This is the actual picture we sent in 2005. I can see this featured on Awkward Family Photos in 3, 2, 1…
Like a bad penny, cockroaches and bedbugs, we’re back! We thought about skipping the letter this year. We figured that we DO have lives and we can’t spend so much time writing a stupid Christmas letter to people who will just throw it in the trash and patronize us with comments about how this is the only Christmas letter they really enjoy and look forward to reading every year. Then, after a bit of soul searching, we realized that we really DON’T have much of a life and the patronizing comments about our letter is what really keeps us going each holiday season. So here we are once again, providing you with the icing to your holiday gingerbread house, which will never look as good as the picture on the box.
Our Christmas picture probably requires an explanation, specifically Ben’s outfit. Here’s the deal: Ben is obsessed with everything Buzz Lightyear. He wears that costume everyday and wears Buzz t-shirts underneath it. If he doesn’t wear his costume he will freak out, turn blue, pass out and allow that pattern to repeat itself until he is finally in his costume. Jill’s motto is “Pick Your Battles” and frankly this is one battle she is tired of fighting. To be fair, the costume was made in Israel and resembles the colors of the 3 Wise Men so it does have hints of the holiday. If only Baby Jesus was swaddled in something so festive. At least Ben wasn’t screaming bloody murder on Santa’s lap, which has been his tradition until this year.
Speaking of Ben, he turned the ripe old age of 3 this year, ruining a discount we have enjoyed thoroughly: free theme park entry for kids UNDER 3. The week before his birthday he was already driving the final nails in that coffin by telling the Disneyland staff “I’m 4!” Never trust a kid to lie for you. They never get it right. Ben has become our little carnivore. His favorite food is meat with a side of any other meat. For dessert he likes candy, as long as there is meat in it. Pete is considering getting a hunting license so we won’t have to spend so much money feeding him. Ben is finally learning to stand up to Maddy and we are very proud of how he handles himself. Rather than hitting her, he eloquently uses the power of his words and calls her things such as “poopy diaper head,” “fart butt” and “green booger nose”. We are sure he will be writing the next Great American Novel at the age of 5.
Maddy is in her 2nd year of preschool where she is slowly learning how to spell words. Her favorite fun fact, which she loves sharing with EVERYONE, is that “Toilet starts with ‘T’”. We are holding our breath for the week when her class focuses on the letter “F.” Maddy has finally entered that dreaded “time” we have all been apprehensively awaiting. This is a period fraught with confusion, anxiety and questions difficult to answer for a growing child: The “Iwantakitty” phase. This chapter of every child’s life must be addressed with caring, patience and understanding that only a mother can deliver. Jill’s response? “No freaking way! Daddy is allergic and they smell gross. Don’t even think of asking Santa for one or that cat will be in a box with no return address back to the North Pole.” Since the mall Santa thinks it is an adorable request, Jill bribed him with a bottle of Jack Daniels to end the kitty fixation once and for all.
As with most 4-year-olds, Maddy now has an imaginary friend. HER name is Harry Potter. Yes, a girl named Harry Potter. As Maddy explained it, Harry used to be a boy but cut off his “you-know-what” so he could be a girl just like her. We’ve looked everywhere, but the books fail to mention transgender imaginary friends. In the meantime, we’re making sure that Maddy, a pair of scissors and Ben aren’t in the same room together alone. Is it strange that she’s been asking for a sister? We must say that Harry is a pleasant friend. She doesn’t eat much, never yells or complains and loves to keep Maddy company, even when Maddy yells at her and tells her to go to time out. In the unlikely event that we consider having another child we’ve decided to have an imaginary one.
On a serious note, we want to share our concern for our family and friends who were caught in the early snow storms on the East Coast and Midwest. Apparently, some Thanksgiving plans were ruined and it is our understanding that there are more storms to come. We completely sympathize with all of you. Pete spent most of Thanksgiving morning shoveling all of the sunshine off our driveway. We are currently buried in about 10 feet of sunny skies and balmy weather. Our poor children have been forced to wear the same clothes that they wore back in July, Jill has been cooking dinners on the outdoor grill for fear that turning on the oven will make the house too hot and Pete has been forced to use the air conditioning in his car when driving to work. This weather has kept us from driving our cars and engaging in our holiday shopping. We have the best of intentions to go shopping but we just end up hanging out in the backyard on lounge chairs all day. This is certainly no way to live. Please, please keep us in your prayers.
Pete gave up on the light display this year after what happened last year. Turns out the contest winners for the city’s AMATEUR lighting contest were all electrical engineers with a $25K budget and multiple-megawatt generators.
Our 10,000 light bulb display simply looked shabby next to the 500,000 bulb forest-fire-in-waiting entrants. Still in denial that our lights weren’t the best, Jill’s theory is that someone must have slept with the judges. Pete has never seen someone so bitter about losing a $10 gift certificate to the local bowling alley. God Bless Us Everyone.
That’s it once again and until next year. We hope you have a happy and healthy 2006 and remember to keep us in your thoughts, prayers and wills.