Friday, December 22, 2006

My Favorite Christmas

Here it is December 22 already and I'm just realizing that we haven't spent any time talking about Christmas! Well, there are the usual excuses. We finished the fall semester at Pacific McGeorge School of Law and I've just concluded grading forty administrative law exams (three questions X forty students=grading marathon). The first wave of visitors arrived yesterday in the person of my youngest (48 year old) brother. The second and third waves come today and tomorrow. And Santa, wearing a brown UPS shirt, is due here tonight with high tech presents to completely re-model the Bloggcast Center. So this is a busy season for many reasons.

At this time of the year, I always think about Christmases past. Christmas for me as a child was, of course, the greatest holiday of the year. Everything about it was exciting. My devoutly Catholic parents kept us grounded in the "reason for the season," while at same time making the holiday a child's dream.

When I was very young, we lived in Germany. I attended a German kindergarten and learned to sing Heilige Nacht before I knew it as Silent Night. Being in a foreign country added to the mystique of the holiday. There were Advent calendars, special chocolates, nuts, and fruits, and Sankt Nikolaus Tag.

We moved from Germany to Albuquerque, New Mexico when I was in second grade and the mystique continued. I learned the Los Posadas traditions and hand-made luminarios adorned the yards in our neighborhood.

From Albuquerque we came to California, where I had to wrap my mind around the idea of going to the beach on Christmas!

Since then, I've been all around the country and the world at Christmas time and I've met people of all kinds at Christmas. Which was my favorite? 1974, Monterey, California, and a great party at a friend's house? 1977, Rapid City, South Dakota, a white Christmas for real? 1982, Tucson, Arizona, sipping margaritas in the desert? 1985, London, England, ('nuff said), 1990, Kaiserlautern, Germany? 1998, Carmichael, California? 2002, Washington, DC, attending the National Tree Lighting ceremony next to the White House? or 2006, back home in Carmichael?

Well, my favorite Christmas has always been the one I'm then celebrating! Happy Christmas--froehlich Weinachten--feliz Navidad!

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