This is a newly typed copy of the 1974 Christmas Letter 
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 Christmas 1974
The Christian home is the Master’s workshop where
the processes of character molding are silently,
lovingly, faithfully and successfully carried on.

A beautiful statement by Lord Houghten and one we hope we can and are fulfilling.  Our family is growing and going as is normal for families.  The 1974 has been especially so for us.  The growing is evident by the number of too-short pant legs on almost everyone–except Mom and Dad (theirs don’t fit in other places), and going was done to the East Coast and even farther East to Spain.

Yes, we took Camelot, our family chariot, Eastward this year.  Mom and the kids departed and visited Gettysburg, were in Washington when we changed presidents, then visited Philadelphia before spending a few days taking in the sights in New York City.  Ray flew in to New York the last day in order to make the drive with us to Boston where we spent a week visiting a dear friend and taking the sights in and around that historic city.  Departure time came all too quickly, and we rushed Westward to spend a day at Niagara Falls before driving home–stayed in Canada so the kids could spend a night out of the country.  We took in all the Bicentennial places two years before the crowds, but the kids enjoyed them just the same, possibly more so.  I doubt any of them could pick out a favorite place, but Paul would possibly be torn between the Washington Monument and the Statue of Liberty–he was impressed by the stairs in both.

To make up for the past two anniversaries which we didn’t spend together, Ray and I spent the first week in December in Madrid breathing in the pollution of another continent and taking in their glorious history and sights.  Those Spaniards really did build palaces.  Franco may not be called a king, but he surely lives like one.  And boy, is he going to be buried like one.  We visited his intended burial site–the basilica’s larger than St. Peter’s in Rome

Our at-home activities haven’t changed much this year–school, meetings, Scouts, park activities, Ray still bowls, and this year Pam and Gail were in a league and enjoy the sport very much.

Lloyd is a sophomore in high school–hard to believe?  His studies, paper route, and other activities have kept him very busy most of the time.  He went on a trip to Springfield last spring with the History Club and won a week-end trip to the Indianapolis 500 Race on Memorial Day.

Mark’s in eighth grade and will be graduating in June.  He plans to attend the same high school as Lloyd, Quigley South, that is.  He is an altar boy and still loves sports–just finishing the football season in time to engage in wrestling.  His passion during our trip was collecting statues of the various places we visited.  He has quite a collection.

Pam is in seventh grade and still the charming perfectionist who never ceases to amaze her parents with her achievements.  She made her Confirmation last January and is quite a grown-up young lady.  She took a sewing course this summer and is doing beautiful work.  Besides bowling, she enjoys gymnastics.  She was chosen Patrol Girl of the month in December.  Pam collects china from the various places we have visited, and we will soon have to put an addition on the house for her growing collection.

Gail is always going somewhere, and yes, she still giggles. Making friends is still her primary ambition.  She is corresponding with a girl she met at a New Jersey campground.  At age eleven she is monopolizing the telephone.  She also bowls and takes gymnastics.  She and Bev are in my Girl Scout troop, but Pam has flown up to the Cadette troop.

In fourth grade this year, Bev is as conscientious as ever.  She is very thoughtful and always willing to help.  In addition to scouting, Bev is taking a sewing course at the park which she enjoys very much. 

Another year in school hasn’t taken the edge off of Paul’s vivacity.  He charges off to school in the mornings raring-to-go and comes home with the same amount of energy.  Don’t know how he manages that but wish he’d let the secret out.  His work is great and his enthusiasm undying, but it seems he is at times a bit gregarious–I knew his shy act wouldn’t last.  His knowledge and enjoyment of our trips these past two years is a joy.  He has his own private animal collection from many of the places visited, plus other souvenirs he couldn’t resist.

Prior to our trip this summer was hectic–Mom took two courses in summer school, Dad finished our “old brick” patio, Mark, Pam and Gail attended an enrichment program at Lloyd’s high school, and Bev and Paul attended day camp with all its exciting activities.  This was Paul’s first year to go swimming at camp and did he every love it.  Things finished up in time for us to leave in August.

Here are the old copies of the originals!