Merry Christmas!

Chief Joseph Lodgepole Pine
Heatherwood Winter

Merry Christmas to all our families and friends! This little Chief Joseph Pine is a star of brightness in our winter garden. It radiates the Christmas spirit not needing any lights or ornaments.

I have so many fond memories of Christmas pasts. I remember my childhood Christmases when Santa brought the Christmas tree along with the presents after we went to bed on Christmas Eve. How excited I was when I would walk out of the bedroom to see a beautiful fully decorated tree surrounded by wrapped gifts in the living room. I remember one Christmas when Mom would not let us come out of the bedroom because Santa was running a little late. It seemed like it took forever when I heard a whistle. We rushed out of the bedroom to see a marvelous train running around the Christmas tree. And there was Pop, with his eyes half shut but with a big smile on his face.

Christmas has always been a family affair. When we were kids, Christmas Day was held up at Grandma and Grandpa’s house with all our Aunts and Uncles. For several years my twin brother and sister and I were the only kids. We were the center of everyone’s attention. As our families got larger, we opened our gifts in the morning at our own houses, then got together as a whole family for Christmas dinner first at Grandma and Grandpa’s old house, then at our house, then back at Grandma and Grandpa’s new house.

After Grandma and Grandpa had passed, we moved Christmas Dinner back to our house. As all the families expanded and my generation had children of their own, Christmas became a three event day. First, my generation had breakfast and opened gifts with their children in the early morning. In the late morning, our respective immediate families gathered at Mom and Pops for gift unwrapping and Christmas Dinner. Then finally, the whole family with our Aunts, Uncles, and cousins gathered at Mom and Dad’s for Christmas desert. What a wonderful Day!

Over the years, the family has gotten larger and larger. Now there are three generations in the family. Some of us have moved in and out of the area. We also spread our time between our respective in-law families. But we still try to get together as best as we can on Christmas Day. This year will be the first, and hopefully the last, Christmas that we will not be physically together.

Mary and I wish all of you a wonderful and healthy Christmas. Our thoughts and love are with all of you.

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