Otto and I stayed up past midnight last night, and I probably shouldn’t tell you what we were doing, but I can tell you that it involved a lot of licking.
Oh my GOD; what is WRONG with you???
We were doing our Christmas cards. Sicko. Sheesh.
It has generally been my policy to do Christmas cards only on alternate years when Mercury is in retrograde and I’m able to dig the money for the cards out of the sofa cushions, and then I take some pictures of the kids and Photoshop them beyond recognition or transplant a head from one picture onto the body of another or something, and then I send them out bearing some terribly personal message like “Happy holidays from our home to yours!”
Boy, are you lucky if you’re on my list.
Well, this year, all of that changed. For one thing, Otto doesn’t allow me to use a camera (or Photoshop) anymore. Thank goodness. For another, we figured we should do a family photo because, well, we’re a new family. And also because some of his friends have probably never seen me and some of mine have probably never seen him, and it just seems like a family photo is in order for the occasion of our first Christmas together as a legal unit and whatnot.
The picture part actually wasn’t much of a problem; we have a picture in which everyone looks more or less okay. (Monkey looks a little bit like he just bit into a bug, but let’s face it—that’s what he looks like every night when we put dinner in front of him, anyway.) I found a smokin’ deal on the cards and we had them printed up without incident.
No, the problem came when we decided we needed to write A Christmas Letter.
Truthfully? I hate holiday letters. I just don’t think there’s any way to go about one that doesn’t come off sounding like one gigantic brag. Even when I get letters from people I KNOW and REALLY LOVE, they make me giggle, because REALLY? Did little Poindexter get all As? YOU MUST BE SO PROUD! THANKS FOR SHARING! It’s just… one of those things where I think it’s near impossible to do well.
And so after several starts and stops and much deliberation and several dozen parenthetical remarks within the letter itself, here is more or less what we ended up with: (Don’t read if you’re on my list. I’d hate to spoil it for you.)
Things here are SUPER FANTASTICALLY GREAT! Honestly! There’s that pesky little matter of The House That Won’t Sell (do you want to buy it? do you do you HUH? we’ll make you a deal!) and that soul-sucking extra mortgage, but let’s not talk about that!
Instead, let’s talk about how AWESOME AND GREAT life is! We got married! Did we tell you? Well, we did! A while ago! With extra exclamation points! And then Mir and the kids moved down south, and the new house is ABSOLUTELY GREAT!
The kids are both TOTALLY GREAT! They won perfect attendance awards at school! [Ed. note: Yes, I really said that. Because I refuse to start running down their grades and such and being THAT MOTHER who’s all “They’re in the gifted program! Because they are GIFTED! And did I mention the giftedness?” Winning perfect attendance is, to me, simply hilarious because hello? What an accomplishment, SHOWING UP.] They are both taking piano now which is SO GREAT. Also Monkey played soccer and was GREAT and also Chickadee is still in Tae Kwon Do achieving multiple levels of supremely awesome GREATNESS. They are… GREAT!
Otto is SO VERY GREAT! He works and does some other stuff and is doing some freelancing and OH MY GOSH CAN I JUST TELL YOU HOW GREAT IT IS??
Mir is EXTRA GREAT! She works and does some other stuff and is going to be published in a book and we think that’s JUST SO GREAT! Free signed book with your purchase of her house!
Well, we have to go back to being SO VERY GREAT WITH OUR GREATNESS right now. Happy holidays!
You know, I think my paraphrasing there is more straightforward than the actual letter. We totally should’ve sent THAT.
Extra special bonus greatness: As I stuffed one last envelope this morning, I realized we have a typo in the letter. In the paragraph about the upcoming book. Smooooooooth!
I really wanted to go with a more down-to-earth letter, but Otto vetoed me. See, left to my own devices, it would’ve read more like this:
Oh my God, I miss sleeping. Do you sleep? Is it nice? Would you do some sleeping for me? I used to sleep. Now I have two mortgages, and sleeping is for people who can afford life, and not for those who start out married life with the equivalent cumulative house payment of people earning twice as much. But that’s okay, because we plan to live on LOVE. That, fortunately, is the one resource not currently being sucked up by The House That Will Never Sell.
Hey, we got married in May. And being married is awesome! Otto has figured out that “I’ll do those dishes in a minute” or “I’ll put that laundry away later” actually means “Hey, look, something shiny!” and Mir will never, in fact, do that thing she said she would. Mir has figured out that Otto is never really awake when he shakes her awake at night to talk about how we need to get to the helipad right now. In spite of these things, we are enjoying cohabitation very much.
The children are being allowed to live a little bit longer. Their new school has provided us with numerous challenges but we only have a couple reams of paper here so we’ll skip right over that and pretend that we still believe in the public school system. Moving on!
Although Chickadee’s mouthy temperament really hasn’t changed, she is growing and maturing and learning to occasionally stick a sock in it. Plus, she is really, really funny when she wants to be. And when she’s not busy screaming and crying about something insignificant. She is now nine-and-a-half and we are confident that the current bout of PMS will only last another thirty years or so.
Monkey is almost eight and we have high hopes that this year he might learn how to use a tissue. He continues to grow his hair out and be mistaken for a girl at regular intervals. We’re hoping he turns out to be gay, because that would provide fodder for these letters for years. He is a loving, brilliant, charming kid… which is why we haven’t drowned him in the pool yet despite the regular tantrums.
Otto is working too hard and traveling too much but enjoying his job. His students are a never-ending source of amusement and drama.
Mir is working too hard but cannot stop because, did we mention the second mortgage? She is still more or less managing to hide her blog from the women she’s latched onto, and this is no weirder than the fact that she likes to watch them knit as a social activity.
Well, we have a whole stack of envelopes to lick, yet, and Mir just gave herself a paper cut on her lip because she is a giant spazz. Sorry about the blood on your card. Happy holidays!
I guess it’s a good thing we only have to do this once a year. Or—in my case—only once every five years or so. There is only so much super-fantastical greatness that a person can stand, you know.