On December 22nd when we returned from our fun evening with the Looslis and their friends, we got a nice surprise….Josh had gotten a ride from AZ and was waiting for us at the condo. We were so glad to see him and excited that he would be with us the next day when we would be greeting Shawni and Dave and their five grand kids.
The most exciting news of the season was that the Pothiers had decided to come straight from Shanghai to our house for Christmas! It was a WONDER to have them here and to be the first to hear about their wild adventures from their own mouths! We had “decked the house” and could hardly wait to see them!
A little closer look at the stockings waiting for Santa to fill:
Nativity scene hand carried to us from Jerusalem by Eli many years ago.
They arrived at the airport about 11 p.m. on the 23rd and of course, squealing and hugging ensued! How great it was to see them all looking so happy and excited to be back in the U.S.! We brought three cars to get all their bags and bodies squeezed in. I loved my ride home with the girls (while the guys loaded the bags in the other cars) spewing out fun stories of their “best and worst” things about living in China for four months. Each story was unique and fun to hear!
We arrived home about midnight, which was three in the afternoon Shanghai time so even though some of the kids had hardly slept a wink on the long plane rides, they were bright-eyed despite having just killed themselves to complete finals at their schools just before they stepped out their Chinese door for the last time.
By 1:30 a.m. we had nestled into our beds and with morning light, the kids were excited out of their minds when they woke up to see their first white Christmas!
It was Christmas Eve and Shawni and Dave had just a few hours to get ready for Christmas. Though several packages had come by UPS AND USPS, there was still a lot to do! The Looslis arrived and the kids had a blast in the snow while the shopping and preparing for our Jerusalem Supper continued.
We were thrilled that Noah and Kristi and their five were also here from California. They had been staying with Kristi’s sister who has moved to Draper with her family but joined us for our Christmas Eve tradition of having a supper that was similar to the one Mary and Joseph might have enjoyed with Mary’s family just before their departure for Bethlehem.
Twenty four of us feasted on fish, dates,figs, flat bread and falafel, bread and a honeycomb and fish (which some of the kids actually love). When we light the candles, throw on a few headdresses and turn off the lights, it’s magical! We had 24 at our table that we had built just for such occasions.
We used our plates that Charity and I have hauled home from Jerusalem in years gone by!
After the dinner, we had so much fun re-enacting the Nativity scene. We were lucky to have so many angels, shepherds, wise men, donkey, lovely Mary and Joseph AND a REAL baby Jesus. Precious!
Nothing brings as much joy as a nativity scene packed full of cousins!
Let’s look at that little angel on the lower right one more time. Somehow he managed to bring a touch of the real world into the picture !
Christmas morning was so fun! After the other two families left, the Pothier kids opened their presents that they had chosen for each other. It was such a sweet scene with big hugs after the presentation of each gift.
Those hugs carried right through to Christmas morning and even though I didn’t get a picture of one hug, I’m sure you’ll see that on Shawni’s blog when she posts at 71toes.com. A sweet experience.
Eva sent a beautiful blanket so that Rick can wrapped himself in leaves any time of year, not just on his birthday:
And Saydi sent another masterpiece book of our fun at the Bear Lake Reunion this summer. She is the master. The skin on her fingers must be totally worn off from doing not only the Bali book and Bear Lake but but also from editing myriads of family photos for her photography business. As you can tell it was worth it (to us)!
Rick is always in charge of the gifts for the adults. Since we have a tennis tournament at every reunion, he thought it would be perfect to give everyone a really good racket to practice with. Josh left his racket home but here are the Loosli’s, Pothiers and Eyres with their new gifts:
I think these two have winning on their minds. What do you think?
And the treasure of the season…..Lucy’s letter to Santa. What a child! I like that Santa too!