Tuesday, December 30, 2008

#359 Snoopy's Christmas

Remember Snoopy's Christmas?
The Baron made Snoopy fly to the Rhine
And forced him to land behind the enemy lines
Snoopy was certain that this was the end
When the Baron cried out,
"Merry Christmas, my friend"
According to wikipedia, The Royal Guardsmen recorded Snoopy Vs The Red Baron first,

then recorded The Return of The Red Baron,

and finally Snoopy's Christmas.

Sure - I learned the words to Jingle Bells first, but it's Snoopy's Christmas that I still sing today!

So to properly celebrate my first Christmas in Germany, my sister took me across the street from her home in Wiesbaden (not that far from the Rhine) to the Südfriedhof Cemetery and the final resting place of Manfred "The Red Baron" von Richthofen
Christmas bells those Christmas bells
Ringing through the land
Bringing peace to all the world
And good will to man. 
Yours in crying out, "Merry Christmas, my friend,"

Friday, December 19, 2008

#358 Holiday Break

Ho! Ho! Ho! We're taking a holiday break from our blog.

In 2006, our librarian friend Christina met us at the train station in Los Angeles when we were en route to the ship for our first Semester At Sea.
Now Christina and her husband Dan are leading the international lifestyle and have recently moved to Glasgow, Scotland. To read about their adventures in finding their way around in a new country, you should check out Christina's blog, Hennessey Overseas.

Her blog may be more fun to read than ours, but don't forget to return to ours for more Johnston adventures in 2009!

Yours in kicking off the holidays,

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

#357 Happy Birthday Kelly

Kelly has led a pretty stylish life so far.

Here at 6 months old, he seems happy with the way things are going - must be that cool white jumpsuit.
Life continues to go well for him at age 4. The people in charge of his wardrobe obviously know that a bow tie is needed to offset those cute ears of his.
Still stylish in 2005, he is sporting the coveted okra KU Jayhawk earring. (Nod to Joyce, an MU grad of all things!)
And here in 2008, he has hit his stride.
Yours in wishing my ultra-stylish life partner a very merry birthday,

Thursday, December 11, 2008

#356 Christmas memories

"Time is unstuck for me now. I am rampant with memory for no reason except that I'm caught up in it." - Hagar, "The Stone Angel"

Unpacking my Mary Jo stocking opened the Christmas memory flood gates. That stocking has seen a LOT of Christmas mornings.
And here are a few other memories that are starting to show some age...

1963 Fairfax, Virginia With my brother and younger sister not really dressed for the holidays but still on our best behavior in case Santa should be watching.
1965 Fairfax, Virginia With my brother and two younger sisters in our holiday finest. How come I don't have a cool hat or a cool purse?
And finally, to make all the Christmas memories come rushing back, I enjoy watching the Grinch how it should be watched: on this rabbit-eared, old-school Christmas TV site.   Nod to Todd.
Yours in full-on, sappy, Christmas sentimentality,

Sunday, December 07, 2008

#355 Christmas trees

We don't have an artificial Christmas tree.

We don't have a silver tinsel, electro-dynamic, fiber-optic, multi-colored Christmas tree like our cool friend Matt. And we don't chop down a "real" tree either. All this leads to some funny looking stuff in our house at Christmas time. Our creative friend Joyce supplies us with chic holiday decorations that we use to add spark to our celebration. This Chrismoose door knob decoration is just the tip of the iceberg.
In 2003, Kelly found some sticks to make our own version of the Charlie Brown Christmas tree in our Indianapolis dining room. Hanging on the tree is a Joyce-created Santa made of okra.
In 2004 with sticks scarce in downtown Indianapolis, we converted a poinsettia into our Christmas tree by placing it in our living room and arranging packages under it. It seems just the right size for us.
And for 2008? We're using a red metal tree, slightly more than a foot tall. It combines the Charlie Brown stick-like characteristics of the 2003 tree with the red of the 2004 poinsettia tree. Perfect!
Ho! Ho! Ho!