Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas 2014

Our Living Room Tree
Judy Gavoor is an awesome decorator
     I have been writing a Christmas letter to friends, family, and colleagues for the past several years. This little tradition began sometime early in this century. Generally being an early riser, I was up before everyone else. Usually, it was dark. I would get a cup of coffee, sit down at my laptop and write a brief Christmas greeting to valued colleagues and peers that reported to me. Over the years, as I began a daily writing routine that led to monthly e-letters and eventually my blog
     The letters have been short and they have been rather long. They all seemed to start the same with something akin to “It is early Christmas morning…” I would probably still use that opening except for this being noticed and incessantly thrown in my face by my friend and most favorite nuisance Ara Topouzian. As he says, “It least it proves I read your stuff.” Yes, it does. Thank you and Merry Christmas Ara and all my Armenian and musician friends.
     It is not so early in the morning and there is no snow this year. I started this letter at 8:30 which is rather late for this tradition. Usually, in the pre-dawn hours, I was the only creature stirring in the house and social media. At this late hour, texts and instant messages are coming from everywhere. I am writing this letter and responding real time here and on social media. 
     Another friend, just texted this message “Merry Christmas! Writing your morning Christmas letter?” Yes, I am Sharon… Merry Christmas. 
     We just got face-timed by Aram, Anoush, Ida, Steve, Yervant, and… our six
Aris visiting Santa for the first time
Seems quite happy about it...
month old grandson Aris! While we are not together this year, it was great. It was wonderful seeing his smiling face. He grabbed and kissed the phone. It was very special. Merry Christmas to all you!
     When we count our blessings for the year, Aris has to be at the top of the list. He was born June 26th. We were kind of hoping for June 25th since that is my birthday. It is also his grandfather Yervant’s birthday and Judy’s Dad’s, Aris’s great-grandfather’s birthday. That would have been very special. I do think Aris wanted to be close to our date but that he also wanted to assert his independence and has his very own day. His birth is still the best birthday present ever. 
     Last evening, my sister Ani sent a text. It included a photo of my Dad with her children, my niece Kara and nephews Kyle and Jacob. Dad is holding a plaque that says it all, “My favorite people call me Grandpa.” Perfect. 
     We have a pending Christmas present too. Armene and Michael are expecting a son any day now. We are headed their way next week to be there with them. 2014 is indeed a year of grandchild for us… assuming Baby K, as we are calling him, doesn’t decide to make us wait until 2015. Merry Christmas to all the Kapamajian’s in California.
     My cousins Leo and David both reached out Leo by text and David by email.
My Dad surrounded by
Kara, Kyle, and Jacob L to R
Merry Christmas Leo. Merry Christmas David. Merry Christmas to all my cousins, aunts, and uncles. 
     This Christmas morning tradition began as a simple email of Christmas cheer to my work colleagues. When I was at Colgate it made a lot of sense for a variety of reasons. My friends and colleagues were spread out all over Latin America. Even though every country and culture is different, there is a sameness to Latins and Armenians. We tend to make and value friendships in the same way. Last evening, I got messages from Mexico and Uruguay from Angel de la Puente and Andres Malaplate. Merry Christmas Angel, Andres, and everyone else who I have not seen in years. 
     I have new colleagues. In August, I started a position as Associate Professor of Operations Management in the School of Business and Nonprofit Management at North Park University in Chicago. I am not sure if it is my next career move, my last career move, an encore career, or whatever. I am sure that it is not just a job. I am also totally loving it. I want to say this is what I should have been doing all along, but I am not certain I would have appreciated it or savored it as much as I do now. Merry Christmas to all my North Park University friends, colleagues, and, of course, the students.
     I will close with a copy/paste first text I got this morning as I sat down to write this piece. It is from my good and old friend Richard Kamar. It says it all:

     Merry Christmas 🎄 Enjoy the blessings of the day.

Part of our Christmas Eve gathering
The Musical Instrument Ornamented Tree in my Study

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