Merry Christmas!

Welcome to the Bucher Family Christmas Page for 2009! For those of you who are curious or truly bored, you can check out the past eight years' editions of this page by clicking this link to the Bucher Christmas Page Archive. Click on the photo thumbnails for more images or, new this year, to play the embedded videos from YouTube.

2009 proved a year of relative stability for us. December will mark our first full calendar year in our new house. Eric spent five months of that year constructing the library at his own inimitable snail's pace. It features floor-to-ceiling, nine foot tall built-in bookcases (made from scratch), a Putnam rolling library ladder (the same make as found in the libraries of Yoko Ono and Stephen Colbert!), a new piano, new furniture, and artwork depicting scenes from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales by Dutch intarsia artist Alardus van den Bosch. While he feels a sense of accomplishment at finishing such a huge project himself, Eric is also convinced that a hired contractor will be just fine when we finish the basement this summer. Eric's pediatric practice continues to thrive. Apparently in some sectors of the economy swine flu is a better stimulus package than anything Congress has yet passed.
Elaine survived her first year as a full-time English teacher at Whittier Tech and has bravely embarked upon her second. Riding a resultant wave of massively improved grammar and syntax among this year's seniors, the Whittier football team capped an undefeated regular season with their first ever state championship. Elaine has also begun helping out with the chorus and the musical (this year: Beauty and the Beast). To further her own musical ambitions, she also sang on stage at Disney Studios in their new American Idol Experience. No recording contract is immanent. Also on the musical front, despite her reservations, Elaine somehow let Eric convince her to get tickets for Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, a new show slated to open on Broadway in February 2010. Loyal readers of the Bucher Christmas Page will recall that the last new Broadway show Eric talked her into seeing closed shortly afterwards, becoming one of the costliest flops in broadway history. Now this show is in danger of never opening at all. Perhaps her husband truly is the kiss of musical death, even when not singing the songs himself.
Laura celebrated her birthday in October, and somehow her father managed to survive her turning thirteen, her getting a cell phone, and her first school dance all in the same two-week span. This year she made it into Melody Club (the competitive singing group at the middle school) and has just finished her first round of auditions for the drama club's musical. If the teenage drama she lives out every day at home is any indication, she should be a shoo-in. In February she is going to be singing Vanessa Carlton's "A Thousand Miles" and accompanying herself on piano in the school talent show.

Two soccer teams a year and sundry other activities round out her well-constructed plans to keep her parents' spare time to a minimum.
Christina turned ten in September and has continued to be busy as well. In October she was elected to her school's student council. Eric is a bit disappointed that despite nearly two months on the job, apparently she has yet to draft legislation to accomplish either affordable universal health care coverage or meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Tina did, however, follow in her father's illustrious magical footsteps, taking on the mantle of The Amazing Tina, Mistress of Illusion at a performance this past spring.

Around the same time, she won third place at the school science fair for her project on whether the newspaper horoscope accurately predicts the future (amazingly, it does not). Tina has also continued to play soccer (on two teams), play piano, and is a junior Girl Scout.
Rachel completed her own winning science fair project that involved a sound level meter, various soundproofing materials, and the drum set and amplifier she received from Santa last Christmas. Mercifully, this year she has asked the Big Guy for a somewhat less noisy (but no less bulky) easel. This past summer Rachel finally decided to learn to ride a bike.

Rachel also landed one of the leads in her class holiday play, portraying the "Candy Cane Kid" in Christmas at the O.K. Corral. Because nothing better celebrates the birth of our Lord and saviour than corrupt western lawmen and a good old fashioned gunfight.
Hope this holiday season finds you and your families happy and healthy. We wish you the joy of the season and all of the best for a prosperous 2010.

Eric & Elaine Bucher
Laura, Christina & Rachel
35 Riverfront Drive
Amesbury, MA 01913