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Feature: First complete Christmas like a fully decorated tree
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  • http://english.dbw.cn銆€銆€ 2009-12-18 09:30:24
     
       Christmas trees are common during the festive holiday season. But family celebrations as complete as well-decorated Christmas trees remains a tantalizing dream for quite a number of American families.

        The Gobin family, for one, is marking its first Christmas in eight years with its first tree and first reunion of the entire family in the States - Husband Nathanial, Wife Neisha, First Son Jonah, Second Son Julian, husband's parents and wife's mother.

     

    Photo taken on Dec. 2, 2009 shows the shining Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center in New York, the United States.

    Photo taken on Dec. 2, 2009 shows the shining Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center in New York, the United States. (Xinhua Photo)

        With a seven-foot-tall tree already in place at Gobins' home in Katy, Texas, near Houston, 33-year-old Neisha has moved on to contemplate what gifts to prepare for each member of the family on that special morning.

        "I'm good with money, but we pinch pennies because we're right at where our bills are, so every expense has to be looked at," Neisha said. "My children do not need 300 dollars worth of presents. I'll probably spend about 50 dollars on each of them."

        She said, too, that the children would get toys and other gifts from their grandparents.

        The Gobins, like many Americans, have to be careful with their spending, on Christmas and from day-to-day.

    The White House Christmas Tree is lit during a ceremony in Washington, December 3, 2009.

    The White House Christmas Tree is lit during a ceremony in Washington, December 3, 2009.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

        That's because the Gobins have their three-bedroom, 1,800-square-foot house in a middle-class community to pay for as well as caring for their young sons _ Jonah, 3 years old, and Julian, 15 months old.

        Near-bankruptcy marred the Gobins' Christmas celebrations during the past few years. A breakdown of Nathanial's truck and the ensuing expensive repairs cost the couple their 2007 Christmas while the malfunction of both their weed-eater and lawnmower took away their 2008 celebration.

        Neisha is hoping that her husband's recent promotion to manager of an A-Plus Auto Transmission chain store will help the family.

    Men dressed as Santa Claus pose in the assembly hall after a meeting of the rent-a-Santa Claus service organised by the "jobcafe.de" at Munich's Universitiy November 23, 2009. The job centre at the University in Munich organize the rent-a-Santa Claus service each year for Christmas.

    Men dressed as Santa Claus pose in the assembly hall after a meeting of the rent-a-Santa Claus service organised by the "jobcafe.de" at Munich's Universitiy November 23, 2009. The job centre at the University in Munich organize the rent-a-Santa Claus service each year for Christmas. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

        "We would love to have a big-screen TV," said Nathanial, 25, who also wants speakers for his truck. "Maybe next year. This year, we can't blow 700 bucks on a new TV."

        Still, though thrifty, the Christmas lights, ornaments, garlands and tinsel are there for the Gobins, especially the kids, to feel the arrival of Christmas and Santa Claus.

        Their fully decorated tree has taken a full corner of the living room under a wide red velvet bow. White candles line the fireplace behind the living room sofa. Red and green felt stockings hang over the fireplace as they wait to be filled with small toys and candy.

        "I want my children to have all that," Neisha said, referring to the elements constituting the annual celebration.

    U.S. army soldiers of Task Force Denali B1/321 AFAR stand near a Christmas tree at FOB Clark in Khowst province December 16, 2009.

    U.S. army soldiers of Task Force Denali B1/321 AFAR stand near a Christmas tree at FOB Clark in Khowst province December 16, 2009. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

        Nathanial said that he is glad to have taken the Christmas tradition to his own home, after having to make do with his wife at his parents' house for the past two years.

        Neisha is even far-sighted as to envision her grown-up sons coming back home with their wives to celebrate Christmas with their parents.

        "I don't want my kids to not come over because their wives' families do more (during Christmas)," Neisha said.

        Jonah, nonetheless, is already making Christmas fun by plugging in the Christmas tree lights the first thing in the morning.

        "At least we're all together for the holidays," Neisha said. "That's what makes it special." 銆€

    People dressed as Santa Claus participate in a race through a downtown pedestrian street in Lima December 11, 2009.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

    People dressed as Santa Claus participate in a race through a downtown pedestrian street in Lima December 11, 2009.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

    Author锛? Betty L. Martin 銆€銆€銆€Source锛? xinhua 銆€銆€銆€ Editor锛? Yang Fan