One of these years we’ll get our whole family together again for Christmas. This year was special because Anna came to experience an Arctic Christmas with us. She was lucky to fly out with some elders who pointed out other villages and geographic features along the way.
We cared for the Kobuk teachers’ dog team while they were gone for Christmas, so there was lots of mushing going on.
There were a lot of missed photo opportunities due to the cold draining the batteries in the camera so fast. One day Hans came up with the brilliant idea to take along a cooler on the snowmachine to keep the cameras warm (metal water bottles filled with hot water and towels) until Bonnie stopped, pulled a camera out, took a few shots, returned it to the cooler, drove farther on the trail and repeated the process. Genius!
When we weren’t out mushing, we were snug in the house.
Anna joined us and the community for the Christmas Program at the church followed by gift giving and the traditional Feast the next evening.
We had a non-traditional (for us) Christmas dinner of chicken shawarma, jasmine rice, dahl, and naan. Anna and Bonnie tried out all those new recipes thanks to Hans’ yogurt making abilities and Budget Bytes.
If we weren’t out with the dogs, or cooking, or eating, or getting Anna dressed up to go out, or knitting, or Skyping with Hans C. in Santo Domingo, we were playing games, watching movies, reading, looking out the window, watching northern lights, or talking and laughing.
Anna’s suitcase contained Hans C’s gift for us; Theo chocolate bars and fresh Voxx coffee beans. Perfect. It also contained our present from Anna. A quilt she made. Her grandma, Ann Boenish, will be so glad to know she’s continuing in her quilting footsteps. It was a pi quilt. She chose ten different fabrics (one for each digit) and then stitched them together for pi: 3.141592653589793238462643… So creative!
We feel so fortunate to have spent the last two Christmas holidays showing Hans C. and Anna the Arctic. They both said they have a new understanding of and appreciation for this unique place that holds such a special place in our lives. Happy Holidays indeed!