My parents started hosting Christmas Eve in 1977. On the 40th anniversary of that momentous occasion, here’s my family every ten years.
Christmas Eve, 1977. I was eight years old. We’d been living in the two-family house my parents bought the bottom half of for a year and a half. (Also the house my mother grew up in.)
Top row left to right: my uncle Nat (my mother’s brother), my aunt Roxanne (Fred’s wife), my aunt Monica (my mother’s sister), John (my third parent), Laurie (Nat’s girlfriend), and my uncle Fred (my mother’s other brother).
Bottom row left to right: my father and mother, and the top of my head.
Not pictured: my aunt Livia (my father’s sister), who took the picture.
Christmas Eve, 1987. I was eighteen years old. I was a sophomore at Fordham University. Marina and I had been dating for seven months. In the previous decade, Nat had broken up with Laurie, married and divorced his second wife, Toni, and married Ginny and had a kid with her.
Top row, left to right: Roxanne, Marina, John, Helga (my fourth parent), my father.
Middle row, left to right: my mother, my aunt Ginny (Nat’s third wife), Alissa (Nat & Ginny’s oldest daughter).
Bottom row, left to right: Fred, Blair (Fred & Roxanne’s middle son), Jared (Fred & Roxanne’s oldest son), Nat.
Not pictured: me, as I took the picture. And Livia’s not in the picture either, for some reason.
Christmas Eve, 1997. I was twenty-eight years old. Marina and I had been married for five years. I was working as an Editor at Byron Preiss Multimedia Company, and I’d signed a contract for my first novel, after having several short stories published. My parents had sold the house that my mother, Fred, Nat, Monica, and I had all grown up in six years earlier, and they bought the house they still live in today.
Top row, left to right: John, Fred, Roxanne, Ginny, Helga, my father, Marina, Jared Fred.
Bottom row, left to right: Alissa, my mother, Blair, Dillon (Fred & Roxanne’s youngest son), and Vicky (Nat & Ginny’s youngest daughter), Livia.
Not pictured: Me, taking the picture.
Christmas Eve, 2007. I was thirty-eight years old. Marina and I had been divorced for seven years, and Terri and I had been dating for six. Nat and Ginny had divorced, and Nat had married Donna (whom he would later divorce). Fred and Roxanne had also divorced.
Top row, left to right: Jared, my mother, Elizabeth (Monica’s youngest daughter), Helga, Livia, Fred, Blair, Nat, Donna (Nat’s wife).
Bottom row, left to right: Terri, me, John, my father.
Christmas Eve, 2017, a.k.a. this evening. I’m forty-eight years old. Terri and I split up in 2009 and I met Wrenn one month later. Wrenn and I have been married for eight months.
Top row, left to right: Wrenn, Livia, Helga, Dale (Wrenn’s adoptive big brother), John, my mother.
Bottom row, left to right: me and my father.