Merry Christmas to All

Best wishes for the holiday to all who celebrate it!

Here’s an outline of Christmases they way I remember them as an adult.

My folk’s house, 2001. im002811My brother listens to dad reading the Christmas story.im002815-2From front to back Jonesy, mom, Ty and me.im002821If we don’t all look that chipper, my mom sometimes became emotional at Christmas because we couldn’t measure up to the “excellence” of her childhood Christmases. The daughter of a minister, she recalled a specific protocol that was dear to her: real candles on the tree, no one allowed to see the tree until it was ready, then a bell was rung and everyone entered the living room, and finally, standing about the piano signing Christmas hymns. Traditionally, Christmas is a particularly powerful holiday to the German-speaking people which, of course, includes the German-speaking part of Switzerland.

Thus, in my adulthood, Christmas eve sometimes ended somberly when one of us three males shared some off-topic levity that soured my mom, as we hadn’t shown the necessary gravitas for the occasion. For all that, the holidays were always filled with mutual joy and love as the next photos will attest.

Mom reads surrounded by my boys.im002828-2As mom became elderly, we opted for dinner out on Christmas day… and my brother, the world traveler, often introduced us to new foods and ways of celebrating. A large Vietnamese smorgasbord was standard in my parent’s immediate pre-failing years. You can see how much heavier I was in those days. I’d guess I’m 215 lbs. in that photo.im002830-2Humor was always a big part of shared time [except during the required solemn parts! 🙂 ].im002833Because these meals often involved exotic new dishes and required no prep or cleanup, they were a huge hit. Living alone even then, I absolutely loved sharing this time with my family.im002834-2Christmas day usually involved a walk that included all.im002835-2Before we limited ourselves to purchasing only snacks and treats for Christmas (another fantabulous brainchild of my brother that eliminated all the crazy commercialism), there was no set time to open presents. Though we mostly did so Christmas morning, on this year, we opened in the evening. Here my brother exams a package that perhaps, like many, came from overseas. Gifts were often from the family in Europe.im002857Using some of the newspaper wrapping, mom plays with Ty.im002864Mom extends another overseas package for dad to open.im002867Fat ‘n happy.im002893Back to the kitchen… my brother prepares potatoes for oven roasting.im002909And we all enjoyed good food, companionship… and humor!im002915 im002916 im002920 im002921

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