The Holiday Spirit


I guess as much as anything else, Ali and I have tried to fill our kids’ lives with good memories. Their holiday memories aren’t focused on one location, so that it becomes a part of the background—instead, the locations become as integral a part of the memory as what actually occurs there. The Christmas on the beach in Baja, at Grandma’s in Minnesota, in PV, at Grammy’s in Portland—we can pinpoint each one, and then draw the memory from there.

Remember the Christmas we went to Grammy’s and you made her a dog dish for Bridgette, Lowe?

The cookies. They work out about half the time. This time they worked. Couple more years and Grammy won’t have to help them any more.

Funny thing about Lowe is that he doesn’t really like sweet stuff. He makes the cookies loaded with frosting, but we have to leave a few off to the side with nothing on them just for him to eat.

Lowe, perhaps feeling a bit nervous, answered, No, to each question.

“Do you like cars?” No.
“How about a train set?” No.
“Riding a bike?” No.
“Airplanes?” No.
“Well, I guess I’ll have to surprise you then.”


The Grotto. A place in Portland that Nuns have covered a few trees in lights, opened up the church to some choirs, and skimmed eleven bucks a head off of thousands of us eager to feel Christmas-y. Oh, it was fine, but the Christmas spirit was fleeing as we struggled through the traffic choked neighborhood.

The kids wrap gifts just about as good as I do.

Ali’s birthday. She ordered herself a necklace. It was my job to wrap it.

She had joked with the kids that she wanted a donkey for Christmas. So we wrapped a little plastic donkey in with her gift. First, she read the card which was filled with the kids’ funniest spelling words—poop, pee, and butt. Hilarious. When she opened her present and pulled out a donkey the kids just about lost it.

Ali, at five years old. Birthdays always included a Christmas tree in the background. She says she’s always liked having a Christmas birthday (23rd) because everyone is in the holiday mood. Mine is twelve days later, after Christmas and New Year’s, and I can say that it isn’t the same happy-holiday-mood at all by then.

My Christmas present came when the Porsche fired right up. Actually, it always does. I don’t know why I’m surprised by it every time.

To our friends: Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays, and all the rest of it.


16 Comments on “The Holiday Spirit”

  1. Happy Holidays to all of you, too!
    You’re so right in that it’s all about the memories. And you and the kids are going to have a lifetime of great ones. Thanks for letting us go along for the ride!

  2. Merry Christmas Bumfuzzles! I have a right-after-Christmas-New-Year birthday too and you’re right… the joy is usually gonzo by then! Only when I turned 40 did my family feel the need to party!

  3. Happy Holidays to you all, belated Happy Birthday to Ali, and Happy January Birthday to you, Patrick.

    I had a brother whose birthday was 12/28. My parents always made to sure to make a big deal about his birthday so that it wouldn’t get lost in the Christmas hoopla.

    What did the pup think about his new dinner dish??

  4. Merry Christmas! Just catching up on back issues of the blog. Not sure if you tried this but next time you get stuck in the sand, everybody should have all their tires deflated to 15 down to 5 psi.

    Happy trails!

  5. Merry Christmas from Aunt Sherri and all the Schultes.Love your adventures and watching
    your children grow.Your mom looks great.Miss you all. What a great life you have.

  6. Oh, the 356. Brings back memories of my utter joy to “fire up the 912…” after all my deployments to Antarctica. I restored it bit by bit over the years. Over 2000/2001 at the South Pole it sat, Fuchs off, happy on jack stands and tires stacked and covered.

    Just short of two years after I put it away, I put on the tires, checked the oil, dropped it off the jack stands and hooked up the battery.

    Turning the key always made me smile.

  7. A late Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to you too! Great post. And…. its a Porsche… they always start right up.

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