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 in 2017, I posted the tree picture from every decade, starting with 1977, and also including 1987, 1997, 2007, and 2017 and then I did it again last year with the pictures in 1978, 1988, 1998, 2008, and 2018. At this point, it’s now officially a blog tradition, so without further ado……………..
1979: I’m ten years old. I was in a phase where I almost always had a puppet on my hand. Usually it was Daniel Striped Tiger, but it was Christmas, so I went with Noel Bear. Next to the tree was the big loom that John used to weave stuff on. The tree was in the living room facing the dining room.
L.-r.: Nat (maternal uncle), Laurie (Nat’s girlfriend), John (third parent), my mother, Helga (fourth parent), me, my father, Roxanne (Fred’s wife), and Fred (maternal uncle).
Not pictured: Livia (paternal aunt), who took the picture.
1989: I’m twenty years old, a student at Fordham University in my senior year (I would graduate the following May). I was dating Marina, whom I would marry three years later. The spot where the tree used to be was now occupied by a computer desk, which we all used, so the tree was now on the other side of the living room by the back door to the patio. Nat is two relationships further on at this point, having married Ginny, and both he and Fred have procreated.
Top row, l.-r.: Ginny (Nat’s wife), Helga, my father holding Vicky (Nat & Ginny’s younger daughter), John, Marina, and Fred holding Blair (Fred & Roxanne’s middle son).
Middle row, l.-r.: Livia, my mother, me, and Roxanne holding Dillon (Fred & Roxanne’s youngest son)
Bottom row, l.-r.: Alissa (Nat & Ginny’s older daughter), Jared (Fred & Roxanne’s oldest son), and Nat
1999: I’m thirty years old. I’d been freelance for a year and a half at this point. Marina and I were married in 1992, but this was her last Christmas with us, as we split up in September 2000. Hilariously, ten years later, it’s all the same people as the ’89 pic, just older. Different house, though, as my parents had moved into the house they’re still in, with the tree by the front window in the living room, where it has always been.
Top row, l.-r.: Marina, my father, Helga, Roxanne, Fred, Nat, John, and me
Bottom row: Alissa, Blair, Ginny, my mother, Jared, Dillon, and Vicky
Not pictured: Livia (taking the picture)
2009: I’m forty years old. I’ve started and ended an entire relationship in the decade since the last picture (with Terri), and started another earlier that year. This was Wrenn’s first Christmas with my family. (Her surviving the evening is a big reason why I kept her….) This is the same year I won a Lifetime Achievement Award, got roasted, and achieved my first-degree black belt. Pretty good year, overall. Also in the interim, Fred and Nat have both split up with their wives. Nat has remarried.
This, by the way, is one of my favorites of the Christmas Eve pictures……
Top row, l.-r.: me, Helga, Wrenn, Fred, my mother, my father, Blair, Angela (Jared’s girlfriend), Nat, Donna (Nat’s wife)
Bottom row, l.-r.: Livia, John, and Jared
2019: I’m fifty years old. Fred, Blair, Alissa, Vicky, and Dillon have all moved far away. Jared and Nat are still local, but do their own thing on Christmas Eve (also neither is with the person they were with in the ’09 pic). Wrenn and I now live down the street from my parents’.
L.-r.: Helga, Livia, John, my father, my mother, Wrenn, and me
My father is holding a pillow that Wrenn made from a T-shirt that Dale had actually gotten for my parents before he died and which we lost track of amidst his stuff until recently. It was a nice reminder of him for everyone.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!