Christmas 2009: The Celebrations!

Though EVERYONE doesn't share my love for the snow, I have enough joy in it for everyone who finds none. :) The December 20th 10” snowfall fulfilled the desire expressed in the familiar strains of “I'm dreaming of a white Christmas…” and set the scene for our California children to fully experience a Currier and Ives sort of Christmas scene. Kari and Gabe arrived Christmas Eve morning (after unexpectedly overnighting in Chicago due to delayed flights) and Julie arrived that afternoon, just in time for Park Street Church’s 4 p.m. Christmas Eve service. We love that service! Dr. Hugenberger does such a great job of putting families at ease and directing everyone's focus to the birth of the Christ Child. Our tradition of meeting the Paul Amico family there continued, as did our tradition of having them back to our home for dinner. We all agreed that it was the best Christmas Eve we've shared together and after dinner, the “Happy Birthday Jesus” celebration, and a few gifts, we reluctantly sent them on their way.

We’re NOT “Skipping Christmas” in Bedford.

Lisa and Paul take on the slopes...after dark, and after the kids have gone to bed so the slopes are open. :) No waiting!

The tradition continues: meeting the Amico family at Park St. Church for Christmas Eve service.

Paul, Dawn, Wiley, Hadden, and Lucy blow out the candle on our “Happy Birthday Jesus” cake.

Christmas morning was full of joy. Long past the stage of children wakening very sleepy “Santa” parents at the crack of dawn, we have to waken our kids by 10 so we capture enough of the day! Traditions run through the season...right down to what we eat for breakfast (almond puff pastry fashioned in the shape of a wreath and mini-smokie sausages), when we read the Christmas Story (right after eating said breakfast), when we open stockings (right after reading the Christmas Story), etc. Gabe, who has only one younger brother, was rather amazed at how long we can stretch opening stockings and gifts. Boys apparently don't linger over such activities and about half way through a marathon gift opening session, he said, “My poor mom! She's missed out on so much all these years with just boys!” It was really fun for us to broaden Gabe's perspective on other ways to do Christmas.

The matching jammies tradition continues, and yes, Gabe was “left out.” I had mercy on him by not making him pink jammie pants!!!

The girls have a moment of hilarity as they opened their stockings.

Smiles all around with new Red Sox gear.

We’re enthralled by Patty Benes’ gift to us of an artistic rendering of Campus by the Sea, based on her experience with us at camp this past summer. Her piece, entitled “Heaven on Earth” is one of the most remarkable pieces of art we’ve seen, much less owned!

We eventually got dressed and prepared dinner and the house for our Christmas dinner guests. This tradition, about five years old now, just gets better every year. Though we think the meal is great, it's nothing compared to the delight of having these friends join us for the evening.

Such a great group...We ate and laughed and talked and ate more, laughed more, and talked until after 11. Besides our family, we're joined by Hank Bazijian, Felicia Collazzo, Paul and Christie Borthwick, and Linda Colleran.

Christmas continues on the 26th, when our dear friends (and H.I.M. Board members) John and Marilyn Nugent join us for the next installment of fun with chosen family. They are loved by everyone in our family and as always, the morning passed way too quickly.

John and Marilyn Nugent joined us for Christmas the morning of the 26th, much to all of our delight.

The 27th arrived and the party continued. After hearing a great sermon at Highrock, we made a quick Dunkin' Donuts stop enroute to Gillette Stadium, where we watch a phenomenal game in perfect conditions, which is more than anyone should ask for on December 27th! After the game, we joined the team in the “tent” for a great celebration dinner and then called it a day. We enjoyed every minute of this “gift” from one our our players and his wife.

Dec. 27th: after church, a quick stop at Dunkin' Donuts enroute to Gillette Stadium to see the Pats prevail over the Jags.

Great time at Gillette. Perfect conditions, perfect game. Go Pats!!!