Wednesday, December 28, 2005

A Seasoned Greeting

The Christmas card letter is a common subject among newspaper columnists this time of year, probably more common than the letters themselves. Hardened scribes decry the rose-tinted recaps of a family’s affairs, finding the good-natured and overly optimistic look back as too trite for their callous souls. Their columns often anguish over the insufferable banality of poring through the glowing words penned by proud parents describing their children’s crowning achievements of the past year. Thanks, at least in part, to the harsh assessments made by these opinion makers, it is considered declass to mail out anything more than a picture card and the most basic holiday greeting. And that’s a shame.

I had a holiday letter all set to go with our Christmas cards this year, but havered over its release before deciding that I wouldn’t bore friends and relatives with it. But now I realize what a dim view this takes of their humanity and I intend to make a stand against those who would have us deny others a glimpse into our lives. Although belated, I submit to you a holiday wish in the hope that you will find inspiration and good cheer in a recounting of a year in the life of our family. Admittedly, I glossed over the trials and tribulations we experienced. Call me a cockeyed optimist if you will, but I prefer to define my life by the good things.

We hope this card finds you well and that you don’t have too much shopping left to do.

I’m proud to say that 2005 was another red-letter year for us. There’s much to tell and little space to tell it, so let me give you the year in review, Headline News-style.

As many of you know, I got a new job last January and after that it was all work, work, work. By the fourth day I’d had enough, so I “accidently” shot myself in the foot with a nail gun. I’ve been sailing on the good ship Workmen’s Comp ever since. Sorry Qik-N-Ez, but if you’d have bothered to check with my past employers you would have seen that one coming. LOL!

By far, the year’s biggest highlight was Tammy’s successful stint in rehab (her sixth for those of you scoring at home.) It was a very trying time for all us, but it turns out that coming down off crank isn’t nearly as bad as kicking amphetamines and we all feel really blessed for that.

Maria started school this year and is doing great. She had us a little worried at first with her choice of friends (some bad seeds). But we sat her down and explained to her that the rich kids have much nicer stuff that she can “borrow” and that she’d be better off cozying up to them. Maria’s definitely running with a better crowd now and has a new (to her) bike and CD player to show for it.

Victor surprised us all by stealing his first hubcap this year, from a Lincoln no less. The funny thing is I hadn’t even taught him how to do it yet, thinking that he was still too young. It’s amazing what he is able to learn by watching his older sister. I told him that stealing off of Lincolns is kind of risky because people who drive them also tend to pack heat, but you know kids – in one ear and out the other. So incorrigible.

Mark has become quite the little socialite. He’s all smiles and hugs, plus he’s a handsome little guy. Everybody just loves him to death. You can bet that he’ll con a lot of women and business partners out of their money someday.

Tessie? I don’t know what’s going on with her. If she thinks that kissing-up to her teacher and coloring within the lines are going to help her in the future, she’s in for a rude awakening. We thought about sending her to foster care (we could sure use the space), but Tammy’s sobriety seems to have unsuppressed some sort of dormant maternal instinct and she insists we keep her. Tessie did break a pint bottle (sorry Nana) at Thanksgiving and tried to blame it on her brother, so maybe she’s turning over a new leaf.

We are all looking forward to spending Christmas as a family this year, as long as DCFS keeps their big fat noses out of it. We haven’t decided yet if we will celebrate at home this year or travel. It will probably come down to whether or not I can get the electricity turned back on. If not, you might wake to find that Santa left you a little something extra sleeping under your tree this year (except for me, I’ll probably be passed out in the vicinity of your liquor cabinet. Ha Ha)

Merry Christmas!

This is, of course, satire. My wife is not a drug addict, my children are neither thieves nor con artists, and I have never defrauded an employer through the intentional misuse of a pneumatic device. It does make for a ripping good Christmas letter though. Better than that self-obsessed drivel that most people send out.


Anonymous said...

dan, a couple of things apropos of nothing.

One, thank you for adding "Schadenfreude" to my vocab.

Two, next year, Atlanta's permanent bowl game, The Peach Bowl, is changing its name to the "Chick-Fil-A Bowl"

BlogFreeSpringfield said...

anon 1:00

1)Your welcome. Thanks to Jeff for reminding me of it in an earlier post.

2)Watching the Chik-Fil-A Bowl could only serve to deepen my longing for that most cherished bird. I'm afraid it would just be too much to bear.

Thanks for the comment.