Christmas Letters and Cards

Links to letters going back to 1977 and to Christmas photo cards from 1969 appear here.

Letters are continuous from 1982 and those since 2001 are embellished with photos. (I bought my first digital camera in Oct 2000.) Headings in the letters, making them more readable and engaging, were introduced in 2008.

Photo cards are continuous from 1980 with the single exception of 1988.

Christmas Card Story
2023 Christmas card 2023 Photos were taken in the back yard of David and Jen’s house on Thanksgiving morning.
Guide to 2023 photo
2022 Christmas card 2022 Photos were taken in front of David and Jen’s house on Thanksgiving, on a Shakespeare Garden bench in Golden Gate Park in SF, and (the scary one!) in Cathy’s MiniCooper! Guide to 2022 photo
2021 Christmas card 2021 Once again, the photo was taken in front of David and Jen’s house on Thanksgiving. The guide below explains who’s who. Guide to 2021 photo
2020 Christmas card 2020 The photo was taken in front of David and Jen’s house. The guide below explains who’s who. Jenny was Covid-shy, and only came briefly, masked, in the morning. Guide to 2020 photo
2019 Christmas card 2019 My sister Sue came out from Chicago to join us for Thanksgiving. The photo of her and me was taken the day after Thanksgiving. I put the tree up on December 1 and the photo of Cathy and Tori in front of the tree was taken the next day.
2018 Christmas card 2018 Guide to 2018 photo
The guide above identifies the 13 people and dog in this year’s photo, which was taken in Paso Robles on the day after Thanksgiving.
2017 Christmas card 2017 Guide to 2017 photoThe guide on the left explains who’s who in this year’s photo, taken again on the steps to our upper deck. Dave and Jen are not present, as Jen is about to give birth to Lucas, who arrives six days later.
2016 Christmas card 2016 The photo was taken on the Malibu cliffs at David and Jen’s wedding. The guide below explains who’s who. Guide to 2016 photo
2015 Christmas card 2015 Color-coded guide to 2015 photoThe photo was once again taken on the steps to our upper deck. The color-coded guide on the left explains who’s who and what the connections are.

And we’re especially pleased to announce Dave and Jen’s engagement.

2014 Christmas card 2014 Color-coded guide to 2014 photo As in 2008, the photo was taken on the steps to our upper deck. We’ve added Larry’s sister Sue from Chicago and David’s girlfriend Jen. The color-coded guide on the left explains who’s who and what the connections are.

Alas, Jenny could not be present for this Thanksgiving photo as she was in Texas.

2013 Christmas card 2013 Mary and I are on the Daugava River in Riga, Latvia, on June 1, during our trip to the Baltic States. The photo was taken by Tania from St. Petersburg, who with her husband Zhenia was sharing our table.

Tori and Cathy dressed up in holiday clothes for this Dec 8 photo on the rock in front of our house. The hillside behind them had been completely burned on May 2.
2012 Christmas card 2012 This Sep 13 photo was taken at St. Julie’s church and is included in the church’s directory.

Cathy and Tori, who had just begun kindergarten, are on the right, and Mary’s dad Jerry in in the rear. At the time we expected him to be a long-term resident of our household, but on the morning before Thanksgiving he informed us that he had accepted Teresa and John’s invitation, and he moved in with them on Dec 8. More details are in the letter.
2011 Christmas card 2011 Early on December 2, we went outdoors for a Christmas photo. “Too cold,” an unsmiling Tori said. We came indoors and sat under the tree; only one take was needed. Tori still sports her outdoor coat.

Mary and I are shown near a well in the center of San Gimignano, Italy, in early June. Tori and Cathy are together just prior to a Newbury Oaks preschool drama presentation in August.
2010 Christmas card 2010 Photo was taken on July 22, and features the Hungarian Parliament building on the Pest bank of the Danube in Budapest. Jenny, Mary, and I spent five days in Budapest.

On this, the day before we left, we asked passersby to take our photo, while standing on the Buda bank. (One took a photo with his finger over the lens.) This was the best of the photos taken.
2009 Christmas card 2009 Photo was taken on March 29, in Sedona, Arizona. Mountains shown include famed Coffee Pot Rock, complete with spout, on the right.
2008 Christmas card 2008 Color-coded guide to 2008 photoPhoto was taken on the steps to our upper deck (rebuilt since similar photos in 1989 and 1998). We’ve added family friends Shane and Christina. The color-coded guide on the left tells part of the story.

But to fully appreciate the photo, you must read the real story behind this Photoshopped picture!

2007 Christmas card 2007 Photo was taken on January 13 at the Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) in the Australian outback not far from Uluru (Ayers Rock).
2006 Christmas card 2006

