In my history of sending Christmas cards, you would find a long gap, from roughly 1997 to 2000. Newly divorced, not sure what I would do with my life, I couldn't pull it together, couldn't afford it, frankly couldn't have cared less, or more, or some odd mix of the two.
The last four or five years I've made a valiant effort to represent the family, or at least kids and dogs, in a photo, and I've appended a letter.
I do and don't like Christmas letters.
I like hearing from people and don't expect them to have time to hand-write a note to me. I cannot hand-write one myself, because even before I had RA, I had tendinitis that made it difficult. This feels like social failure, since my mama raised me to write lovely notes by hand. But adding my particular line of work, with its extra demands at this festive season of the year, to impaired wrists, pushed me over the edge.
Bless me, Mother, for I have sinned.
Every year I think, "If only I had time to think up one of those humorous, Seuss-like rhymes, like the one I wrote about the time Light Princess had head lice and Sam started throwing up all over the house at the very moment I was trying to check everyone's heads, and I was supposed to go away to a meeting and had to cancel!"
But the truth is, I have barely the portion of creativity required for all the extras (see above) and am unlikely to succeed in this effort, which would be lost on the humorless on my list anyway, the elderly cousins who want to be sure I've accepted Jesus as my personal savior, and the college classmates who admire Sarah Palin.
I wish I could write it as a series of status updates, as on Facebook.
#1 Son is a slow-baked Charlottesville Chomper. (A real status of his, I have no idea why, and maybe it's better that way. And if you find him there you can see both a picture of his girlfriend of almost three years and a whimsical reference to being engaged to another boy, a joke so old it's almost forgotten, but still there in the sidebar.)
Snowman is oh the humanity. (From when he was sick last week.)
Light Princess is not ill, even though she nearly fainted at her concert Sunday night. (She's not on Facebook. This story is true.)
Pure Luck is no pictures of me. (Except with a saw and no face.) (Which sounds like a horror flick.)
Songbird is ready to visit St. Casserole. (December 26th!)
Other than a college graduation, which is impressive, certainly, we are not that different from last year. Snowman is playing his clarinet, Light Princess is singing and playing the piano, we're glad about Obama but worried about the economy, #1 Son is temping and working on a play starting in January that is exciting but not financially enriching. We're mostly doing things we love, and that feels good, but is that what people are looking for in a Christmas letter?
It's hard to resist the urge to turn the letter into a word of encouragement, almost a sermonette, and considering how much I don't like that from others, I really think I ought not. Besides, our Christmas card is always all peace-y anyway. People know where we stand, on the side of the Baby Jesus and the lowliest of his angels, instead of with the OverLord Christ who is coming back to whip the dark forces with his flaming sword tongue.
(Pure Luck got talking about that image the other day, and I cannot get it out of my mind.)
If you read my blog, which some of the friends on my card list do, you already know a lot of what we've been up to, and I promise I'll spare you the letter. But wouldn't you think a person who can write flu haiku and humorous poetry about falling down the basement stairs could come up with a funny Christmas missive?