Merry Christmas to Everyone and Best Wishes for the New Year!

Dear friends,

We hope this letter finds you in good health and spirits.
Today on the First Advent, we were invited to visit friends in Westhampton. The weather was so mild that we could even spend time outside and there was no word yet mentioned about the holidays. The arrival of our German gingerbread package was not enough to launch us into the Christmas spirit either.

This week we got a new commercial printer/scanner with a 3 year lease. That’s about how much longer I intend to continue working at the company. If advancements continue at the current pace, I expect this Christmas letter will be completed from A-Z by the push of a single button. All family members have an iPhone so we always have instant access to an entire album of photos.

In October Brigitte and I sailed from the Brooklyn Harbor to Hannover on the Queen Mary II… the same cruise ship we’d traveled with to Canada this summer with our daughters. The leap across the pond took 9 days. The last time we crossed the Atlantic together by ship was in 1975.

Three days ago, we were invited to celebrate Thanksgiving at Tanya and Oliver’s house. Following tradition, there was plenty of food, but they added their own unique culinary touches.

For Brigitte’s birthday in January we took a week-long family vacation to eternally green South Florida, while NY got buried by the first snowstorm of the year. As a family of garden enthusiasts, we made this the theme of our trip and visited as many as we could. Two standouts we can highly recommend: the 20+ acre Fairchild Tropical Garden near Miami, which at the time of our visit showcased giant glass sculptures by Chihuly, and the 16 acre Morikami Museum and Gardens, in Del Ray Beach. Considered one of the best Japanese gardens outside of Japan, it also tells the story of the farmers from that country who had settled in Florida over a century ago.

I had invited the entire family to celebrate my birthday in Hawaii, but having just been released from a 14-day hospital stay, I wasn’t able to make it. So on April 16th they all visited the observatory on Mauna Kea, one of the highest volcanoes in the world, and celebrated in my honor. The subject of astronomy fascinates me, and now space travel is on the cusp of becoming mainstream; Last week Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, successfully launched and landed the world’s first reusable rocket and thus disgraced my company’s long-time customer, the federally funded NASA. Which brings me to politics: Donald Trump himself has plenty of money, and therefore needs not cater to lobbyists, the media, Washington establishment and or Wall Street. He is knocking out his competitors one by one: the people applaud.