Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Past, Part 2 (Christmas at the beach and in the snow)

- One one of those village Christmases we couldn't find a place to hang our stockings, so mom and dad hid them and made us go look for them. This was so much fun that we kept it up for several more years.

From childhood

- When we weren't at a village, Christmas was always a little strange. Listening to songs about white Christmases and sleigh rides and such was weird when you're in the tropics. Also, sometimes we had to take part in Dad's responsibilities as a government liason and spend part of Christmas morning visiting local Christian official's houses. We'd come home, open presents, and then take off for a day at the beach.

Beach Christmas:

From childhood

From childhood

Below - The Wiselys are some of my favorite people, and they joined us for Christmas in 1999. This is where we parked to get to the beach. If it rained at all inevitably someone would get stuck in the mud on the way home, which was always fun.

From childhood

From childhood

From childhood

- I have vivid memories from Christmas of 1994. Matt was about two weeks old, and my parents had just discovered he had Downs Syndrome. I didn't know until later how hard that Christmas was for them, and the huge questions and prayers they asked over that vacation. I have much simpler memories, like getting a Michael W. Smith CD and listening to the song "Kentucky Rose" over and over again. I do remember baby Matt - he slept a lot and was adorable.

- Every now and then we were in the US for Christmas. One year my mom's entire family got together, and that's the only time that's happened. The highlight was the meeting of my uncle (a self-described black sheep) and his son, who hadn't seen each other in 20 years since the boy was 2. Quite a reunion. That was the last Christmas that I spent with that grandmother, who was in the middle of battling cancer.

From childhood

From childhood

- My first year back in the US for college I spent Christmas with my grandparents and a couple of aunts and uncles. Loneliest Christmas ever.

- We've had snow on Christmas a couple of times. When we have it, it's so fun. One year when we were road tripping around and it snowed JUST before we took off, we took advantage of the freezing weather and poured water over the broken joint of the side-mirror on our huge missionary hippie VW van. It worked. The mirror that usually hung from the side actually froze in place and for once dad didn't have to wake me up to let him know if there were cars coming up his right side as he needed to change lanes.

From childhood

I know. You all wish you had a soft pink snow-suit just like me.

From childhood

- I always chuckle when I think about the contents of our stockings when we were in Papua. Essentially it was usually our breakfast. We would find big oranges (the Indonesian kind are little and green) and big red apples shipped from somewhere other than Papua. We'd have little dry cereal boxes (also shipped in), hot chocolate packets, wrigleys gum, etc. It was all very thrilling. Oh, and toothbrushes. We ALWAYS get toothbrushes. Then after the stockings are open we all eat our newly-acquired breakfasts together, usually while Dad reads the Christmas story.

From childhood

- My first college Christmas with my parents back in the US, we were all joyously together BUT finances were really tight for my parents. Living in the US is way more expensive than living in Indonesia, and their support actually dropped when they moved back. AND they had college and medical bills. I remember Christmas morning when our landlords showed up at our door with a car FULL of things - a whole ham, a coffee maker, tons of food and other kitchen items, as well as random present. They were santa, and my family was overwhelmed and blessed.


justaweeblether said...

Yes, embarrassingly enough we did watch them all in a couple of months. And it is quite addicting, which is why we got through them so quickly. We stayed up too late many a nights because we just HAD to watch the next one.

It certainly isn’t overt, but it is interesting to see what they do with sacrifice and faith. I told Josh, “Don’t worry. He’s gonna rise again in 3 days.” Was that the last episode? I don’t even know where there are in the season.

This Heavenly Life said...

I'm so enjoying your Christmas memories! How vivid, because they weren't all the same old thing. How memorable because your family was so close. How funny because your snowsuit was ROCKIN'!

Also -- and I'm sorry it's taken SOOO long for me to reply -- my chocolate chip cookie recipe is quite chewy, all the way from edge to center. I really think adding ground oats makes them chewier than I've ever been able to acheive before. Even several days later, after being stored in a tupperware container or ziploc baggie, they stay chewier than others. As always, make sure to not overbake. Hope you like them!

CM said...

I LOVE the way you "fixed" your van!

Niamh Griffin said...

I love the picture of you guys with all the stockings!! So cute. You must have been in shock when you got hit with all that snow though?

debd said...

popping back in and I thoroughly enjoyed your Christmas memories and pictures. What a lovely family.