Well, its that special, magical time of year once again. So many perspectives to consider when sending out that Happy Holiday Newsletter that everyone awaits with baited breath.
Consider the following possible Hildebrand Christmas Newsletters:
The Victem's Newsletter
Well, I really don't have time to put much effort into a newsletter this year, what with running my daughter to physio and all after her pedestrian accident early in the year. People just don't seem to care where they drive anymore, and they always seem to drive into my daugher. I guess we just have a huge, flashing sign above us that says: CRASH HERE! or something.
The other half of the time I'm shoving pills down my son's throat to treat him for this lovely seizure disorder that the doctors have stuck him with. I guess someone in the family had to get it, and surprise, surprise.... of course it had to be us.
So, I'm really, really tired from all the hard work I have to do, looking after my disabled children and all. The welfare system totally isn't coming through for us either, and we spend all our time standing in line-ups at food kitchens and form-filling-out line-ups, me pushing a wheelchair and a walker for the kids in case they get hit by a car or throw a fit or something on our way to another line that somebody is going to make us go into next.
*sigh* Sure sucks to be us.
Anyway, I'm sure way more bad stuff is going to happen to us this year, so even though I was totally going to send you a Christmas card this year, I just couldn't because I was too busy being targeted and abused by everyone.
Sincerely hoping that you'll feel really, really sorry for us;
The "Everything Could Not Be More Perfect" Newsletter
Another Fantastic year is nearly behind us! time does fly when one has four children involved in so very, very many extracirricular activities!
Our eldest daughter is just a balm to the eye- she has sprouted to an inpressive five feet, seven inches and is kept busy, busy with basketball and soccer, playing her flute and spending time with her many, many attractive and enviably talented friends.
Not to be outdone; or pegged as a middle child in any way; second born is quite an achiever. Jane has joined the drama team, picked up clarinet in band, played volleyball, basketball, and soccer, taken up voice lessons, and joined youth group. She baby-sits frequently and children follow her through town like the pied piper.
Micah received a glowing report card from his grade five teacher this year. Academics come easy to him, as do manners, ettiquette, big brother relations, and quantum physics.
Our Sammy turned six this year! What a little ray of sunshine he is. Just a little rainbow, that special little man. Sam enjoys swimming, origami, and interpretive dance.
Our family is so healthy, happy and well balanced that we like to play board games six nights a week. Our home is always filled with music. Many neighbourhood children congregate here to soak in the overabundance of love and grace and eat handfuls of homemade popcorn and apple juice that we hand squeeze from our very own orchard in the warm days of autumn.
What a blessing to be us! We all know that you all wish you were more like us, so we have enclosed photos of ourselves engaged in a variety of healthy and enviable activities.
The Pessimist's Newsletter
Well, I don't know why I bother pounding out these dry, dull meaningless renditions of another useless year. Its unlikely that I'll actually get them to the mail on time anyway.
So, things are pretty bad with the American economy, and its just a matter of time before it'll start affecting our family as well. The kids aren't likely to get much work with baby-sitting or anything, because I'm pretty sure people in this lousey little town just gossip about us anyway, and so they're not likely to call and trust my kids with their babies. May as well just move to the shelter now. Its just a matter of time anyhow. It's not like the kids are going to help us out or anything. Miserable lot.
The house is kind of falling apart, and probably our family is next to go then.
Well, there's other stuff that I could write, but you're probably bored anyway, and stopped paying much attention words and words ago.
May as well just go and eat worms.
Frozen worms. It's so cold here; I don't think spring will ever ever come again.
Reluctantly, and dreading the new year;
And finally; I'll leave you with some stuff I actually mean.
The Real Schtick
Do you ever have one of those moments that sneaks up on you totally unplanned and hits you square in the choker with its poignancy? Well, I do.
It gets me in weird moments- like when I dropped off my daughter at practice earlier this evening. I watched her; this woman child.... strolling confidently and independently away from me and into her own world. Her own school, gym, social structure.
Something froze in that moment, and it felt like some of the combined moments of this past year roared up and culminated in that one point. We've navigated some stuff, the kids and us; this year. Stuff that stays primarily between us. Not like in the days of vomit-spraying pre-school where we moms would cluster over coffee mugs and compare consistencies of thier offsprings' fluids to amazing proportions. These children of mine are real people now. Individuals in their own rights, with needs, and questions, and convictions, and concerns.
I am so very pleased to be a part of their lives; even if I'm incapable of writing a really good and honest and honouring Christmas letter about them.
I'm not much good at doing a year in review, in any case. I have a deplorable memory and seem to go more on smells, or swirls, or sensations. So, if you want to experience what 2008 has been like in the Hildebrand family- go get yourself a bowl of ice cream. Top it with chocolate sauce, crushed nuts, a sprinkle of sunflower seeds, and a few shards of broken glass. Those are the swirls and smells and sensations that come to me when I reflect on '08.
Here's what I do know:
Time passes by. I would advise that people ought to do some stuff without thinking it through too hard. And by that I don't mean making payments on a condo in Honolulu. I mean- take some chances relationally. Risk people not liking you. Risk not liking someone else. Love them anyway; because you can actually love people without liking them all that much. But do spend intentional time with people you do like. Make some of them the types of people who embrace their greying hair, enjoy their food, and leave the house even though they haven't located their tweezers since the fall of 2002.
Say some stuff out loud, and shut up about some other things.
Ever notice a woman who is lovely to the eyes? Most women do, and then immediately criticize themselves for their own real and perceived flaws. Try this: Approach said woman and compliment her authentically. Its a great gift to give.
In other cases, keep your mouth shut. Bite your tongue till it bleeds. Sit on your hands. Start smoking Cuban cigars if it keeps your gums from flapping regrettably.
That's all I'm going to say about that.
I'm going to his publish even though this isn't wrapped up like a nice gift under the tree. I have to go pick up my overachieving, good looking, nearly perfect offspring from basketball now.
Oh. And one more thing.
Because that's pretty much what all of everything good and decent goes back to. And its the only place to rest when panic starts setting in. Or any other time, for that matter.