Christmas Letter 2021

Merry Christmas Friends and Family,

Hayley, Judah, Jake, and Bree

We hope this missive finds you well, warm, and enjoying many a festivity celebrating the birth of King Jesus! 2021 has been an, erm, interesting year for the Prahlows, but we continue to forge ahead, thankful for all we’ve been blessed with and eager to what God has in store for us next. Our overarching news is that we said goodbye to our beloved (if a bit battered) Arlee home, though we remain renting in St. Louis while waiting for the housing market to cool off a bit. And now, to everyone’s highlights for 2021.


Five-year-old Bree started pre-K at Our Savior Lutheran this Fall. She loves going to school so much that the worst part of her day is usually leaving. She’s supremely outgoing and social, often saying “hi” to people while walking into the store, singing her favorite songs, and telling complete strangers that she loves their hair or shoes. Bree loves her many animals, especially when she can help mom with the rabbits. She’s also taken to building Lego with dad, especially any sets that cross over with her other love: shows on Disney+. One of her favorite memories from this past year was a trip to Great Wolf Lodge, which she reminds us about every time she hears someone say “Kansas City.”


Judah turned two this year and loves everything relating to dinosaurs (‘saurs) and cars (caws. Judah may secretly be from Boston). He’s our little empath and is always ready to provide a hug or snuggle to anyone in need of one. He’s enjoyed more mom time this fall while Bree is at school and loves hanging out with dad as much as he can too. Judah loves to run, explore, climb, and get into as many things as he can. He relishes reading books, playing with his toys, and taking long afternoon naps (much to the delight of his parents). He’s truly a member of the TikTok generation, as he loves to dance and wiggle anytime he hears something remotely resembling music.

At the St. Louis Zoo

In what is now year seven, Hayley runs her own small business, The Scrub Cap Co, where she makes scrub caps for doctors, nurses, and vets, while also taking on the occasional side project. She’s also been busy with Wool+Down Rabbitry, where she raises American Fuzzy Lop rabbits and somehow manages to find time to make the occasional rabbit show. She also attends Homeschool Group every Friday with Bree and Judah, in addition to all her many other mom-ing tasks. Not to be outdone by Jacob, Hayley leads the Service Team at Arise, where she coordinates volunteer work in the community and church.

Preaching at Arise

Jacob continues to serve as lead pastor at Arise Church, in Fenton, MO, the church that we planted in September 2020. Launching a church during a pandemic has been an adventure, but it’s rewarding work. In January, Jacob experienced a cardiac event that led to heart surgery and persisting mental health struggles. It’s been a particularly hard year for him, but he’s been working hard to abide in Christ and remain faithful to his calling. He’s rediscovered his love for building Lego and eagerly builds with Hayley and the kids. He continues to read copiously and is always looking for more books to add to his reading list. In his spare time, Jacob watches TikToks with Bree and Judah (and manages to make a few on occasion too).

Finally, in the spirit of Jolabokaflod, the Icelandic tradition of giving books and chocolate for Christmas, we wanted to leave you with a couple of book recommendations for this new year. Judah’s favorite book from this year (we think) is Little Blue Truck’s Christmas. Bree recommends all of the Pigeon books, but especially The Pigeon Needs a Bath! Hayley’s favorite read this year was Stephen King’s 11/22/63. And Jacob (who’s annual list of books is coming soon) recommends Tish Harrison Warren’s Prayer in the Night. Finally, the best book that Hayley and Jacob read together this year was The Liturgy of the Ordinary, also by Tish Harrison Warren.

And with that, we wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year! Our prayer for you this season and this coming year is best summed up in the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 15: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Grace and Peace, Jacob, Hayley, Bree, and Judah Prahlow


Published by Jacob J. Prahlow

Husband of Hayley. Dad of Bree and Judah. Lead pastor at Arise Church. MATS from Saint Louis University, MA from Wake Forest University, BA from Valparaiso University. Theologian and writer here and at Conciliar Post. Find me on social at @pastorjakestl

One thought on “Christmas Letter 2021

  1. I just bought the Stephen King book at Savers! Was going to save it for plane ride to Hawaii but may have to start it now! Merry Christmas to you all! Leslee

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