Sunday, December 25, 2011


THEN: We are moments away from the entire clan gathering in our home for a Christmas lunch and then an afternoon of fun, gift giving and going outside for a long walk to tire the kids out, and then a dinner around 5 or 6 pm and then games and conversation etc.

The house is ready to receive our children and grandchildren, and there is something nostalgic happening here, because we are convinced this is our last Christmas here.
We will list the property in January and look for something smaller. After 20 years, there is some attachment to this beautiful place.Who am I kidding? A Lot of emotional attachment!
So Christine is typical fashion has set the tables for all of us, six adults and five children. It is beautiful.
We will have lunch at noon in the kitchen and then a leisurely transition to the tree in the living room and to gift exchanges. 

AND NOW: Well, actually, now I can speak in the past tense, because it has come and gone. We sat together and I read from Luke 2 and Simeon's remarks upon seeing the newborn Christ. Then we opened presents. We drag this out and watch each child and adult open a gift rather than do a mad wrapping tear. Children grow antsy of course when it's the adult's turns to open presents.

Finally Christine and I came to the BIG secret, the gifts we had saved until the last. Each of the five grandchildren received identical boxes in which was a several page graphic invitation and disclosure of Grandma's and Grandpa's plan to take everyone to Disneyland during the March school break. As they opened in unison, we asked Kailyn to read the document and each child rapidly turned pages to keep up. It was sinking in that this was real. Then each of them found a green T-shirt  with the words, "I'm Going to Disneyland.' We gave each adult a bottle of Bacchus and a 5-day entrance pass to Disneyland as well. We are excited.

Front L-R: Jeff, Kale, Gina, Tim, Kadence, Cari, Kailyn, Rear L-R: Ron, Ryan, Jayden, Christine
Then an afternoon walk outside, and a fantastic turkey dinner which Christine prepared so well. And later, table puzzles done, and games played, and songs sung at the piano, and nibbling and the traditional family portrait. At a mid-night conclusion. A great day of family fun.

Today is boxing day and some necessary cleanup.


  1. Wonderful to see the pics of you all and descriptions of a Merry Christmas indeed!

  2. It was a wonderful day Dad!
    And we can't wait for March!!!