(Of all the posts I've written this is one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy it, too. Feel free to cut, paste, and send it out as your own. But change the picture first. You're probably more attractive anyway.)
Christmas brings out strange behavior. Case in point, the traditional Christmas letter. You know what I'm talking about. Or maybe you've even sent one yourself, I know I have. It generally goes something like this:
1) Pay a photographer $500 for 1 picture in which every member of your family looks perfect. Usually this involves matching Polos and lots of airbrushing.
2) Write an exaggerated narrative about family events over the past 12 months. For example, "Jill learned to color" becomes "Jill, though only 2, shows artistic promise as she boldly experiments with color and design". Or, "Life really sucked this year. The fact that we never heard from you once means you're a jerk" becomes "God is teaching us to depend on Him in this season of growth".
3) Send the photo and the letter to people you haven't seen in at least 3 years. Why? Because people who snub us deserve to know what they're missing out on: the perfection that is your family. Sure, you may have put the dog down this year but for the most part the year was without incident. Unless the kids poisoned the dog. In which case, your kids my look perfect but, trust me, they're headed to Juvie.
I must admit, we get lots of these traditional Christmas letters. Wanna hear a secret? (Lean in close to the screen - I'm whisper-typing.) We don't always read them. They get old and boring and...well...we really don't care how great a soccer player your kid is.....or how your new job as hot dog vendor at Weenie Hut is amazing....or how very cozy you feel in your Snuggie. I just don't care.
So, in response to the throng of Christmas letters that flood our mailbox every year, our family has chosen The Alternative Christmas Letter approach. What you are about to read is the actual Christmas photo and letter we are sending this year. But I wanted to share it with you first.
Dear Family and Friends,
Merry Christmas! We wanted to send you a letter to let you know what we’ve been up to this last year.
We still live in a house. It is in Kentucky. We live close to some family members, but far away from others. We try to get together. Sometimes it works out and we have fun. Other times it does not.
This year we all had birthdays. We have a tradition where we give gifts and have cake. Sometimes we have ice cream, other times we do not. We also blow out candles, which is nice. Every person gets cake because it is good to share.
Dan has a job. He works hard. He gets up, goes to work, works all day and comes home just before dinner. Most days he does this, some days he does not. On the days he does not work he is sick or it is a weekend or maybe even a holiday.
Both kids are in school. Our daughter wakes up every day. So does our son. They put on clothes, eat breakfast, and get in the car. They go to school and stay until they are picked up. They also eat lunch nearly every day when they are hungry.
Stacy stays home some days. Some days she goes out to the store. She buys food and sometimes even underwear or shoes for the kids. Most days she makes dinner. Some days we eat chicken. Other days we eat beef or sandwiches. Usually there is a vegetable but not always. When dinner is ready we like to eat it. We use forks except for when we have soup.
We had all four seasons this year. In the winter it was cold for the most part. Some days it snowed. We would look outside and say, “Look. Snow.” We enjoyed saying this. Then we had spring. Some days it was warmer, other days it was not. Then summer came. When it was hot we would come inside. When we did this we might have a cold drink or say, “It’s hot today.” But we did not say that every day, just some days. Then it was Fall. We had colder weather. The leaves came off the trees. “Look”, we said. “Leaves.”
We went to church a good amount. We sang songs. We listened to people talk. We tried to be happy about what they say. The kids learnd about God and use plenty of glue. Sometimes there are even puppets.
Some of you are nice to us. We try to keep in touch. If you send a letter we will read it. If you call we will answer the phone. We like to say things like “Hello” and “How are you?” Being nice is good.
It has been so good to catch up with you. Merry Christmas.
Have a nice day,
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