Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Day at the Janaros

Merry Christmas from the Janaro family!

Jesus Christ is born. Come, let us adore Him!

We went to the beautiful Midnight Mass, and finally got home around 2:00 AM. But Christmas and Easter pictures are a tradition, so we had to take one quickie while we were still wearing our Christmas duds. Then the kids went to bed so that "Santa" could put the presents under the tree.

Shortly after I awoke in the morning, John Paul was peeking in the room. "I have been sent as a scout," he said in his increasingly deep voice. I was bleary-eyed. Who was that at the door?

Was it this guy?

Or was it THIS GUY?

I had to shake my head so I could see clearly. "Okay John Paul," I said, "we need ten minutes."

We soon came out to the living room and saw a bunch of kids ready to open presents:

What? Who are these kids? We'd better have some coffee!
(Really, that's Christmas 2003, with (LtoR) Teresa, Lucia, Agnese, and John Paul. Josefina is not in the picture because...there was no Josefina. Indeed, the universe once existed without Josefina, or any of these other monkeys.)

But seriously, the kids who opened presents yesterday looked like this:

John Paul (these days he brings down most of
the heavy boxes from the attic for Christmas)

Agnese, who is always a challenge to photograph

Lucia, a lovely young lady

Teresa! (She's the one year old baby in the 2003 picture)

                     And FINALLY....

Josefina (who is a year older than John Paul was in the 2003 picture)

Here's something interesting: Look back at the picture from 2003. Do you see the pajamas that the 3 year old Lucia is wearing on that Christmas morning? Now look at the 6 year old Josefina. Yup, same pajamas. Obviously our kids wear hand-me-downs, and Jojo is still working her way through her sisters' old toddler clothes!
After presents it was time to get ready for the arrival of Uncle Walter and "Papa and Gramma" (and more presents). I've celebrated many Christmases with these precious people, who still take care of me after all these years. The first one that I can remember was in 1966, when I was just short of 4 years old. I don't remember much, other than the fact that Walter got a cowboy. I liked his toy cowboy better than anything I got. And I drew lots of pictures.
[Later in the evening, thanks to the distance-bridging technology of Skype, we were able to "visit" with the other grandparents too, who are three thousand miles away in California. Woo Hoo!! Hooray for Skype!]
I want to say how much I love my wonderful wife. Eileen made it a great day for everyone, with delicious food and hospitality, and an inexhaustible patience in managing a crew of kids-who-were-supposedly-"helping" (really, they were a great help).

I am so grateful for the affection that permeates everything she does. She makes Christmas at our home beautiful and merry. She helps me to remember the Joy, which is sometimes hard for me. I can't have joy alone, but Christ is born into the world and He is the One who has woven our lives together, that we might know His joy and thus come out of our own solitude. Thank you, Eileen. I love you.

Merry Christmas!