Wonderful Christmas week 2016

We started Christmas week by attending the Nutcracker as a family.  It was a surprise since we didn’t think we could afford it this year, but wife M bought discount seats in the upper back and cooked dinner at home (normally we go out to eat).  It was a pleasant evening, all of us dressed up, and we took N, who is living with us t his year.  

Christmas Eve Eve was spent at a party with friends.  The friends are good and social people, so have good and interesting friends, and we enjoyed our time there.  I met Leo, who is from the Phillipines, loves to motorcycle and is planning a trip to Oregon this summer.  I also spent time talking to Steve and family, who we’ve known for a very long time and didn’t know we were both friends with the host. I also spent time speaking with John, who is from Puyallup, works as a consultant and whose family is heading to Bend for a week of skiing.  There was amazing homemade eggnog, whose alchohol was distilled by the person who brought it, people singing carols and lots of chit chat.  One of my favorite things about the hosts is they have many friends, and everyone always asks how we know the hosts.
Christmas Day was pleasant.  We slept in, then had Wife M’s sister and mom over for dinner and a movie (Krampus).  It was a nice evening with delicious food, and I was able to squeeze in a walk just prior to sunset, which may be my favorite time/moment of the year in Seattle, since it is peaceful and I love the way the light hits the surrounding hills.

Christmas Day, N was sick, so stayed home, but the rest of us headed up to MOm and Dads for Christmas brunch and dinner, with my sister and her family.  We had a wonderful day of food, family and interaction.  It was only the second time I’ve seen my nephew and niece J and P, who are now a month old.  I spent much of the day holding, feeding and changing J or P, and it was great to spend some time taking care of them and helping my sister get a break 🙂  Babies are fun to take care of – they just need lots of love, and changing a diaper or walking them around and patting their back is a piece of cake (the hard part is the late night feedings, which I didnt ahve to do :).  

There was a small threat of snow/rain all weeekend, but overall it was a chilly, dry, cloud weekend.

Today I think is a holiday, since Christmas was on Sunday, but I am heading into the office for a few hours to make a showing, since I am out ext week.  

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Wonderful Christmas week 2016

It is a uniquely pretty day in Seattle today (plus some thoughts on Seattle so-called snow)

Today is cold by Seatttle standards (about freezing), and it is cloudy, but the sun is shining like a golden orb through the clouds and some flakes of snow are falling from the sky although the ground is still dry.  We don’t get many days like this in Seattle, especially during Christmas week, and it is pretty.  Yesterday was flat out clear and cold, and tomorrow is supposed to have some light snow then light rain.  

In my lifetime there have been very few white Christmases.  In 1983 they forecasted heavy snow but it came in as heavy rain instead, in 1990 we already had a lot of snow (a foot or more) by Seattle standards and it dumped another 6 inches early Christmas morning (i.e. overnight between Christmas Eve and Christmas), 1996 it snowed a *lot* the day after Christmas, 1997 it snowed Christmas Eve morning but melted by afternoon, and 2008 we had some residual snow from the previous week’s fairly heavy snows.

In my lifetime, most heavy snow periods last 1 to 5 days maximum.  For example, in 1980 it snowed a lot on Monday and Tuesday, was clear and cold Wednesday and Thursday, and rained on Friday.  That is pretty typical for Seattle’s so-called snowstorms.  If I remember correctly, the years where we’ve had snow stick around for more than a week was the 1985 pre-Thanksgiving storm(s) that lasted over 2.5 weeks, the 1990 pre-Christmas storm that lasted from December 18th until about New Year’s, and the 2008 storm(s) that started in Mid-December and lasted until just after Christmas.  That is about it.  

Most Seattle heavy snows aren’t really forecasted until last minute — they’ll say for a few dasys “this storm is going to miss us but we might get a little snow” then the day of or day before they’ll modify it to, “Oh wait, the storm is sliding farther north/sout than we thought and we’re going to have heavy snow.”  The 1990 storm they copletely misforecast (“maybe an inch or two” became a foot with high winds and freezing temperatures).  In 1996 they forecasted heavy snow north of us for several days until 12 hours before the next wave hit they changed the forecast to heavy snow with the high temperature before dawn – that was fun!

It is a uniquely pretty day in Seattle today (plus some thoughts on Seattle so-called snow)

Christmas Party was a success last night

Wife M hosted our annual Christmas party last night, a party I don’t necessarily look forward to but also understand her need to have so support. She had to do a lot of the prep on her own this year, since were were gone last weekend and I had to work this week and she is on break.  It turned out well.  We had maybe 40 people there despite the Seahawks game, and it was all people we enjoy.  We had the food prepped by a local taco stand which was fun, and served Champagne mixed with a little tequila.  Everyone seemed tired, perhaps from the election, and the party was done by 10:55.  Our first party was six years ago, and it was special and memorable, and we expanded from that.

Christmas Party was a success last night

The Christmases I remember most fondly are not when I was a kid…

My favorite Christmas seasons were in the early years of my marriage to Wife M. When we’d decorate our apartment and go to Christmas parties with friends and watch Xmas specials. The night before Xmas Eve we spent with friends attending The Nutcracker, Xmas Eve was with my family and Xmas at her grandma’s place. We loved those times, and they got even better when the kids were a few years old. But I will always remember those first Christmases with Wife M most fondly.

The Christmases I remember most fondly are not when I was a kid…

Am thinking of the year dad got up at 5 AM on Christmas morning to help me on my paper route

Dad loved Christmas morning.  He loved showering his kids with gifts and watching us revel in the thrill of Christmas morning. Mom was a saver (i.e. didn’t like to spend money), so we didn’t always get the most expensive gifts as kids when mom/dad were still a young couple trying to pay a mortgage, but dad definitely got an A for effort… 

Every Christmas, dad would make a big show of having us wait outside the living room while he lit the fire, turned on the tree, got the camera ready and so on, then he’d give us the okay and we’d race in.  He was always just as involved with our opening our presents as we were, sitting nearby, feeling as excited about us opening our gifts as we were getting them.  It was like every gift and every Christmas was like The Old Man in A Christmas Story giving his son the air rifle.  Wife M is that way, too – she loves giving gifts more than getting them (and she loves getting them). 

Even as teens and then adults, dad ensured this still happened by upping the ante – buying us electronics, giving us cash, etc. One year, mom was recuperating from surgery so could not keep an eye on dad during Christmas season – that was the most amazing Christmas we ever had as far as gifts go 🙂  Later, when we had kids, the cycle started over again with his grandkids – when we arrive at the house he does everything he can to make it an awesome experience for all of us 🙂  

But in 7th grade I had a paper route,  Which means before we could start our Christmas morning, I’d have to spend an hour or two delivering 100 papers over a 6-block area.  Dad couldn’t wait that long, and didn’t want my sister (in 4th grade) and I to wait that long, so after hosting his inlaws until 1 AM on Christmas Eve he got up at 5 AM that Christmas morning, pulled my sister and I out of bed, and the three of us piled in his van and delivered the papers together so we could have our CHristmas morning at 7 AM.

What a wonderful memory that is.  I feel love when I think of that memory. 🙂

Am thinking of the year dad got up at 5 AM on Christmas morning to help me on my paper route