A Christmas Tradition

I guess you could say my Christmas spirit was missing in action this year. Now don’t get me wrong. It’s not like me to forgo decorating with enough holiday decor that borders on being embarrassing. However, I was swamped with work so finding time (and the gumption) to drag everything from the shed was rather daunting. So I skipped it, other than placing a wreath on the front door, giving the illusion I’m festive.bah-humbugNormally I invite my 10 besties over for a tree decorating party in early December. We eat, drink and are consequently quite merry. Karen hangs the lights because she does it best. The gals hang most of the ornaments, yelling at me to “Come help us!” That’s because I’m usually busy gabbing. Dinner is just a ruse to lure them over. I’m like Tom Sawyer, only instead of painting my fence, they decorate my tree. But this year I gave them a reprieve.

Sharon usually comes early to help make an appetizer. We grew up on opposite ends of the same block and have been besties for 42 years. She’s like a junior Martha Stewart, only nicer. I’m envious of how talented she is at so many things. We lived together for 4 years and were each other’s Maids of Honor. Her son Martin is my godson.

Sharon at beach

Creative Sharon

Sisters Pam and Sheila are two of the sweetest people on the planet. Pam is a superb athlete who, at age 60, is an exercise-fiend with the body of a 25-year-old. I hate her. She and Sheila just successfully climbed Mt. Whitney. Sheila is game for anything. They normally hike 15 miles on Mt. Tam each Sunday, which is a warm-up for Pam.

Pam and Sheila

Athletic Pam and Sheila

Everyone knows when sisters Patty and Karen arrive, as the octave increases a bit. I love it. They and their 5 siblings have 23 kids between them and 30 grand kids. Can you say Catholic? We’re talking humongous gatherings, so being adept at projecting their voices is a must with this clan. Karen is kind, almost beyond belief, but she’s for real. Patty is, in a word, hysterical. She holds court with descriptive stories of her family and has us constantly in stitches.

Patty cruise

Entertaining Patty


Sweet Karen

Patty holding court

Patty holding court

Sue is one of my oldest besties, or shall I say one I’ve known the longest? Yeah, that sounds better. We met at 16 in high school, 46 years ago when we were given lockers according to our last names. She was Dalton, I was Donnelly. The rest is history. Sue has the best sense of humor. Her son Eric is my godson.

Sue close up

Always jovial Sue

Kim is the quiet one of the bunch so she rarely gets a word in edgewise, poor thing. But apparently she’s content to listen to our never ending stories. At least I think she is. She interjects when she can, which isn’t often with our bunch. Kim lived with Sharon when I moved out to get married and that’s how and when she became one of us.


Beautiful Kim

Maria happens to be the mother of my goddaughter, Corie, so I’m a bit fond of her. We both unknowingly chose the same wedding dress, as our weddings were a month apart. She was the best third baseman on our softball team and you won’t often find Maria without a smile.

me and maria

Happy-go-lucky Maria

Mandy nor Joan could make it to dinner but here they are…

gang on Jan 30

Mandy, front center, Joan to her left

Nine of the eleven of us played softball together for 10 years. These gals go through life seeing the glass half full, never half empty. And they’re always up for anything. I love that about them. Each one is like family to me, sisters I’ve had for over 40 years. That’s a rare and wonderful thing, don’t you think? friends come and go

It’s true my home had few decorations this year. But the minute my besties walked through my door, it felt like Christmas.

The girls at Xmas 2017

Merry Christmas!

Through the years…

Sue & I graduating

Sue and me at high school graduation


me, Pam and Kim

Me, Pam and Kim in Mexico


blog photo 8

Our winning softball team

blog photo

Summer barbecue

Girls at McDonald concert

Sharon and Karen3kim-pamsheila2.jpggirls on cruise

A true friend

16 thoughts on “A Christmas Tradition

  1. You forgot to mention how lucky we all are to have you in our lives! The Christmas get together is one of the best traditions going. Thank you for the lovely sentiment about lasting friendships.

  2. Janet! Exceptional blog this week. So special to have such a large group of friends for soooo many years. They are truly friends, not acquaintances. If I miss you next week, see you in February and look forward to our tennis. Laura

  3. Lucky girls! I was lucky enough to have one best girlfriend, but it’s funny how things can change after so many years. This year I am no longer in contact with another friend I had from my 20s and then when we had the fires, I was so disappointed that I never heard from my other bestie in Marin and felt she didn’t even care. I now am finding it hard to feel the same about her. Cherish your friendships and don’t let them slip through your fingers like what seems to have happened with two of mine this year. I feel like an orphan.

  4. Oh Janet, that was wonderful reading all about our special and fabulous friendships. It just feels like home coming to your house. I love how you always gather “the girls” together on my trips home and I appreciate it We are all certainly very blessed !!
    Love you sweet friend.💝

  5. Merry Christmas Janet, Karen, Sharon, Sue, Sheila, Pam, Maria, Kim, Mandy and Joan! Close friends are truly the treasures of life, we are truly blessed to have each other! Love you!

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