It’s that time of year again–when the annual Christmas letter gets mailed out. Each year as I pour time into writing the letter, stuffing the envelopes and addressing the cards, I wonder how much longer this tradition will continue. Well, this year didn’t seem like the year to put an end to a 75 year family tradition. SO–without further ado, here is our annual Bohle Family Christmas Letter.
We are half way into our third year of living in this Dutch town called Holland. We are now acclimated to its winters with 150 inches of snow (2014), the wooden shoes in the spring and the beaches in the summer. Because of this, the theme of this year’s traditional Christmas letter is “being Non-Dutch in a Dutch town”.
There are many things we love about our life in Holland (the winters not being one of them). The one thing that remains evident is that we are not Dutch. We have brown hair not blonde, our last name doesn’t start with “Van” or “Vander” nor does it end end with “Zwaag” or “Berg” and the only shoes we own are made out of cloth not wood. Through it all, we are learning how to survive in this Dutch town!
Chris’ employer, Hope College, calls all their employees and students the “Flying Dutch”. His wardrobe spills over in the colors of blue and orange and wooden shoes line his office windowsill. Even though he hasn’t fully grasped what it means to be a “Flying Dutch”, he loves working with college students in his capacity. Chris can often be found planning student activities, teaching leadership courses and advising student groups.
Amanda continues to teach 1st grade at Holland Christian. Although she loves teaching 1st grade, her biggest struggle remains learning how to pronounce all of the Dutch last names. Another major area of concern is finding a Dutch costume to wear during the Tulip Time parades so it at least appears like she’s from this town! Rumor has it there was a Dutch version of Amanda marching the streets last May.
August will turn two on December 27th. His energy and spunk keep us on our toes. His biggest interests this year include Elmo, balls of any kind (he seems particularly fond of footballs), emptying the kitchen cabinets, and saying the word “no”. August knows no stranger and he was quickly adopted into the “Flying Dutch” family. We are daily blessed by the joy and love that he brings others and us.
All joking aside, we love our life in Holland. Between two jobs that bring us great purpose and a wonderful church family, we feel very blessed to be living and serving in Holland. God has blessed us greatly and our desire to bless others in return. If you ever find yourself in West Michigan, please be sure to stop by and say hello! We will great you with windmill cookies and tulips!
Each morning August wakes up asking to give the Baby Jesus in our nativity scene kisses. May this childlike faith, be a reminder of the purpose of the Christmas season, to celebrate the birth of our Savior and show Him our love each day.
Merry Christmas from our home to yours!
Chris, Amanda and August Bohle