Christmas Eve. It was cold and snowy outside, and we spent the evening in Kaysville, UT. Marcos' brother Danny is married to a high quality lady named Marie, and her family invited us to celebrate Christmas Eve with them, complete with family time in the living room reading Christmas stories and sharing memories, singing Christmas songs and of course, a dinner spread fit for royalty. The main course? Ham and dinner rolls, just like my Tutu and Grandpa used to serve at our festive Christmas Eve parties in our Kailua home when I was growing up. I stopped to enjoy the memory.
Using a flannel board, Danny and Marie told the story of the birth of Jesus Christ.
Pai and Mae, with Marie's parents (in the middle).
Our niece Kaitlyn received a toy car on Christmas Eve. She is usually good at sharing, but not even her dad got riding privileges during her honeymoon phase with the car.
The long winter's nap. Mae, Pai, Marcos, Elizabeth and I all slept over at Danny and Marie's on Christmas Eve.
Christmas Day: We took it slowly. We woke up late, had breakfast, and read Christmas stories all before opening presents. The gifts were great, but were largely bonus. The fact that we were able to be together as a family was the main gift this year.
In the evening I took a walk alone out into the cold, clean night along the road where Danny and Marie live, past the skeletal fruit trees frosted with fresh snow, past the silent church and the houses for sale. The snow was falling, and there were very few cars on the roads. It was so peaceful, and so silent, and so still. My life is rarely silent and still, so I stayed out as long as I could still feel my face, before I turned back around for home. I love the way Robert Frost describes the setting in "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"...
Marcos and I in our new matching pajama pants...
Pai and Elizabeth with the remains of the gifting. Pai is like me, and saves all of the salvageable scraps from the piles of paper. This year all of my wrapping was done with recycled paper, ribbons, and old calendars.
Danny and Marcos demonstrating brotherly love. This is just posing, as their last true argument was in the summer of 2001.