Christmas card 2006
We ordered two versions of the same photo card. I prefer the one with the light blues. Photo was taken on January 20 in Valle de los Huskies near Ushuaia, Argentina, at the tip of South America. The pointed mountain on the left is Cerro Bonete (el 3,668 ft).
2005 Christmas card 2005 (Left to right: Kirk, Cathy, Marion, Larry, Brian, Mary, David, Jenny) Photo was taken on Thanksgiving. Mary didn’t like the composition. Marion should be with Brian but was hastily moved up front so she could be seen.
2004 Christmas card 2004 We’ve added Marion. (Clockwise from top: Cathy, Brian, Marion, Larry, David, Mary, Jenny, Kirk) Photo was taken on Memorial Day. Cathy said, “I got an idea! Let’s put the camera on the grass and gather around it.” The grins on our faces show how hysterical we thought the idea was.
2003 Christmas card 2003 We’ve added Kirk. (Clockwise from top: Jenny, Kirk, Cathy, Larry, Mary, David. Brian was living in London.) When we gather for these photos, I never know what’s happening behind me. We’re smiling but the kids are cracking up, having tired of the traditional stand at attention Christmas photos. It was a gray day but software turned the sky deep blue.
2002 Christmas card 2002 (Brian was traveling in Nigeria.) Photo was taken in our backyard in late November.
2001 Christmas card 2001 I worked in Freiburg, Germany, in the heart of the Black Forest for five months. Mary, her sister Teresa, and brother-in-law John visited me over Easter break, when this photo was taken. Fifty miles west of Freiburg, we were standing in the snow, only a stone’s throw from the Continental Divide and the source of the Danube.
2000 Christmas card 2000 Cathy, Brian, and I took a three week trip to visit England, Wales, Greece, and Italy. This mid-September photo was taken from the dome of the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral in Florence, Italy.
1999 Christmas card 1999 We’ve added Volker, my German son, third from right. In mid-May, Jenny got her J.D. from Northwestern Law School in central Chicago. The graduation ceremony was held on the cool and windy Navy Pier, where this photo was taken.
1998 Christmas card 1998 (Jenny was at Northwestern Law School.) Photo was taken on Thanksgiving Day.
1997 Christmas card 1997 The whole family is together in the back yard.
1996 Christmas card 1996 Slide Show (England). Slide Show (On Continent). (Jenny was at Northwestern Law School.) Photo was taken on Thanksgiving Day at Mary’s parents’ home in Riverside. David was 16 and unashamedly shows off his braces.
1995 Christmas card 1995 In June Brian graduated from UC San Diego with a B.S. in Computer Science. We proudly joined him at his graduation.
1994 Christmas card 1994 Slide Show. (Jenny was still in Irving.) This Thanksgiving Day photo was taken in our family room in front of a display of Grandma Rogers’ (1895-1989) cups, many of which have roses (for Rose) as decorations.
1993 Christmas card 1993 (Jenny was living in Irving, Texas.) This Thanksgiving Day photo was taken in Mary’s parents’ back yard in Riverside.
1992 Christmas card 1992 Slide Show. This was Cathy’s June UCLA graduation day — hence the flowers — and we were at a Marina del Rey restaurant. Jenny had graduated in May from the University of Dallas.
1991 Christmas card 1991 I took the easy way out this year. David was pleased to pose with Zandor. It’s too bad Zandor was not equally enthusiastic.
1990 Christmas card 1990 Slide Show. On a hot day in June Mary graduated from Cal State Northridge with an M.A. in Linguistics. Note the CSUN stone letters behind us.
1989 Christmas card 1989 Slide Show. For the first of several Christmas photos, we gather on the steps to the upper deck in our back yard. Brian, 16, smiles through his braces.
1988 [none] Slide Show. In the Christmas letter, Mary wittingly wrote: “The kids have figured out how to get out of the Christmas picture: leave for college. So I’ll just describe us: the old folks look younger and smarter; the young folks look older. Use your imagination.”
1987 Christmas card 1987 Wearing our Easter finery, we really look nice, don’t we? Max, our Vizsla, on the far right, does not pose for photos, he barked at us later.
1986 Christmas card 1986 For this photo, we took a walk to nearby Pepper Tree Park and found a tree. Naturally the boys offered to climb and sit in the tree. Whoops — Mary is up there too. Jenny turned 16 this year.
1985 Christmas card 1985 Max joined us for a climb part way up the hill that overlooks our house. That’s Newbury Park behind us, and our home is off to the left but not visible. Cathy turned 16 early in the year.
1984 Christmas card 1984 We’re sitting around the umbrella table in our back yard.
1983 Christmas card 1983 We’re in front of the Stagecoach Inn Museum, a local historical attraction.
1982 Christmas card 1982 Once again, we sat in our living room for this Christmas photo.
1981 Christmas card 1981 [no letter] We gathered around the living room fireplace for this picture.
1980 Christmas card 1980 We’d just moved into our new Newbury Park home. The fireplace surround sports some English souvenirs. Kids are so-o-o young:
  • Jenny, 10; and David, 3 mo
  • Mary; and Brian, 7
  • Larry; and Cathy, (almost) 12
1978 Christmas card 1978 [no letter] We lived just over an hour from Stonehenge. We drove out here one fall day and took this photo. At that time the monument was unguarded and not a soul was around.
1977 Christmas card 1977 We sent out our first Christmas letter this year to describe our life abroad. We had moved to England just before Christmas in 1976.
1975 Christmas card 1975 The photo was taken in the back yard of our La Cañada home. The card was inserted into the center of a holding sheet. Above the photo Mary wrote, “Is your Christmas as busy as ours?? Thank goodness for my helpers (who keep the destr[rest of word missing] out from under foot!) Have a merry & a happy Christmas!” Below the photo she wrote, “Larry, Mary, Cathy, Jenny and Brian”.
1972 Christmas card 1972 We were living in New Jersey. As you can see, the girls have grown. Brian would show up late in 1973.
1971 Christmas card 1971 The two sisters are shown in Fair Oaks, one and two years old.
1969 Christmas card 1969 We had moved from Torrance to the Sacramento area when Cathy was a few months old. She is shown here in our new Fair Oaks home. Jenny would be born next year.