Christmas Day at Home

We came home early from New York City and spent Christmas at home alone (with Luna). The kids were excited to open all of the presents that were under the tree, as they originally wouldn’t have been able to open them until after we returned from Colorado in January.

Thanks to all our family for the generous gifts.

Christmas with the Rhees

It’s very rare that we celebrate Christmas at our own home. This year was the first I can remember that the kids opened their presents on Christmas day from under their own tree. We were fortunate my parents and Jen were visiting us for the week. As always, the kids received way more from their family and Santa than they need or deserve. Despite that, they were very appreciative of their thoughtful gifts.

On Christmas Eve, we went out for dinner in San Francisco at Spruce. On Christmas day, Grace, mom and Jen prepared an amazing meal and required a lot more work than anticipated. Thank you!

We had a very Merry Christmas in 2015.

Santa Stopped in Burlingame

There was some anticipation about whether or not Santa came to visit us at home while we were away. Apparently he did and the kids were very grateful. We loved spending the holidays with our family in NYC, but it was also nice to have some presents under the tree at home. Thanks, Santa!

Christmas in Michigan

We flew to Detroit on December 22nd. Northwest graced us with their new pleather seating, which came in handy when Olivia spilled her drink on her seat. We had to change underwear and pants before we pushed back. Lucas was a little ornery, but managed to nap for a bit. Olivia on the other hand did not sleep a wink. I was excited to learn that Northwest also added Fresca to their beverage assortment. I was only able to enjoy my Fresca over crushed ice for a few moments when Olivia spilled most of it on my lap. I, however, did not have a change of clothing on me.

Santa went a little overboard with the kids this year. Thanks to all of our generous family for the thoughtful gifts. We’re going to have to leave a lot of all these fun toys here at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas 2006

The entire Park clan came to our place for Christmas. Even though Grace was ready to drop anchor at any time, she cooked a wonderful meal, with the help of Addy, David, and her mom. In addition to Charles and the kids, Charles’ parents and his brother Arnold’s family also joined us. All of the kids seemed to enjoy their gifts – hopefully the adults are equally excited. It was great family time and we were able to enjoy a lot of time and wonderful meals together.

Christmas 2005

Grace and I flew out to NYC on a Friday night redeye. My dad picked us up at JFK in the morning. Linda and Danny were down in Florida with their family and were gracious enough to allow us to stay at their beautiful place on Central Park West (we’re still here!). We caught up on some sleep in the morning and headed over to Jen’s, where my parents are staying. We had lunch and went out to do some last minute shopping. Bobby met up with us briefly in Midtown. We went back to Jen’s for dinner. Cousins Lou and Millie were in the city and also came over. Jen and mom cooked a multi-course extravaganza, which included an incredible beef tenderloin. We had a great time catching up and reminiscing.

On Christmas day, we went back over to Jen’s to open presents with our families. Our second cousin, Jayoung, who is studying in NYC, also came over. Jen and mom did some cooking before we all headed over to Clarence’s house in Tenafly, NJ. It was our first time visiting their ginormous new home. Their townhome in Fort Lee would have been busting at the seams with all of the different clans that gathered for their Christmas feast. All of Eemoh’s family, Kwons (and cousins), Chois, Lees were there as well as their respective little ones.

The Doctors Kwon (always so generous) brought lobsters and crabs for all and the Lees brought over the Peking Duck. Mom made several appetizers, which were also a big hit. We were stuffed.

The first event of the evening was an arm wrestling rematch between Millie and Kenny, who is now unbelievably a senior at Georgetown. Kenny was surprisingly defeated by Millie a couple of years ago. 2005 was also not his year, though it seemed close. The pictures are priceless.

Instead of Secret Santa, we did a white elephant gift exchange, which proved to be quite hilarious. It took a while for some to realize the implications of the rules. Soon, the Rhees were accused of collusion. Though it seemed to make no sense when my father stole a gift from my mother, it all worked out when I stole it back from the Lees who stole it from him – it was locked in our family. Similarly, my sister scored the gift my mom wanted (which she actually brought) and in return, she scored the Kiehls gift box that Jen wanted. Others soon caught on, but it was too late. Proving that you can’t judge a gift by its cover, Lou’s gift, which was nicely wrapped in a Kroger’s grocery bag, turned out to be the last item picked and also the one “guy gift” (headphones) that we all would have chosen over our bath oils and ground coffee. A very memorable gift exchange indeed.

The fun did not end there. The cousins had planned a big Yut tournament, which is sort of like a Korean version of Sorry. Though we lost some key players due to the hour, we were still able to play amongst the clans. Jayoung played for us, which turned out great because she not only threw with style, but also had some clutch tosses. Grandmother Kwon also got in the action and proved to be a solid player. In close matches, the Rhees and Eemoh’s family advanced to the finals. We had a nail-biter of a match. It looked like they were a cinch to win with double players just a throw a way from finishing the game. But Jayoung reached down deep and threw some amazing Yut sticks that allowed us to catch two of their pieces, forcing them to start them over. We then also made it all the way around the board, and needed just one throw to win – anything but a back do (one backwards). Amazingly, that was exactly what dad threw. Drama. Luckily, mom came thru on the next throw and we won.

The big prize is neither money nor even bragging rights. Instead, all of the other team members had to do a big bow to the Rhees. It was quite rewarding.

The Holidays in Southern California

Grace and I drove down to LA to spend the holidays with her family. Addy, Charles, Delaney, and Cameron came in from Kansas City and David came in from Philadelphia. It was my first time seeing Cameron and Delaney gets bigger and bigger every time I see her. The big bonus was puppy sitting for Ann and Jeremy’s new puppy, Murphy. He is a great little dog and everyone was pleased to have him around.

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