Why is the Winters family Christmas worthy of a blog?  We aren’t sure that it is.  Maybe you can be the judge.  But Mom wanted it.  That’s for starters.

I would love for us to have a family Christmas blog or something like that where we can post a little something each day during advent..but I have no clue about setting up something like that..but it just seems like it would be a meaningful way to connect with each other as we approach Christmas…any takers???

That comes from Mom.  Here is a picture of Mom. 

Mom is the one on the right.

Mom gets the first response from Arwen:

FYI I’m in the process of changing my flight home so that I will get back to Kalamazoo before 5pm so I don’t have to give up a night with Dax. Ill keep you guys posted, I am going to rent a car in Denver provided that I can use my liberty mutual discount I should be able to get one for about $350 for the week and that’s an SUV so should help out. I can just stay at a cheapie hotel at the airport Saturday night take a shuttle in the morning.

Food cheap and easy is fun, presents hopefully nothing big I’d rather not have to pay for 2 bags  

Sent from my iPhone

Here is a picture of Arwen.

Arwen is the one on the right.

The more astute among you, dear readers, will note that Arwen completely ignored Mom’s request for blog-setup assistance.

The next response to Mom comes from Benj.

Anna and I are checking to see if we can use a friend’s car in FC for the week.  If that works out, you should only need to rent one SUV.  Between the Denver Winters contingent there are two cars only half full.  One SUV and two half-full cars would be enough to fit you guys, Arwen and the LaFountains.  If our plan works out, we will take the shuttle from DIA to FC and pick up the car, then drive to Estes from there.  So you don’t need to factor us into your DIA-Estes vehicle planning.

Unless I am remembering wrong, there are not too many reasonably priced restaurants in Estes so we will probably want to stock the kitchen.  I am sure Joshua Station would be grateful for any leftovers. 

I am completely blog-illiterate.  Someone else will have to speak up for this….

Here is a picture of Benj.

Benj is on the right, on location in an Israeli police station.

Note that Benj hands blog responsibility to someone else, citing incompetence.

The next communication comes from Kelsey.  Kelsey actually goes through the trouble of starting a new email chain, subject line “Winters Take on Navidad”, and includes general instructions for setup and a proposed schedule for family participation.

Here is a picture of Kelsey.


Kelsey is on the right, of course.

Arwen promptly informs the family:

“I don’t have time to do this, sorry!

Sent from my iPhone”

And if we were all being honest, we would probably respond similarly.

So why am I posting right now?  Because I am tired of dealing with USAID implementing partner politics in Rwanda, and the Ministry of Health in Zambia is wearing me out.  I want to be with my family.  My family, of course, wears me out as well.  Sometimes more quickly than sub-Saharan African governments.  But it is a family type of worn-outness.  And I miss that.  I miss the simultaneous feelings of love and frustration I get when hanging out with the Winters clan.  The back-and-forth swings between the hopefulness of talent and self-induced failures; exhortation and destruction; love and jealously; what could be and what doesn’t happen….

It is chaotic and unnerving, but it is family.  And paradoxes be damned, my heart longs for it.  So we’ll be putting up our posts over these next few weeks.  Probably no one will read it outside of our little cohort – if you are outside the cohort and do find yourself reading this, have a little grace for our dysfunction and clunkiness, and be mindful that you are peeking into our own little private narrative for the season – but that isn’t the point to begin with.  The hope is that we can build a little monument on this blog, as raw, unpalatable and dislocated as it may seem to the outside world; a monument that can store some of these homespun paradoxes well past the Christmas season.

Here’s to it, Winters fam.  Throw yourself out there and let’s see what comes of it!

(Arwen, it takes less time to post here than it would to type an iPhone refusal email.)