Spirits of Christmases Past: 2016

Casey retired on December 16, 2016 and I was in NYC at the time, enjoying my last solo visit…

Grandie #4, Samantha, was born in February, 2015, but 2016 was the first Christmas she was fully interactive… As we began our New Way of Living, she was almost 2, already talking up a storm…

Step into the WayBack Machine, set the dial to 2016…


A last hurrah to Christmas 2016

Date: December 28, 2016 Author: Jo Mayne Casey

Our plans to drive to NYC on Christmas Day were unavoidably changed, but that’s okay.  We’re free, now, to come and go as we please.  Here at Sonnystone, we’re still walking around going, wow you really don’t have to go to work, as we do the same old things we’d always do…put away the decorations, bring in the firewood (though it’s been unseasonably warm), and eat up the leftovers.

The Leftovers are from our Christmas Eve get-together with the Jrs.  Olivia and Samantha spent the night with us on the 23rd, and we met up with their parents for breakfast the next morning at IHOP.  (good enough, but I wish Eville had more diners)   Returning to the Acres, we quickly got down to serious christmas business:

Opening presents…


Playing with new toys…

Not just New toys, but old games, too…


New toys are great, but Samantha currently loves the harmonica the best.  Since she figured out how to make music with it a couple of months ago, she comes in pointing and asking  for it every visit.  She insists that I play one with her, and we’re quite a duo, but with or without me, she doesn’t let go of her blues harp.

We’ve got it all put away now and we’re busy working on the laundry room remodel…wait, did I say We?  I’m still putting everything back where it was (where was it?) before the holidaze, planning some trips, and vowing to not make any resolutions this year…like I never do.  


Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All

Spirits of Christmases Past: 2012

By 2012, Eliza had joined the Grandies and #1 and #2 were officially the “big” girls. The Whole Entire Family visited NYC on Thanksgiving for the Macy’s Parade. We enjoyed three days in the City, having a blast, as well as exchanging gifts.

This was our “Christmas” that year; the Jrs spent the Big Day with Jessica’s family and Melissa was buried in church work. That’s okay, though, because the Rockettes will keep you Christmas-y for at least a month after your visit.

Step into the WayBack Machine, set the dials for 2012…


scenes from radio city music hall

Date: November 24, 2012 Author: Jo Mayne Casey

waiting in line for the bathroom was sooo fun


Don’t feel sorry for us, though. We went down to New Orleans for Christmas Day that year…

Peace on Earth, Good Will to All…

Spirits of Christmases Past: 2010, chap. 2

Ten years ago, I had only two grand-daughters. My #2 grandie, Olivia, and her Mom & Dad were still living up in Lafayette, Indiana that year. I was still doing the Church Musician gig, playing the beautiful pipe organ up at Trinity LCMS up in Darmstadt.

Again, let’s step into the Way-Back Machine…

Here’s another Chapter of Spirits of Christmases Past 2010…


christmas with olivia

Date: December 26, 2010 Author: Jo Mayne Casey

olivia and her parents were here when i got home from church on christmas day.  i had some chopping to do for the cheese soup, so we ate some sandwiches and visited before we got to the good part….opening presents!!!

the monkey-that-looks-like-a-hippo pillow pet
we had to stop and read 

so at the end of the day, the princess played with the “treasure chest”…..i think she got the idea from wink…..

Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All


Spirits of Christmases Past: 2010, chap. 1

Our Family Christmas Traditions are not traditional. We’ve become accustomed to adjusting our get-togethers, but we’ve always had some choice about when or how. This year, this Weird Year, we’ve no alternative to staying home, away from our precious NYC where we have spent the last 15 years enjoying the Rockettes, Bill’s Burgers, theatre, and Most of All, Grandies.

It could be worse, though, and Hope is rising slowly across the horizon so that I can confidently say that Next Christmas we’ll be back at Radio City Music Hall, Next Christmas we’ll be back at 333 #829 with Christmas tree lights reflecting in our eyes.

Let’s step inside the Way-Back Machine, set the dials for 2010, and view Precious Christmas Memories…


christmas with emma

Date: December 24, 2010 Author: Jo Mayne Casey

we arrived at 333 around noon sunday.  after some burgers at merrion square, we opened a few presents. 

grandpa helped with the sock puppets

on monday we saw the 5pm performance of the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular.  this is emma’s 3rd time to see the Show—not bad for a 4-yr-old.   

tuesday was her school christmas program (no, grandma, it’s a show) and it was no surprise that she was such a terrific performer.  what was a surprise is that she introduced the show, coming out with confidence to the microphone and saying clearly, smiling, “welcome to our christmas show”.   she’s somethin’, that gal. 

the other kid aren’t really zombies….

we opened more presents when we came home.  she had bought grandpa some nice things at her school’s christmas shop and was so excited to give them to him.  she tried so hard to keep it a secret…..

she loved all of her presents, of course……. 

daddy helped her with her new wii game

the next morning, she was off to school for a polar express pajama party, wearing her new pajamas, crocks and socks.  we left just as she and melissa were heading out for school….posing with her baby sister’s new swing…

 it was such a short time, but just enough to tide me over until february……


Peace on Earth, Good Will to All