Arriving home from three months of adventuring around Asia, this Christmas I’m feeling more blessed than ever. In a warm, happy, spacious house our family – just Mikie, Katie, Mom, Dad, Luie and I – will share our love and exchange gifts, and enjoy the most scrumptious breakfast egg casserole as tradition! My stomach is already gurgling thinking about the gooey goodness.
Every year, I’m eternally grateful to have a family that not only loves and supports one another no matter where we are, but genuinely enjoys spending time with one another when we are together.
I’m eager to see my God Parents, Aunt Robin and Uncle Chip, this afternoon as they bring a sense of reality and dose of humor to the occasion. In addition, my Aunt Robin closely competes with my mother for best chef in the kitchen and her appetizers are to die for! My Mother, Chef Cathy’s Holiday Feast this evening, will be no shorter than five courses, as it has been for nearly a decade. We will say grace and descend upon the food and drink and fill ourselves full of expensive wine and locally grown, home cooked food until we are silly.
The fact that we can eat like this does not go without recognizing how many hungry, lonely people there may be across the globe tonight and our hearts are with you. In honor of this, we support local endeavors in Milwaukee to end hunger and educate children on growing healthy food and practicing a nutritious diet. Read more about The Farm at the Hunger Task Force here!
Nana, at 93, recovering from multiple strokes in 2014, may not exactly be herself. However, this classy lady’s charm will surely sear through her senility and her quips on politics or past adventures of her own global trotting will slip out from time to time. I will hold these priceless moments in my heart so tight, understanding that there may be a time when these mumbles are only memories. I love my Nana dearly and her wit and resilience throughout her life is an inspiration to all who know her. Both my grandmothers have made a tremendous impact in shaping who I am as a young women.
This Christmas, I reflect upon the friends and students I’ve met all over the world. Some will be celebrating “the reason for the season” or simple family traditions, or not celebrating at all; May your day be merry and bright no matter what Christmas means to you.
My mind drifts to a favorite student and local village girl from Chiang Rai, Nah-ah, who in several English lessons, shared a special passion for learning about the holidays. Nah-ah let me know her family celebrates Christmas. Tonight they will go to church and sing which brings her great joy. I hear your sweet voice, sweet girl, from the opposite side of the planet and I hope the carols we practiced come in handy today!
May the volunteers I met have a purposeful celebration and may your adventures continue at home or wherever you are! Every individual I’ve met “on the road” has helped to shape me into my healthiest, simplest, most grateful self and that is the best gift anyone could ask for- Thank you!
MerrEEE Christmas to All!
Lots of Love,
Hallie (LouLou) Jaeger