Christmas Past, Christmas Present, Christmas Future…

We decorated our Christmas tree last night. The sweetness of the ritual actually matched with the expectations of such highly anticipated events.

Every year, it seems that we suffocate these precious moments with whimsical visions of what they should be, and quite often they don’t measure up to the glorious recollections of decades past.

Each December, as the holidays have rolled around, there has most often been a distraction or at times, a heaviness, drawing me to an agitated distance from the moment.  Decorating trees, for example has felt like a chore,  either because of a busy schedule or just an absence of good old holiday spirit.

“Let’s just put it up fast and keep the ornaments to a minimum so we’ll have less to put away. We’ll do this right next year”

Why is that?  Lets go back.

2006– My Dad Passed away in April of that year.  The first holiday without a dear loved one sucks no matter how much spiked eggnog you drink or how zany-fun your family members are.










2007 -Exactly one year prior, we had moved to Los Angeles with Wicked.   Doing a show on Christmas Eve is not a terrible way to spend the holiday, but you can’t bring your family on stage with you…especially if they live on the opposite coast.  But, I was about 12 weeks pregnant, so that was exciting, and we were only contracted to stay in LA for another six months.  After that, it was back to our families in the East!






*Spoiler Alert – We stayed in Los Angeles for five years.



2008– we were supposed to be enjoying our new baby girl who would have been 5 months old. Instead, we were in the thick of fertility treatments. Thanks to dear friends who became family, we were able to distract for brief moments with some Hanukkah  joy.  We became honorary Jews for the five years we were in LA and we miss it and them dearly.








*Spoiler Alert – We found out on January 2nd that aforementioned  fertility treatments were a success!



2009– Zachary Nicholas was born! A very special Christmas indeed. But, there was something bittersweet about having our first Christmas with our new baby, 3000 miles away from our families.  But, I must repeat, an amazing, blessed year.  One of the best of my lifetime.










2010 – Decorating the tree with a 16-month-old in a cast, (broken leg number one) while 33 weeks pregnant with and eager fetus causing contractions two minutes apart for hours and days on end is slightly less than fun, just in case you were wondering.


Don’t let the smile fool you. I have formal acting training










Said contractions sent us to the hospital for preterm labor to ring in the New Year with apple juice in the maternal fetal care unit.

New Year's Eve 2011

New Year’s Eve – 2011



*spoiler alert-Isabelle Anne hung on for three more weeks and was born at 36 weeks, a perfect and healthy 6 lbs, 1 oz. The other best year of my life.


2011– we threw up an artificial pre-lit tree and let it shine ornament-less in a sea of empty boxes while we packed for our cross-country move from LA to NJ, scheduled for December 26th.






*Spoiler Alert – The trip across the country was a complete debacle.  More on that here.



2012 – No move is planned…for at least for another year.  And, employment is on the horizon. Not just any employment. Employment that excites (and terrifies) me beyond anything I have ever imagined. Huge life change.

More on that later. Back to last night’s long-awaited tree decorating evening of utter, priceless, memory making, delicious, please freeze this moment in time, perfection.









Need I say more?


18 responses to “Christmas Past, Christmas Present, Christmas Future…

  1. WIshing you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

  2. And if we’d not moved, I’d be enjoying seeing that lovely tree vicariously across the driveway. Can’t wait to hear employment news!!! HUGS. And MORE HUGS.

  3. And you missed the part about your Mom, sister and brother-in-law decorating a tree for you in exactly the same spot in the same room last December, so it’d be there to surprise you when you finally arrived AFTER Christmas. Lotsa love there.

  4. Stunning.

  5. Awe, Em!! I always enjoy your blog but I really enjoyed this special Christmas story. The last picture brought a tear to my eye. LOVE it. Miss you guys. Xoxo

  6. The history you shared makes that last picture even more sweet! So happy for you and your family that your house seems filled with joy right now. Your babies are happy and healthy and with exciting employment news on the horizon you probably feel more relaxed and can be present and enjoy all the precious moments. Merry Christmas!

    • It does help, Rita! Of course, I wish this employment started before August, but I will not complain. Not today, especially. My babies are home and alive and healthy.

      • I know what you mean. Such heartbreak yesterday! My husband used to work with a man who lost his daughter in that shooting yesterday. He had recently moved his family there because he felt it was too dangerous here. So hard to find the right words to express our sorrow and sympathy.

      • I think I just saw him speak on the news. I am still crying. Amazing man. I don’t know how he is standing. I would not know what to say either. There are no words.

  7. Waiting patiently to hear more about “employment on the horizon.” In the meantime, enjoy your holidays!

  8. I made the blog! So excited! I have loved being able to share Xmas joy with the Hogle clan. Xoxo

  9. So excited for you and the family as you guys start on a new journey! As Always I count you, Steve, Zachary, and Isabelle among my blessings to be grateful for–so glad to have you so close Em. PS–I want a copy of this picture! It belongs on a greeting card!!!

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