In the event you thought Part 1 was a fluke, here’s our second attempt at (badly) writing a Christmas letter that doesn’t suck.
Hell froze over that year and we expected to spend New Year’s Eve in the hospital, differing only from other years in that we would be coming in through the front door and not the emergency room entrance.
First, we would like to apologize for the lack of originality in our Christmas picture. Costco’s prices on picture Christmas cards can’t be beat, so we had to take a picture of something. We get an “F” for Festive this year.
We hope the New Year has brought many wonderful memories to all of you; we’ve had a pretty productive year. In case you haven’t heard (the neighbors did), Peter knocked up Jill. Yes, we are expecting our first little Kraatzling around mid-January. So far we know only that it will be a girl and she has a really strong kick. To answer your first question: you’ll find out the name when it’s on the birth certificate. If you harass us about it, we will make sure we find out whatever family name reminds you of the most painful childhood memory you have and change it to that. Neither of us has any shame and if our daughter Murgatroid Gladys can deal with it, so can you.
We promise not to send you letters and pictures bragging about how she’s the smartest, strongest, funniest, most well-behaved baby since the beginning of time- even though she will be. She already scored a 1450 on the SAT. To make all of this a little more interesting we are doing a baby pool. For a $5.00 entry you need to guess the date and time of birth. Many of you are already in it and will be happy to hear that we have reached the $200.00 mark. We figured it wouldn’t hurt to gamble on her birth since we already gambled away her college fund at one of the local “Native American” Casinos. FYI—their slots have the worst odds; we know from experience.
If this is your first time reading “the letter”, you may not recall the card we sent out last year featuring a picture of our house covered in approximately 5,000 Christmas lights. That was topped only by the 9-foot sign spelling out “2000” wrapped in 2,500 watts of those monstrous fire-starter Christmas bulbs; it was readable from over a mile away. Unfortunately, our White Trash Christmas Lighting Spectacular will not be up this year due to Draconian electric rate hikes. While our neighbors are probably grateful for the respite from our lights, we are deeply depressed. To us, 5,000 lights IS the meaning of Christmas. It came down to math…operating our bedside alarm clock: $38.50, brewing a pot of coffee: $172.39, opening our garage door: $257.96. Using our past due electric bills as fire starters: priceless. We have reverted to kerosene lamps, now heat with a wood-fired stove and Jill steals batteries from work so we can afford to check e-mail once a month. We now require all guests to pedal on our hamster wheel generator to help offset the associated costs. We really can’t go into details about what Peter is eating to adjust for the natural gas price hikes. If you visit, don’t worry, you’ll get used to the smell in a few days.
Peter changed jobs yet again (yawn). Back in May he left the glamorous theme park business at Legoland and started work with StorageNetworks. His commute lengthened slightly, from 5 miles to 95 miles, but he finally works for a company that doesn’t require a pound of flesh for every vacation day. Nobody really knows what Pete does, not even his employer. It has something to do with fiber optics and terabytes and big sterile computer thingies inside buildings as cold as meat lockers. Whatever it is, they seem to like him.
Jill will be teaching until December 15th, after which she will be on pregnancy leave…about 18 years worth. Yes, she has decided to stay at home and raise the Kraatzling. It was a tough decision to leave teaching but she finally realized: What’s the point of teaching ungrateful teenagers when she can just raise her own?!? She has already memorized the daytime TV schedule so she can arrange the baby’s naps around Oprah and Cooking with Emeril. She even bought a sewing machine and is taking up canning. Martha Stewart can kiss Jill’s ass in about 5 years.
Life is great. 2000 has been a fantastic year and 2001 looks to be even better. That’s about it for us. Next year will be filled with baby giggles, smiles, and poop. If you want to visit Southern California feel free to look us up. We know our daughter would LOVE to have you babysit for a couple of days!