Friday, December 18, 2009

All right, people.  It's crunch time.  It's officially seven days until Christmas (known in more cultured circles as two days until Sarah's birthday).  Some of you haven't even written your annual Christmas letter.  I know this, because I am one of you.

Actually, this is the fourth (fifth?) year in a row that I've failed to write a Christmas letter detailing all the wonderful ways my family has contributed to the betterment of society and how my children have outshined their peers in every respect.  While I like to brag as much as the next gal, I just haven't had the time.

For all of you who are like me and have waited this long to get to writing your letter, and for those of you who have nothing positive to report and are wondering what to do, I have here some tips for getting it done this late in the season.

-Mine your email account.
Chances are, you sent at least a few emails over the course of the year to update people on your family.  Creating a complete Christmas letter is a copy and paste job away.  If you want, you can even break it up into months and just put a tidbit or two in each.  When your in-laws call you to complain that your letter is a retread of stuff they've already heard, just tell them that, A) All Christmas letters are like this; and B) It was a test to see if they read your emails, and they passed.

-Use the news. 
Newspapers (remember those?), bloggers, and TV networks are publishing their "year-in-review" recaps as they prepare for 2010.  Simply take the top news stories of the year and write your letter based on those.  "So, you all know about the economy.  John's job is part of that."  "The Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change is underway.  Coincidentally, we also live in a climate."

-Embrace mediocrity
This is the "less is more" approach to writing a Christmas letter.  Just add a post-it note to the Christmas card with a hastily written, "We're fine.  Everything's the same. Merry Christmas."  Believe me, there are people on your Christmas card list who will appreciate this so much they'll send you an extra gift for keeping things concise.

-Beg, borrow, and steal
If you see an idea on a friend's Christmas letter that you think you can use, go for it.  Whether you beg permission, borrow from the concept and make it your own, or outright steal the idea is up to you and your personal ethics.  I'm one to ask, but I'm also one to never actually write the letter, so permission is moot anyway.  If you're thinking of begging, borrowing, or stealing the achievements listed in someone else's letter, you're probably pathetic enough that no one would believe them anyway, even if they did happen to your family.

-Write you letter on your blog.
What's the point of having a blog if you can't use it to bypass the U.S. Mail?  A quick email to everyone on your Christmas list with a link works just as well, if not better, than printing off copies and sending them the old fashioned way.  It's the green thing to do.  In fact, it's such a good idea, I think I'll do it right now.

Dear Friends and Family,

We hope you've all had a wonderful 2009, except that we know you all haven't, what with the economy in the toilet and the tendency for people to get sick, divorced, fired, hit by cars, and burned with acid.  If any of those things have happened to you, we're sorry to hear it.  (Except for the acid part, because we hear superheroes are sometimes created that way!  Go you!)

It's been a fun year here at Team Liger headquarters.  We're all still alive, so that's good.  No one was fired, expelled, or subjected to waterboarding. I don't know about you, but I call a year like that a success!

Richard has a new hobby involving 3-letter permutations that isn't remotely interesting or noteworthy.  He knows this and lovingly calls the notepad he carries around his "Crazy."  Please, don't encourage him.

Sarah started a blog and doesn't ever talk about anything else.  She's become completely insufferable, but we all just try to ignore her and pretend we have something pressing to do whenever she starts yammering.

The artist formerly known as Ray will be a teenager on Monday.  Enough said.  He's informed us he wants to be called by his first name, Aaron, from now on. So far, we've managed to call him Raaron a few times.  It's a work in progress.

Miriam started playing the flute and can play Mary Had a Little Lamb and Jingle Bells, which have been the required repertoire for budding musicians since cave men were banging rocks together.  The good news for us is that she's quite good at it  (the flute, not banging rocks, though the girl's got skills there, too.)

Cate was chosen by her school to have lunch with the author of the Fablehaven series of books after writing a particularly good essay.  The morning of, she woke up vomiting and didn't stop until the next morning.  I believe her next essay will be on mastering the art of tragedy.

Evelyn is somehow a whiz at math despite having her father's and my genes.  We're having her tested to find out how such an anomaly occurred.  The good news for us is that she doesn't particularly like math, despite her aptitude for it.  *Whew!*

Michael started preschool this year.  He's learned his colors, numbers, and how to shove an entire handful of animal crackers into his mouth without choking. We're very proud.

On the pet front:  Euclid abandoned us for the quieter home across the street.  He visits from time to time to eat our food and not appreciate us.  Buster, sadly, was hit by a car while following Richard and Sarah on a late night run for hot chocolate.  There's nothing funny to say about this.  We miss him.  Isis has thrown off the last of her feral tendencies and is now a full fledged family cat, which means that she only runs and hides 48% of the time when the kids come home from school. Padme is still alive by the grace of God and continues her turtle-y existence with grace and frequent trips into her shell.  Psyche and Quill are our new kitty additions, adopted together from the pound a few months ago.  They're fat, fluffy, and fabulous, except when they get themselves locked inside the downstairs bathroom, which is often.

We hope you all have a wonderful 2010, though we know many of you will not.  In case next year is as terrible as it possibly could be, just remember that this, too, shall pass.  I know that doesn't help while you're in the thick of troubles, but when they have passed and you're feeling better, you'll look back on this letter and think, "Hey, Team Liger told me this would pass, and it did.  They're the best."

Merry Christmas!
Love, All the people that were listed above. (You thought we were going to sign this?)


Beth said...

I enjoy reading your blogs! You have such a way with words and seem to find humor in even the smallest of details...keep em coming!