Saturday, December 8, 2012

Day 9 of A 31 Day Challenge Christmas Past

Christmas has always been a special day for me, in the past it was filled with lots of presents, and family gatherings.

This was Christmas 1975  on the island of Kauai Hawaii,, that dapper youngt man in the Cole Jr. High Tee Shirt is me, that is my nephew David Akanna Espinda the IV or as he was nicknamed Loopy back then, and my Aunt Karen  We are all much older now, where has the time gone?

From when I was 11 onward the family would go to California to visit my brother and spend the holiday there, and when my brother got married in the mid 1970's we would spend the holiday with his family.

 My mom and dad on the deck of the Balcoutha in San Francisco Bay Harbor Christmas 1969
 My mom and I on the Balcoutha Christmas 1969

My dad and mom at my brothers house in Orinda, 1969

My Sister in Law Raygenis Stewart Richards, my Brother Geoff and my mother Evelyn.

Another photo of my Aunt Karen and my Mom, in Hawaii 1975

Me, my mom, my aunt Caren and David the 4th Hawaii
My brother Geoff, in front of a near naked Christmas Tree.

In 1986, I had Christmas in Las Vegas because from July 4th 1986 to August 7th 1987 I lived in Las Vegas.  I had Christmas in an international Coffee House and News Stand called the Newsroom, which unfortunately no longer exists.  It was one of the most unique Christmases I had had up to that point.

 The original Newsroom Coffeehouse on the Las Vegas Strip near downtown Las Vegas December 1986
 The Newsroom Mark 2 off Mark Twain Avenue near the University of Las Vegas, back when Tarcanian lead the athletic program
Sunset in Las Vagas.

Self portrait of me in Las Vegas 1986.  The Hawaiian shirt was a Christmas gift from my Aunt Caren from 1975.

By the time I had moved to Las Vegas, the family get togethers were becoming less and less frequent.  My brother had left a marriage he had been in since 1973 and it would be few and far between when we would see each other on a regular basis.

When my mom passed in 1998 the concept of family gatherings at Christmas was something that was a distant memory, until 2008.

In 2008 I got married, and had the first family Christmas for the first time in many years.  This year my step daughter Natasha came to Colorado to be part of the wedding, which took place Christmas Day.

We had gone to midnight mass before and came home and opened presents after words.

It was one of the more interesting Christmases I have ever had.

 Step daughter Natasha and her Christmas Bear
 My wife and step daughter laughing it up
Me getting a glass chess set.
My wife wrestling with the bear she got her daughter.

When I got married I got the best present I could, an extended family and family gatherings again at Christmas.

This was the best present in the world.  

It was nice to get something under the tree, but for me being with family was more important.  Having the opportunity to spend the holidays with mother and father in law, uncles and aunts step children and grand children was more than any other present.

Me and the extended family 2009, 10,11.  Me in the Broncos shirtm my wife, my step daughter, my daughter in law and step son.  Yes this is a family tradition.
 Our Lady of the Snows in Bellville Illinois
The family gathering with Grandma Dunn 2009 Farmington Missouri.

My step Son Josh and his wife Mary Christmas 2009

For the first time since 2008, it will be my wife and myself this year.  However knowing how things work out, by next year we will be in Arizona or Missouri, or even perhaps Hawaii for Christmas.  

For me, family is the greatest gift one can have on Christmas and something to be cherished.

Here's hoping you all have a wonderful Christmas with your family, no matter where in the world you may be.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely love you! The best Christmas I ever received. I love you with all my heart!
    ~You wife,
    Naila Moon