Monday, November 10, 2008

Family Christmas Letters

You have five weeks to mail your Christmas cards and have them arrive by Christmas. Crazy. This year has gone by so fast! Every year I like to send a nice letter with my cards. Since I work, and because we have a lot of family in far flung states, we often will not see or talk to family for years. This letter, particularly for those who do not use the Internet, will be most of our communication with them. It works for neighbors that you never talk to as well. Two years ago, my next door neighbor stopped me and thanked me for my letter as she learned more about us from that one piece of paper than by living next to us for three years (it was the first year I tucked it into their card).

I like funny letters. My cousin got a letter from her friend that she shared with me over Christmas which did nothing but talk about all their new toys and kids' accomplishments. That's okay, I suppose...but, really, who wants to read about the perfect family? I will also plagiarize if I find something really great online that fits my family and I can adapt to my style (come on, like Christmas cards are original?). There are some sites that you can go to and just fill in a few answers to questions and it will create a cute letter for you. I did that one year. If you are an online photo book maker, you can turn your Christmas letter into a .jpg and insert it into a page so you can have a history of each year for your family yearbook. So here are the last two letters in case you would like some ideas for your letter:

Christmas 2007
(also included pictures of the kids pasted on the page and top ten events for the year in one corner):

Trina's Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited the doctor's office more than my doctor and sold Boy Scout popcorn to my coworkers to raise money. I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my kids’ red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find anymore free time in the next 18 years.

Here are my Christmas wishes:

I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze, but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store.

I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy.

If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music, a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals, and a refrigerator with a secret compartment where I can hide to talk on the phone.

On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, "Yes, Mommy" to boost my parental confidence, along with three kids who don't fight and two pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools.

I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting "Pick up your toys," and "Take your hands off your brother," because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.

If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.

If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.

Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is calling and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don't catch cold.

Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the floor.

Yours Always,

Dr. MOM...

P.S. One more can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in Santa.

Christmas 2006
(also included pasted pictures around the page):

Happy holidays, everyone!

What a year it’s been at our house. Here is a little letter to let you know how we are doing! J is now six years old, G is three, C is two, and they love to play with each other! Just the other day, I came into the living room and heard my husband say, “J, please don’t sit on your brother’s head.”

G’s become such a good big brother this year. He even tells “Cowee” to take small bites of food, “because if you choke,” he says, “we’ll have to go get a new baby.” Can’t you just feel the love?

It’s amazing how much the kids have grown this year. C finally has a handful of hair and can already say about 500 words, six of which are in English. The other words are part Mandarin Chinese, part Arabic and part of a lost civilization that communicated in shrieks, grunts and drools. C also wants to learn everything, which is why she loves all her educational toys, especially the ones she can fit in her mouth. And you know what else she puts in her mouth? Dog toys. And Legos. And hair brushes. She even chewed up blue chalk. She looked like the newest member of the Blue Man Group!!!

G is very much a big boy now, albeit a big boy who remains deathly afraid of dark bathrooms. He has learned to dress himself, and he defies the law of averages by putting on his shirt backwards 75 percent of the time. Sometimes his shirt AND pants are on backward, making him look like a devoted follower of some 90’s rap band. G’s best look: Shirt backward, pants backward, zipper down. It’s good for emergencies, I guess.

J started Kindergarten this year and he is learning to read. He talks or whistles constantly much to the annoyance of his teacher, and he’s even learning how to rhyme. He’ll just start with a word and go from there, like when he begins with “duck,” and then “luck,” and then …well you can guess the rest. J also learned Tae Kwon Do this year and immediately showed a talent for running off from the front of the martial arts academy. He did achieve his yellow belt for which we are very proud of him, though we are encouraging him to stop practicing on his brother. I also tried to teach him how to use a pogo stick this summer but ended up only breaking my arm. At which point he said “Mom, you’re not very good at that!” and then decided that pogo sticks were not for him which was fortunate as I threw out the pogo stick. He did, however, enjoy signing my purple cast.

Some of the year’s other developments. … Oh yes, we took a family trip to the ocean this summer. It was really fun except for C’s Poltergeist back seat puking incident on the way down. She has proven once again that milk products can not be tolerated by our children. … Our dog, Elvis, passed away this year from cancer at the age of twelve. He is still missed. Our other dog, Purdue, continues to try to steal food off of kids’ dinner plates. She also swears she knows nothing about the trash decorated house displayed so beautifully upon our arrival from work or the disappearance of all the chicken bones. … In other grand achievements this year, I drove several miles with a sippee cup on the roof of the car (thinking how nice our neighbors were for honking hello) and G discovered that if you throw a stuffed animal out the window daddy will turn the car around to retrieve it if you cry loud enough.

We also had some really exciting moments in the family, like when we drove twelve hours to Michigan for Thanksgiving with a DVD player that cut out after only an hour of use. I have never heard so many “He/She’s touching me” and “Are we there, yet?” in my life. They did eventually all fall asleep at the same time giving them the appearance of angels for which we were thankful.

As for A and I, not too much has changed. A’s company was bought by another company. As the company took on a number of new employees from California, there are plans to move the offices to a new building in Cool Springs which will be closer to home. A completed the flooring of our dining room and guest room and did a beautiful job! I am still working in the Criminal Justice field. The highlight of my work this year was getting to sit in on the Perry March trial (kind of like watching Jerry Springer). I did finish all my classes at the University and passed the Comp exam and will hopefully write my big paper this next year. Yeah, no school ever again! What was I thinking?!?

That’s it for my letter. Now I’ll just wait for the holiday letters to start arriving in my mailbox so I can read about everyone’s exceptional year. If you’d like to send me yours, feel free. I love updates from family and friends. However, if your’s starts out with “My new BMW” or “He is a genius,” I may stop reading!

All kidding aside, we are truly grateful for our entertaining, lovable kids and for great friends and family such as you. We hope you have had a great year and that next year will be even better!

Much Love to All


Michelle said...

I love writing Christmas letters - one year I did a story along the lines of Twas the night before christmas (and the two year old would not go potty...). Another year, I did the 12 days of Christmas (3 sticky messes!). The overall favorite seems to be the year I wrote the letter from our then 1 year old, Max. I love using humor. In fact, last year I talked about some of the challenges we faced and called it the anti-perfect Christmas letter. It was a bit hit, too!

Dr. Mom said...

I may have to steal your ideas for this year's Christmas letter!

Stephanie said...

I love these letters! They got me laughing at just the realities of life. It isn't perfect, and it's full of laughter, joy, and stumbles. Thanks for sharing. You might just motivate me to write a letter this year... :)

Stephanie @ The Coupon Game