My Christmas Failures and the 2009 Holiday Letter

I failed at a few things this Holiday season, including:

  • Actually posting all of the historic Holiday Letters before Christmas.
  • Assembling various children’s gifts without swearing or drinking.
  • Not calling an allen wrench ‘you know, that weird hex wrench thing’.Broken Bike
  • Actually having the right size allen wrench. Hey Schwinn, next time don’t be assholes and include it in the box.
  • Not buying my wife gifts at CVS on Christmas Eve.
  • Not lying about bullet #5. It wasn’t even the CVS. It was the Dollar Store.

It’s important to recognize a few victories as well though. I would say my biggest victory was realizing that the cocktail sauce in my cupboard had already been opened (and not refrigerated) and even if unopened it had an expiration date of August 2013. Most critically I realized all of this BEFORE I served it to my relatives. Well, before I served it to my relatives besides my brother-in-law.

In the better late than never category, here is the 2009 Holiday Letter. If you haven’t yet, read 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 so you can see the full evolution of my life. I am much like one of those creatures that turns from a pupae to a caterpillar to a, uhhh, carpet beetle. And then I eat your furniture. Here is 2009, which marked our first year in Connecticut.

As some Holiday letter novices (MG), in their ignorance, have violated the sanctity of my attention span and eyeballs with letters exceeding 1 page, I have decided to offset with a summary section that provides all critical information.  Feel free to stop reading post box.

  • The children achieved developmental milestones and performed activities consistent with their ages and genders.  ‘Mediocre’ seems like such a harsh word, but I promised brevity.
  • Andrew achieved developmental milestones and performed activities consistent with middle-aged desperation.  Can you say ‘crying in the garage before work’?
  • Erin is staring down the harsh reality of turning 50.  Granted, it’s over a decade away, but at this point we should all stop fooling ourselves.  The iceman cometh.

You are excused.  If bored or otherwise unoccupied, feel free to read on.

In the macro picture, our most exciting announcement is that we bought a home in Guilford, CT on something called an ‘Adjustable Rate Mortgage’ or ARM.  It’s a bit technical for most of you, and I’m no math genius either, but basically you get a home for free.  There was a lot of paperwork and something about a disclosure, resetting and prime + 12….blah blah blah.  Zip it mortgage guy.  Boring.  For now, I plan to head to the Wal-Mart and buy a few more flat screens to fill all the walls.  They are priceless.

Calvin’s proudest moment was successfully counting to 1,000.  Out loud.  While I was trying to read (okay, hung-over).  You hate to stifle intellectual growth, but cartoons were created for a reason.  I will say that the counting was impressive in a Rainman sort of way.  Speaking of, Calvin also learned at Harper’s expense that, indeed, hot water does burn baby.  Also nobody puts baby in a corner.  Too soon?

We still can’t understand what Harper is saying.  While this may be related to the hot water, we think it’s probably that she’s just an underachiever.  She couldn’t even hold down a job at McDonald’s after we went through all the trouble of teaching her to walk on stilts.  It’s a stupid drug policy anyway.

In the ‘high on life’ category, it’s Andrew’s responsibility to sit on the sidelines at Calvin’s sporting events and cheer with the rest of the dads and moms who got divorced by dads.  I’m not sure where the league manager is drawing the line between cheering and ‘being asked to leave or he’ll call the cops’, but whatever.  If that girl Ava makes Calvin cry again we’re dropping out anyway.  Time to take up the tuba.

Erin has decided to officially give up every dream from her youth by volunteering in Calvin’s kindergarten class.  She reports that the children of today are as bright and inquisitive as ever, but a little Benadryl slipped into the snack milk takes the edge right out of them.  Nap time little ones.  The alphabet can wait until tomorrow.  The Chinese speak Mandarin anyway.

That’s it from CT.  Please visit us.  The shoreline is absolutely spectacular from July 22nd through the following Saturday, except when it’s raining.

4 thoughts on “My Christmas Failures and the 2009 Holiday Letter

  1. Does it strike anyone else that the revelry in life’s absurdity might be just a bit put-on? I mean, the author has chaffed against traditional Christmas letters for decades as exercises in suburban, self-indulgent clap-trap, and yet here we have his letters going back to the Bush administration. There’s a little of that same “look at me” here, though it’s more of a deranged, “hey look, I’m nude on the subway doing all the parts in King Lear.”

    1. I don’t think that’s subject to debate. I stand firmly behind my need to be acknowledged and given approval. Otherwise I wouldn’t sit here refreshing the dashboard looking at number of views. Also I wouldn’t sit here nude on the subway.

  2. Does anyone else find the lyrics of “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” to be a tad disturbing? Not only does it really reek of date rape throughout, there is a clear indication that our male protagonist (we’ll call him Biff) is trying to slip our damsel (we’ll call her Boff) a roofie colada. I’d invite you to listen to the Lou Rawls version; it’s particularly filthy, so much so that I think he was arrested immediately after it was recorded.

    Consider this little gem from Frank Sinatra:

    Oh, by gosh, by jingle
    It’s time for carols and Kris Kringle
    Overeating, merry greetings
    From relatives you don’t know

    Oh, by gosh, by golly
    It’s time for mistletoe and holly
    Fancy ties an’ granny’s pies
    An’ folks stealin’ a kiss or two
    As they whisper, “Merry Christmas” to you

    So let me get this right. There are people claiming to be my relatives hanging around. I don’t know them, but they say, “Hi, I’m your Uncle Hank,” and I’m just supposed to believe them? And at the end of the night, there are people (probably the same mystery relatives) whispering, “Merry Christmas,” I can only assume seductively, in my ear. The only thing missing is the obvious follow-up to the “Merry Christmas” whispering: “If you ever tell anyone about this, I’ll kill your parents.” Why oh why Christmas songs? Why?

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