Christmas 1999


You can click on any of the thumbnail pictures below to actually see the large picture.


Christmas is a very special time for us. It's a time of giving (which is quite different from how so many people consider it a time of receiving these days). It is both a time of joy and sadness. Joy for being able to celebrate it with Kathy, and I would not want it any other way. And a bit of sadness because at times like this, my family in Belgium feels so much further away.

[Picture of the nativity I bought the first year I was in the
		 U.S.]

The very first year I came to the U.S. I bought a porcelain nativity set, even though I was planning on going to Belgium to celebrate Christmas. To me, it was important to have something in my apartment to symbolize Christmas, and to bring the Christmas spirit to me. In good Belgian tradition, we have not placed the Christ child in the nativity scene yet. That typically happens on December 24th (usually at midnight).

Unfortunately, someone accidentally ran into the bookcase we put the nativity on, and the angel fell and broke. That was a difficult moment for me actually, because of the nativity being very special to me. That in itself probably shows that I am a bit of a sentimental person.

[Picture of the little fake Christmas tree]

When Kathy and I lived in a smaller apartment, we bought ourselves one of those little fake Christmas trees. We decorated it with ornaments, lights and a string of beads. This year, it served as an extra tree in our apartment, and so it got decorated a bit less.

[Picture of all our stockings on the wall]

Because of our very dear animals, we felt that they should somehow also be part of the Christmas celebration. That's why we put up stockings for all of them, along with our own. Lacking a fireplace, we chose to use a diningroom wall as the best place to present them. Don't they look cute?

[Picture of the REAL Christmas tree]

The decoration Kathy and I looked forward to most this year is definitely the real Christmas tree that is sitting next to our entertainment centre. We got the tree on Dec 19th, and did the decorating the next day. Quite alot of work, but a really fun thing to do together. Stringing up the lights was my job (one goes out, they all go out), while the rest was definitely something we did as a team. After all, that is the only proper way!

[Picture of Kathy putting Saffron's ornament on the tree] [Picture of Saffron's ornament on the tree] [Picture of Kathy putting some more ornaments on the tree]

One of the first ornaments to go on the tree was a special one! Saffron's own personal ornament. We bought it on our honeymoon in Stowe, Vermont. A golden retriever puppy eating a candy cane. Quite appropriate, don't you think? We had alot of other ornaments to add to the tree as well, and it probably took us over an hour to put them all on the tree. Time flies when you're having fun.

[Picture of Simba and Sebastian in front of the tree] [Picture of Saffron in front of the tree]

As soon as we were done decorating, the cats expressed a very strong interest in the end result. Fortunately they didn't act upon it, and when we came back after spending the weekend away from home, celebrating Christmas with Kathy's family, the tree was still the way we left it. Whether that was mere luck, or whether Simba and Sebastian really knew not to touch it will remain a mystery.

Doesn't Saffron look wonderful with the Christmas tree as background? If she had not become a guide dog, she probably could have settled for a decent career as a photo model. And she sure knows how good she looks in pictures. Just try to sneak a picture of anyone or anything without her trying to be in it.

[Picture of the Christmas tree with presents underneath]

What is a Christmas without presents to give? While it's definitely nice to be on the receiving end, both Kathy and I find so much pleasure in the act of giving. There are few things that give greater pleasure than seeing faces light up as they unwrap a gift. Therefore, our tree ended up with quite a stack of presents. Can you believe that all those are just for Saffron, Kathy and me?

[Picture of Sebastian playing with their Christmas gift]

I bet you were wondering whether we were forgetting SImba and Sebastian? Since they aren't good at unwrapping gifts, we gave them theirs ahead of time. And it was quite a blast for Sebastian. Simba on the other hand didn't really care for it much. I caught him playing with it during the night though. Of course, after our trip to celebrate Christmas, the toy was already broken. These cats can be destructive at times.


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Last modified: Mar 26th, 2000
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