2018 Spafford – Berger Christmas Letter

Spafford – Berger Family photo with all eyes open (minimal sun squinting)

Friends & Family,

Hold onto the envelope this letter came in (if you received via USPS) because it has a new address for us. Just go ahead and put that envelope in a safe place until you get a chance to enter the address into some digital format or your favorite old timey address book. Maybe put it in your favorite kitchen drawer where similar things go to transition from useful to seldom looked at. You know, where the old phone cord lovingly cuddles with the dead batteries you can’t get rid of and the stress ball you are always happy to stumble upon in a time of need. But I digress. Or do I? What does the holiday season have to do with a junk drawer?

If The Savior Jesus Christ had a junk drawer (and I’m guessing he did, being a man of the people and all), I’m sure his would have contained frankincense and myrrh. Joseph and Mary probably would have used the gold themselves – or started a savings account for the baby Jesus. But frankincense and myrrh? Are you kidding me? Perfect junk drawer stuff. Just as a refresher, frankincense is an incense that was a symbol of deity and myrrh (an embalming oil) was a symbol of death. Incense? Embalming oil? Hard to use it every day, but good to have around.  If you ask me, only one wise man showed up that night – packing gold.

This year we carefully packed up our junk drawers and headed East to the first ring suburb of Roseville, MN. We were sad to leave our NE Minneapolis neighborhood where we’ve spent the last 24 years (5 years in the first house and 19 years in the second one). We arrived before it was hip and trendy. Now we’ll try to make Roseville cool (even though I’m not sure it was us who transformed NE Minneapolis).

The move was prompted by the fact that all three kids go to school in Roseville. We realized that we have another 10 years of driving back and forth with no bus options, and we can’t convince Iris to drop out of school.

Speaking of three wise people, the kids are doing great. Lila just turned 16 and is looking forward to getting her driver’s license soon– as soon as we drive around with her for 60 hours. Hoyt (11) plays soccer six days a week and twice on Sunday. Iris (8) is taking swimming classes and as of late enjoys Tuesday evenings at the local library reading to dogs.

Our junk drawers are now in storage, so we’ll spend the rest of 2019 filling new drawers with incense, embalming oil, batteries and new addresses.

We hope your 2019 is equally productive and your drawers overflow with memories from the past and reminders for the future – and none of them are junk.

I raise a cocktail named Three Wise Men -containing Johnnie Walker, Jack Daniels and Jim Beam (technically not a cocktail because it’s all whiskey, but indeed, a real drink) – and toast you and yours this holiday season.

Happy Holidays from the Spafford – Berger Family!

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