after Thanksgiving is a holiday in our house.  Every year, for the past dozen or so years, we have a Wreath Party and Open House.  Family and friends come from near and far to make their own Christmas or Advent wreath, decorate some Christmas cookies, write a letter to Santa, drink hot cocoa overflowing with marshmallows and candy canes, and just kick off the Christmas Season.  Our house is packed to the seams with happy people bustling around chatting, laughing, creating. Continue reading “Kicking off the Christmas Season”

An UNMASTERED Thanksgiving

All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.  ~2 Corinthians 4:15 NIV

Thanksgiving morning dawns early.  We are blessed in the Mastrantonio house that Grama and Papa, even though visiting and staying with us, want to prepare and cook the turkey!!  Hallelujah!! Come to my house and cook the star of the Thanksgiving meal?! Yes, please! C’mon over. Continue reading “An UNMASTERED Thanksgiving”