Christmas '98

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I went to three Christmas parties this year, but I forgot to bring my camera to my work party, so there's only pictures of two parties, plus the family gathering in Chicago.

The first party was a party for all of the single adults at my church.  It was a semi-formal party.  In previous years it has been at a nearby mansion, but this year it was in a rented location downtown.  There was food, drink, and of course, fun and laughter...

A few friends from my Sunday School class...I don't remember the guy's name (Richard?) and then there is Andrea, Melanie, Catherine, and Melanie (yes, two Melanies):

Me and one of the Melanies...either taken by a really short person or someone that was sitting down (bad angle)"

This is me with my friend Kara (who I met swing-dancing) and her friend Jennifer:

Jennifer (pretending to be) eating potatoes right from the serving dish, and a couple of Kara and Jennifer:

The room where the bar was included a piano (and pianist, of course) where people stood around singing Christmas carols:

The second party, the following night, was my Sunday School class party.  Each year we do sort of a white-elephant / gag gift exchange.  People pick gifts at random and can pick an unopened gift or a gift that someone else has already opened, forcing that person to pick another!

Here is part of the group as we opened gifts.  (The dog wasn't very amused, but made a good footrest):

Jason ended up with alien boxers"

Steve got a Christmas moose, but I think someone else "stole" it later:

Melanie got a little Christmas hat.  This is her with her date, Tim:

This year, someone also brought some shooting Nerf toys to play with.  The little guns were pretty cool.  The were motorized and shot little rubbery discs pretty darn far:

Lastly, I went home to Chicago for Christmas...

An old friend Tiffanie stopped by my mom's on her way to her grandmother's with one of her sons, Nickie:

And I got to see an even older friend, Judy, for the first time since before I moved to Atlanta. (Also, her son Mark from her Christmas card - he is such a cute, friendly, polite, talkative, nice boy!) . . .

Christmas dinner is usually at my sister Gwen's, but this year it was at my niece Beth's place (okay, her boyfriend Todd's place) with Todd's family there as well.  There were 16 of us in all.  Their home is a newly built home in a nice old neighborhood on the north side of Chicago (around 4600 N and 1200 W).  It was a really nice place to have Christmas dinner, and Beth cooked up an unbelievable meal.

Everyone down in the basement opening gifts:

The dining/living room before desert:

My niece Beth, my mom, Randy (Natasha's boyfriend) and another niece of mine, Natasha:

Beth in the kitchen at the end of the night:

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