Every year, my parents host Christmas Eve, and have since 1977. Each year, we also take a picture of everyone present in front of the Christmas tree.
In honor of the 40th anniversary of their hosting it, I posted the tree picture from every decade, starting with 1977, and also including 1987, 1997, 2007, and 2017. I figured it’d be fun to do it again this year with the “8” years. So without further ado…………..
1978: I’m nine years old. Prior to 1977, my grandmother was the one who hosted Christmas Eve, but in July 1976, my grandfather died. Grandma did Christmas that year anyhow, but after that, she moved back to her home town in western Pennsylvania (she always hated New York, and only moved there to be with Grandpa), and my parents took over. Grandma visited us that year for Christmas, though it was the only time she did so. Monica would later move out to Pennsylvania also.
Top row, l.-r.: John (my third parent), Fred (maternal uncle), Roxanne (Fred’s wife), Monica (maternal aunt), Grandma, Laurie (Nat’s girlfriend), Nat (maternal uncle).
Middle row, l.-r.: my father, my mother, Livia (paternal aunt).
Bottom row: me.
1988: I’m 19 years old, and attending Fordham University. I’d been dating Marina for a year and a half, and would marry her in 1992. My parents have always opened their house to whoever wanted and/or needed it. My dear friend John Drew (with whom I would later do The Chronic Rift on public access in the 1990s and as a podcast in the 2000s and 2010s) had moved in with us after a falling out with his parents. He was dating Marina’s best friend Judy, and they were both part of Christmas that year, as was my parents’ friend Barbara. Nat had broken up with Laurie, married and divorced someone else, and then married Ginny and had a daughter, while Fred and Roxanne had also had two sons.
Top row, l.-r.: Barbara, my father, Helga (fourth parent), John, Marina.
Middle row, l.-r.: Nat, Livia, my mother, Ginny, Alissa (Nat & Ginny’s daughter), Jared (Fred & Roxanne’s oldest son), Fred, Blair (Fred & Roxanne’s second son).
Bottom row, l.-r.: me, Judy, John.
Not pictured: Roxanne.
1998: I’m 29 years old, and have had my first two novels published. My parents sold the house we bought in 1976 and bought a bigger house in 1991. Marina and I have been married for six-and-a-half years. Her father, Valery, joined us for Christmas Eve on several occasions, including this particular year. Both Fred and Nat have had additional children.
Top row, l.-r.: Fred, Roxanne, Livia, Helga, my mother, John, Valery, Marina, Nat, Jared, Ginny.
Bottom row: l.-r.: Alissa, Blair, Vicky (Nat & Ginny’s youngest daughter), Dillon (Fred & Roxanne’s youngest son), me.
Not pictured: my father.
2008: I’m 39 years old. Marina and I split up in 2000, and Terri and I moved in together in 2001. Both Fred and Nat have divorced, with Nat having married Donna, whom he would later divorce. Fred has not remarried, though he’s currently living with someone. Roxanne moved to Florida, and Dillon went with her, so they did not join us, and both of Nat’s kids had also moved away.
Top row, l.-r.: Donna, Nat, Helga, Dillon, my father, Fred, John.
Bottom row, l.-r.: me, Terri, Livia, my mother, Jared.
2018: I’m 49 years old. Terri and I split up in 2009, Wrenn and I met a month later, and we moved in together in 2010, married in 2017. Fred moved to Florida. My cousins are all grow’d up and the only one still in the area has his own family with whom he does Christmas, so it’s now down to the basics.
L.-r.: me, my mother, John, Helga, my father, Wrenn, Livia.