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A holiday feast

Tom Boyd

Parents and grandparents and children and dogs: these are the ingredients for my favorite kind of Christmas feast.And this year my family, and all those who have spent holiday time in the valley, have a very special gift: Marie Claire Moritz’s new book.On the front is a picture of the author and her husband, Walter Anton Moritz, with the inscription: ” Memories and recipes of Vail’s Grand Chef.”And he was.As I flip the book over I see the bright face of Sebastian Anton Moritz, grandson of the couple on the front, and an inscription that reads, ” Looking to the future.”I spent a few hours with a copy of Marie Claire’s book the other day, gazing at photos of all the people I remember from my time growing up in the valley. I found myself remembering things that I didn’t even know I knew about, and I went into a long reverie inspired by her photos and writing. On page 91 I found a recipe for French Tomato Soup, my new favorite dish, where Marie Claire bestowed an honor upon my parents, my family, and, “all those who have made Vail home,” through the generations.It was an honor unequaled thank you, Marie Claire.When I came again to the back of the book and the photo of Sebastian, I couldn’t help but compare him to my own niece and nephew, Rilee Elisabeth Boyd and Kienan Hook Hilmer.Not everyone is fortunate enough to spend the holidays with their entire family, and even those who do aren’t always lucky enough to have little ones around for the holidays. We’ve only had our new people around for one Christmas, but it was the best Christmas we’ve had since the last batch of children grew up.The Sebastians, Rilees and Kienans of the valley are always considered special by their loved ones, but something about late December, when the snow is falling and the fire is roaring, makes children extra-special. They become cozy centerpieces for family living, and also conversation pieces for family members who may otherwise have a hard time communicating.And for an active family such as ours, dogs make the final ingredient for a recipe of happiness. When the town is quiet and sleeping, the dogs get restless, and it’s our duty to take the Boyd family dogs (all five of them) out into the snowy fields for a long romp and play session. Kids are strapped into their hi-tech backpacks and fuzzy hats so they can come along, too.If we don’t see you on the trail, or out and about during the next week, then happy holidays from the bottom of all 14 Boyd hearts (canine or otherwise), and we wish you all the ingredients for a happy holiday.


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