The National Tree
We are off to Virginia tomorrow morning to celebrate Christmas with various assembled family members. I’m really looking forward to the festive season, as Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. I have to admit, though, I’ve never felt as homesick as I’m feeling now. Last year, we had such a wonderful Christmas with our family back in Jordan.

One of the many useful results of this, at times, time–consuming blogging business is that I can go back in time and re-read entries about my feelings and thoughts during a certain period of time. Looking back at last year’s Christmas, I remember how blissful it was. This Christmas photo album is only a snapshot of the wonderful time we had.

All our family members on this side of the world have been working hard to make this Christmas a special one. From a Christmas Eve dinner to singing Christmas carols at church and a planned Christmas day lunch, things are looking as wonderful as possible.

Jeff and the National Tree
The picture above is of the National Tree with assorted trains around it behind the fence. The tree is at the Ellipse, the public space in front of the White House in Washington DC, between it and the Washington Monument. If you click the picture, it’ll enlarge and you can get a glimpse of the White House in the background. I really enjoyed being there last Sunday, experiencing a fun, festive atmosphere. Besides the tree and wonderful decorations, Christmas carols were played at a loud enough volume for everyone to enjoy.

The best thing about the day was that the repulsive, commercial part of Christmas that I have seen so extensively here was missing. It was purely a spiritual celebration, as music played and happy families enjoyed the season. Seeing the Nativity scene at the Ellipse also put a huge smile on my face, as it served as a crystal clear reminder of what Christmas is all about: The birth of Jesus Christ. It was never about maxing out credit cards by getting the "best deals." Merry Christmas everyone and happy holidays!!