It was wonderful to have a house full of family and friends on Christmas Day. My brother and my sister-in-law are visiting from Chicago. My brother Andy came through with some nice gifts for the kids on Christmas morning. Nadia ordered us matching pajamas for the annual photo in front of the tree. I cherish the moments when our three children are together. My son Owen is visiting during his break from his university studies. They really have grown up and it is fascinating to see how they interact with each other. I hope they stay close their entire lives.
We invited friends over to celebrate Christmas Dinner with us last night. Nadia made chicken paprikash, her Bolivian Christmas corn and cheese salad, and delicious egg nog. I like listening to Christmas music because it reminds me of growing up in the 1970s and 1980s in Caspian with my parents and brothers. We always had plenty of snow and it was a vibrant, small town with St. Cecilia’s Church and the Caspian Community Center as community gathering points. I also remember the Christmas parties the Heikkila family used to host at my grandparents’ house in Caspian. I miss my parents and would love to go back in time and experience Christmas again as a child.
I felt we were creating our own memories for our family. It will be interesting to hear from the kids what they remember about the holidays. We moved around the world and spent Christmas in other places as well during the Winter Breaks from school.
In the afternoon I took Obi for a long walk in and around Milly Bog (Navoi National Park). It was a beautiful, sunny day although in the shade it was still bitter cold. Christmas is not celebrated here in Uzbekistan and it was a normal Sunday for Uzbeks. They do celebrate New Year’s and official holidays are December 31 through January 3.