The livingroom of Mom and Dad’s house on del Vista Drive in Delta. I am not sure of the date but it must be in the early to mid 1990’s. This is a great picture because to Dad’s right is Mat’s mother and that is his sister Jessica in the walker.

Christmas Parties Past

This past Saturday evening, December 1st, we again had the Marr-Blair Christmas Party, this year at Ann’s house. When Susan and I arrived the very first thing I noticed was all the people! Our little event is growing. I got to meet Troy’s parents, Darlene and Rick and my new great grandson, Ryker.

It got me thinking that with all the new people and the kids being older, this would be a good time to review a little history.

Grandpa Bill and Kathleen carve the Christmas Turkey

Mom at the stove on del Vista Drive

It was Mom and Dad that started these annual parties. At first it was just Christmas dinner at their house, Mom, Dad, me and my family and Ann and hers. Like all families both Ann and I weathered all kinds of storms but the Christmas dinners went on. The cast of characters changed slowly, the children kept arriving and the place settings at the table grew.

These pictures are from a Christmas dinner at Mom and Dad’s house in Delta. I am not sure of the date but it must be in the early to mid 1990’s.

Ann with Bob and Mary

Jessica with her Mom

Jessica with her Grandmother Nora and Great Grandmother Etta

Jessica with Grandfather Flynn and Great Grandfather Bill

Kate and her Grandpa Bill in front of the fireplace on del Vista Drive in Delta

Mom and Dad sold the house in Delta and moved to 50th Avenue and 203 Street in Langley. I don’t recal the year but it was in the 1990’s. 

Their new house was not as large and dinners with our growing family were cramped. One year we had our Christmas gathering at Bedford House in Fort Langley. This was 7 December 2005.

(These are not the best pictures. I had just bought my first digital camera and it was pretty primitive. But then, this is not about photography, it’s about memories.)

Sarah spent her time at the table drawing pictures.

Our group photo at the Bedford House in Ft. Langley

For many years Grandpa Bill and Grandma Etta presided over the party and they loved to watch their growing family

Restaurants were obviously not practical. We were becoming too many and it was becoming too expensive.

Mom and Dad’s house in Langley was in a gated community and they had a small community hall which was available to residents. It had a little kitchen and of course Mom’s kitchen was only a few steps away. It was perfect for us and for several years we had our Christmas party  there.

I think Santa would love to have this reindeer on his team

Over time everyone began to bring food for the table as the work became too much for Grandma. But we always had a sit down meal and more food than we could eat.

These are pictures from our 2006 Christmas party. This was the year that Justin made his first appearance. There always seemed to be new babies to meet and they never failed to add joy to the occasion. Actually that is a bit of a tradition as it was proven this year.

One thing these annual get togethers do is keep all the children connected. In this modern world it is hard for an extended family to hang together as a unit but we seem to do pretty well and these gatherings are important for that.

Every time the kids get together they seem to pick up right where they left off without missing a beat.

Holly, Paul, Laura and Sarah

Justin and his mom Liz with Sarah and her mom Kate

Kate, Justin and Sarah

Kate and Sarah

Sarah with her Grandfather

Mom and Dad with Kate and her children

Kate and her Grandmother

Grandma Etta talking to Justin

Nora and Etta

And here is the picture of all of us for 2006

Christmas Party 2018

And that brings us to this year’s party. We all have our busy lives and we don’t get to see each other as much as we should. That is what makes this event so special. New partners to welcome, new babies to hold, news to catch up on, family to reconnect with.

This year the gathering was at Ann’s house in Langley on Saturday, 1 December. As usual everyone brought food and the table was incredible. No one left hungry!

Because Susan and I will be away this Christmas (more about that later) we brought our presents for everyone.

And of course, once again, we had new people to meet. Mat, David’s son, was there with his lovely fiance Samantha. My grand daughter, also Samantha, was there with her partner Troy and they brought their new baby, Ryker. It is hard to imagine that my little Sean is a grand father. Really difficult! And Troy’s parents, Rick and Darlene, were there. That was really special.

The food was amazing. Of course I was delighted to see sushi. Really excellent sushi!

Ryker with Shiela and Kate.

Only a few weeks old, Ryker is a sweet baby

Shiela with Ryker, Troy’s mother Darlene, Troy and Sam

My grandson Mat with Samantha

Shiela with Ryker, Troy’s mother Darlene, Troy and Sam

Cynthia, Laura and Sarah

The children had a great time

Susan with Sophia

And here is our party portrait. I am not going to try and name everyone. But in the new year I will create a family tree and post it. Actually, Grandpa Bill left me a family tree that goes all the way back to the 1750’s. But,maybe we’ll start with the living for now. I think a road map would be a definite help.

And so, here ends the history lesson. Just a few more words. I missed Mom and Dad this year. For so many years they were the center of these festivities. It has been hard to accept that they are gone. But I know they would have been proud of their growing family.

Have a Merry Christmas every one and all the best in the New Year.

P.S. You can find photos from the 2014 party here.