Saturday, January 4, 2014

December 24, 2013 Christmas In California - Part One

Christmas Eve is when the big family party is held at my Aunt Pat and Uncle Ed's house. Chrissy, my brother Jeff and I drove down the Pacific Coast Highway to enjoy the sunshine and beaches along the way. We had lunch at Wahoo's Tacos in Huntington Beach to start the trip but first we said goodbye to my parents who were driving down later.
I have no idea what my mom was doing, but she probably was yelling at me "quit driving me crazy you pain in the ass!"

I remember this Santa from my childhood. When I called my mom last week, she told me, "your father is putting up a tree and there is Christmas shit everywhere". I guess Santa was the 'shit' she was talking about. 

My dad sporting a Santa beard since I saw him in Las Vegas two months ago.

Santa on the Huntington Beach pier.

Chrissy & Jeff on the pier with a Cali snowflake above them.

Surfing on Christmas Eve what a great present

After lunch at Wahoo's, it was off to visit family.

It's been six years since we've been here for Christmas. Whenever I call here on Christmas Eve to talk to my cousins, I wish was there. So happy to be here this year for several's been very cold in Chicago already so the warm weather feels great...I love big family parties...and I love good food and my Aunt and my cousins are all great cooks.
What's a family gathering without alcohol?

my Uncle Ed and my dad

my cousin Mary with her granddaughter Karissa

my Uncle built this playhouse for his grandchildren, now his great granddaughters play in it

my cousin Anna with her Grandpa Ed

Chrissy drinking heavily because she has to spend Christmas with my family

At first Karissa wouldn't let me take her picture...

...then she didn't care and even checked if I was still taking pictures

my cousin Annie with her mom, Debbie

my cousin Rose

my cousin Stuart

my Aunt Pat with her granddaughter Karissa

Mary checking on dinner...

...while her cute as a button granddaughter enjoyed her mac 'n cheese

Anna with her Aunt Patty and cousin Cori. Junior on the left is Cori's boyfriend.

Dinner was fantastic and so where the homemade desserts.

Since my brother Georgie was sick and unable to join us...

..I had to play Santa tonight but first I posed with my cousin Mary who has a life long tradition of having her picture taken with her finger in her nose.

These two completely adorable three year old cousins, Karissa and Arianna, showed their appreciation of the gifts that Santa handed to them by screaming at an unbelievably high decibel level right in his ear.

Santa should have brought his reading glasses

My cousin Laura and her boyfriend David with my dad.

I am not sure how Laura's dress changed colors but here she is displaying her present from Chrissy & me. We knew that presents were supposed to be unwrapped in luggage but since we had a late night flight we took our chances with the TSA. It appears that the TSA unwrapped it then used TSA tape to rewrap it...and people complain about the kind folks at the TSA.

My cousin Katt, Laura's mom, joins them on the fireplace. She is holding our gift to Laura who works at the La Brea Tar Pits. It's a book called Dino Poop.

Santa wants some cookies and needs some hard liquor.

Yes I know you can't believe I'm related to anyone this good looking but this side of the family has lots of good looking people.

 Jeff gets a hug goodbye from our cousin Michelle.

David, Laura and Rose wave goodbye.

Katt is handing out dessert doggie bags.

These two little ones live on opposite coasts but just like me, they enjoyed spending Christmas with each other and the rest of the family. It really makes Christmas special.

Chrissy & I drove back to my mom's house along the PCH and stopped for gas in Dana Point so I could get pictures of California Christmas trees.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.


  1. Great letter/summary of the evening, thanks! Though I clearly didn't know there was a picture being taken of me or I would have looked up and smiled... Oh well...

    1. Stuart, sometimes the candid shots turn out much better than posed shots. Glad you like most of the pictures.

    2. Good seeing your family again thru these pictures. I know they were happy you and Chrissy could be a part of the gathering in person this year.

  2. Glad you liked the cheesecake so much you refused to take any pictures of it, don't let anyone else know that Cali has great cheesecake! ;-)

  3. I didn't refuse to take a picture, it wasn't on the table when I took those other pictures. I had a few slices of that delicious cheesecake since you sent some home with my mom.

  4. Thanks for the great memories of Christmas Eve. I wish we could all be together more often and we love it when you, Chrissy and Jeff are here. Missed having George and Marcy and The Fontenots. Love you and miss you.