Nicolai hosted a New Year’s Eve party for a group of his friends. Jeanine prepared macaroni and cheese, meatball subs, pigs in a blanket and a salad. I have never heard so many compliments from a group of teenagers in my life. I tried to limit my photographic intrusion and did not venture into the basement where the majority of time was spent. The girls all left by 1AM and the boys remained for a sleep over.

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Maya has not been seen in the last 24 hours without this present from her mother upon her head. We do try to manage our carbon footprint by keeping the temperature in the house set to the sweater range but I can state with certainty that it is well above the hat range. It would be safe, therefore, to conclude that Maya really loves this gift from her mom.

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Although it may be argued that we are contributing to their delinquency, poker was the featured attraction at the Calabria household this evening. Uncharacteristically, Kyle and Nicolai and their respective friends played together in one large group until I called last hand at 11:30PM. It may not be the most productive use of their time but we feel it is a far better alternative to some of the more common activities of teenagers in this day and age.

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It is not uncommon in the winter months for me to arrive at the office before it is light out and to leave after it has gotten dark. Today was such a day as I worked with my team to overcome last minute obstacles which stand in the way of beginning production on two new products. Absent any outdoor overlap with the sun, I must rely on indoor photographs to produce my blog entry. After almost six years of daily entries, the family has become tolerant of my incessant photography. On occasions, however, I encounter resistance which takes the form of today’s post. This five finger gesture is more effective at deterring my photographic efforts than the more common single digit form.

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We received about 10 inches of snow today during a major blizzard that has wreaked havoc on the Eastern seaboard. Kyle came to work with me today so that I could drive him to Newburyport for a noon appearance at the District Court. Back in the spring he received a speeding citation 10 days before his one year driving anniversary making him subject to a suspension of his driving license. He elected to appear before a judge to request leniency in light of his perfect driving record before and since. When the state police officer who issued the ticket failed to arrive at the appointed time the judge informed Kyle is was his lucky day and found him not responsible (no fine, no points, no insurance increase). Kyle has had more than his share of bad luck so it was with no reservations that we embraced his good fortune.

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Both boys are dating girls we really like and it is a pleasure to include them during our family outings. Today we enjoyed a mid afternoon meal at the English Beer Pub in Westford. We decided on an early dinner in anticipation of the blizzard expected to hit our area this evening. The leisurely meal included several rounds of card games before and after the food arrived.

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Two years running, Jeanine’s popovers have been an exercise in perfection. The family made short work of these breakfast treats before serious present opening commenced.

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It was wonderful sharing the day with my mom and Susan. There presence only enhanced our enjoyment of the holiday. Even Nala was in a festive mood.

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We managed a rare family portrait including the front end of Nala before beginning to open presents.

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We did stockings in reverse order this year (oldest to youngest). Maya waits patiently for her turn dressed in her new footed pajamas.

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With guests for Christmas there were too many stockings to hang by the fireplace so we pressed the sofa into service.

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Our Christmas Eve tradition includes dining out at the Chang An Chinese restaurant. This year we are joined by Alan Budris and his three daughters (identical in age to our kids). His youngest, Sarinnagh, is Maya’s best friend. It was a delightful meal spent in the company of delightful people.

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The Christmas service at our church ends with the congregation singing Silent Night by candle light. We are joined this year by my mother and Jeanine’s sister, Susan.

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Snow has arrived just in time for Christmas. The Old North Bridge is one of my favorite destinations for snowscapes. I made an early morning stop before a breakfast meeting at the Colonial Inn.

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A tough battle for Nicolai this evening in his dual meet against Lincoln Sudbury. Although he wrestled quite well, he faced a superior opponent and lost 14-6. He fought hard till the end and did not give up any back points which is all that can be asked in this situation. His team fared no better losing by a significant margin. My mother and sister-in-law arrived today for the holidays and were in attendance.

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Recognizing outstanding financial performance last year, the Home Robots division of iRobot celebrated with a catered lunch and gift raffle. This was but a warm up for the annual holiday party which is held in late January. Every employee also received a very nice soft shell jacket with the company logo.

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