Seattle's Child

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The Castleberry-Frederico Family Photo by Joshua Huston

Card contest 2021: They’re blended — and bonding

New family celebrates goal-setting, aiming at making the world a better place for all.

Holiday card contest: For Jessica and Brandon Castleberry, the holidays represent more than presents and decorations. It’s a time for togetherness and self-reflection for themselves and for their sons, Aidyn and Jaxon Frederico, ages 12 and 8, and Conor Castleberry, age 4. 

For the Castleberry/Frederico family, holiday activities like baking cookies and decorating the house offer fun opportunities for them to bond. And for this blended family, that bonding time is a top priority.

“The family is the root,” explains Jessica. “It’s what’s important to us.”

But it’s not just family time that makes the holiday season special for the Edmonds family. The holidays are also their time to reflect on the past year and set goals for the upcoming year.

“We ask ourselves, what does each individual person want to work on for the coming year?” says Jessica.

“We really like to focus the goal-making on something personal, or we focus on something that’s going to help us become more bonded as a family.”

She describes her three kids as “extremely active boys who all have completely different personalities.”

“My husband and I encourage each one to stand out in their own way,” she says. When Jessica and Brandon wed, Jessica already had two sons of her own. With Conor’s birth, they became a family of five.  

Beyond family bonding, the Castleberry/Frederico family also focuses on how to make the world a better place.

“We have a lot of discussion about how things that are going on in the world impact our family,” Jessica says.

And she often stresses to her kids how doing one good thing for one person can create change for a lot more people. 

It’s this philosophy of paying it forward that allows the Castleberry/Frederico family to truly embody the spirit of the holidays.

The Castleberry/Frederico family was photographed as part of Seattle’s Child’s 2021 Holiday Card Contest.

See the other Holiday Card Contest winners in the November/December 2021 issue and online!

Nov/Dec cover teaser

First tamales and empanadas, then the slopes! Texas and Northwest traditions combine for a magical Christmas celebration.

New beginnings and new traditions: Two grandmothers are looking ahead to a happy season of new experiences for their toddler.

Sharing time-honored celebrations: They’re combining traditions from Bolivia and Burien, and they’re awaiting a fourth family member.

A happy, high-energy holiday season: This family has hustle — and lots to do! — this time of year, but they still find a way to be together.

How other local families like to celebrate:

Vashon family created its own holiday inspired by — no kidding — Mr. T

Meet Menorasaurus Rex: Renton family puts creative spin on Hanukkah

Our holiday traditions: Mixing up old and new customs

A Christmas Eve present that never surprises

Formerly homeless family happy to have a home for the holidays

Seattle family honors Sikh traditions while celebrating the winter holidays

How we celebrate: Holidays are extra sweet for foster-care advocates


About the Author

Astrid Vinje

Astrid Vinje writes about family travel on her blog, The Wandering Daughter (