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Birthday and Christmas

December 23 , 2007

Written January 6, 2008

Dear Friends and Families,


December 23 was Marianne's mom's 88thbirthday and that date had been the target milestone of our trip. Apparently , in the past, Mamo's birthday had always gotten overshadowed by Christmas, so Marianne has tried to compensate by arranging a special gathering on the 23rd. In 2007 we had such a special gathering, but we tacked on a Christmas celebration anyway, since we all wanted presents as soon as we were allowed.

This year we had one of those gift exchanges where, one by one, people had a choice of an unopened present or of a present already opened in an earlier opener's hands. Often, envy over an already opened present won over the thrill of a wrapped, and unknown, gift. Most presents changed hands, to the frustration of some, but it made for fun on our early Christmas.

Elemer discussing with Mamal, a new audience

Checking out the new ring


Starting the present opening

This was the present I liked, but didn't end up with.

Another what-did-I-get present.

Mamo liked her Christmas-present fish, but didn't hold on to it.

Mamal gave Mamo the biggest box of See's chocolates that any of us had ever seen and this was a birthday present, not subject to being taken by a competitor!

Mamo's new shawl

The job of blowing out candles was, as planned, more difficult than expected. In the end, only dunking some of them in water did the trick

Of course we also ate. And we had to make sure we ate enough for a birthday party AND a Christmas dinner. And on the 22nd, the 24th, and the 25th we also ate like it was a day of celebration. Now we need to seriously diet! What about you?


John and Marianne.


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