Christmas Day Magic at Maul-Hall

1-IMG_3765On the first day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
A Partridge in a Pear Tree…

“I have some very good news for you—news that will make everyone happy. Today your Savior was born in David’s town. He is the Messiah, the Lord. This is how you will know him: You will find a baby wrapped in pieces of cloth and lying in a feeding box.” – Luke 2

Today, the magic of Christmas Eve feels like a lifetime ago, and my collection of photographs from worship has already become one of the more popular postings from 2017 (click here).

Since then we have celebrated both Christmas Day and Boxing Day, with the great joy of having six-year-old David and a four-year-old Beks front and center for the fun.

I’m thinking this should be two separate posts, but we’ll see how that plays out.

1-IMG_3794FIRST, it’s important to understand that our daughter Naomi is still just as over-the-top excited about Christmas as she was when she was six, maybe more so. Now factor in her phenomenal generosity, her creative artistic talent, and her deep sense of style. Each wrapped gift a work of art; each moment engaged with love, and anticipation, and genuine joy.

Naomi got her style genes from Rebekah and her faith and generosity from both the Mauls and the Alexanders. Her love of bling and her complete immersion into the Christmas spirit is all her own!

Traditionally, Rebekah and I do a Christmas brunch (then the big meal on Boxing Day). So the opening of presents was punctuated by fresh pots of coffee, toasted muffins, quiche, hot tea, fruit, and a long pause to gather around the table together to thank God for the unsurpassable gift of Jesus.

1-IMG_3790Our grandchildren handled the day beautifully. They received graciously, stopping to say thank you each time, and hugging whoever gave the gift. Everything turned out to be a big hit, but they were both most excited about the collection of books they each received from parents who took good notes during the book fair at school.

My favorites were Beks’ ukelele (she walked around the house all day, strumming the strings and making up songs), and David’s legos. His other big item was a joint gift with his dad – they’re going to a Flyers hockey game together in Philadelphia in January.

1-IMG_3862One reason we do brunch and not the big meal is so we can spend more time simply hanging out as a family, and playing with the children. It may have been close to freezing, but scooters in the cul-de-sac was a must, working up an appetite for proper British afternoon tea.

So we celebrated The First Day of Christmas, and we were reminded that – as the song says – all we really need is that Partridge in a Pear Tree, the one gift, the birth of a savior who is Christ the Lord.

Stay tuned for “Boxing Day” – up next and with photographs you won’t want to miss.

Peace and more – DEREK  


Christmas faith Our home photography relationships

derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at, and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: