“On a busy day twenty-two thousand people come to visit Santa, and I was told that it is an elf's lot to remain merry in the face of torment and adversity. I promised to keep that in mind.”
― David Sedaris
Dear Friends and Family,
I know it's been several years since I've actually forced my hoodlums to smile for the camera and then submitted their tortured grins to my local photo shop for a holiday card festooned with ribbons and trees and snowmen. I haven't purchased Christmas stamps in at least three years. And I've haphazardly attempted my annual "here's what went wrong in our lives this year" letter because I posted it on Facebook but (and I'll be honest here) I've been lazy.
|We're swingers. Wait, is that appropriate?|
I love Christmas cards. I do. I open them with delight. And I post the pictures of your smiling kids and adorable pets on my fridge and hope that may be ONE day ALL of us can get together. And then I think about how much work that would be. And I go back to reading my books. Or writing my blog. Or staring off blankly into space wondering if my toes are still growing because, seriously, they SEEM longer.
So, here it is friends and family. Here's my holiday letter. It didn't come to you with a stamp. But it comes from as deep in my heart as I can muster:
Life is never an easy proposition in this family household. We stumble through it not with those delightfully laid plans of a mother in charge of her family's destiny but, instead, rather haphazardly. Any really good things that occur seem accidental or, at best, like living life fortune-cookie-style. "Today the sun will shine on you and you'll make wise choices." Well, OK. Let's have at it then.
We adopted another family member this year. No, don't get all ruffled up...it wasn't an actual CHILD but instead a delightfully compact Scottish terrier named Mr. McDougal. Mr. McDougal is a brilliant name for a Scottish terrier and I can only wish I had thought of it. No, dogs who are adopted EARLY into my household get names like "Sparky" or maybe the classic "Fido." We're apparently just either a) not that creative or b) put our genius to evil instead of good. Mr. McDougal LOOKS depressed much of the time. I mean, he walks around with his little ears perked up and his tail wagging but I think he must grow tired of staring at everyone's ankles. Living amongst feet can't be an easy or pleasant thing. Regardless, he's been swept along in the ordinary chaos of our day to day lives and, so far at least, no one has forgotten to feed him.
Thing 1 has sprouted and is no longer the shortest kid in his class, for which I am eternally grateful. All I need would be to raise a man with Napoleon syndrome. No, the neuroses he develops after the first 18 years with me will be far more interesting for a psychologist to unwind and I rest assured every night that he will have plenty of fodder to hold against me when he's grown. He's now in the 8th grade and has uncovered a natural flair for sarcasm. I foster that when I can. Usually when we're talking about his grades or his future.
Thing 2 started middle school this past year and has developed his more social side. He spends hours locked behind closed doors playing video games while talking with his friends on a headset. I'm pretty sure he's shooting them while doing so. Not that I'm worried, dear friends and family. I've been told that they're "ONLY video games, Mom." I have to be honest with him: I'm not a fan of those games. He told me that he's growing up just fine, though. I guess I'll believe him until he's 24 and living on my couch in sweat-stained undershirts and boxer shorts.
I'm not yet addicted to any drugs (prescription or otherwise) and I've managed not to add excessive weight to my sturdy frame this year. I seem to be hobbling along fine and if you'd call me every now and again you'd figure that out for yourself. Not that I'm complaining. And I do realize the phone lines work both ways...it's just that we've established how lazy I am earlier in this letter. Do you honestly think I can be bothered to pick up the phone?
The new year begins tomorrow at midnight. 2014 is sure to hold some pretty amazing things for this little family. Or not. Where's that fortune cookie again? And, hey, I'll send out your REAL Christmas cards NEXT year. Maybe.
Kelly (and the boys and the dogs and the geriatric cat)
P.S. In all seriousness, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our little corner of the world to yours. We love you muchly.
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