I’ve been thinking about Christmas letters today. They are usually just an outlet for people to extol the virtue of their beautiful, successful families. They are rarely an exercise in brutal honesty. I’ve decided to turn Christmas letters on their heads and try my hand at a brutally honest one this year. I’m pretty sure this one won’t make the Christmas cards but it certainly will be entertaining in comparison to the “official” Hale Christmas letter.
2006 has been quite a year for our family. We toasted the year in style, with Andre Champagne and a couple of rounds of “Battling Tops,” our burgeoning New Year’s tradition. Julianne spent the beginning of the year growing weary of her once-beloved dog. Her prayers were answered when she found a new home for him in late March. She is still racked with guilt about this decision but enjoys her dog-less life none-the-less. Sean was not 100% on board with this decision and it will probably lead to resentment later in their marital life.
In April, the entire family traveled to Denver to visit Julianne’s beloved Grandmother. It was a nice visit but, less than a week later, Julianne spoke to her Grandmother on the phone and she asked, “When are you going to come and visit me, Julianne?” Again Julianne finds herself racked with guilt. The Hale family spent July in the redneck capital of the world, Pigeon Forge, with Sean’s family. It was a great trip thanks to a little bit of Dolly Parton and a whole lot of red wine. In October, our family took a trip with Julianne’s relatives to Disney World. It was a wonderful vacation and the kids had an amazing time. We will definitely go back once we get out of debt from this trip. We just got back from our annual Thanksgiving trip to the Midwest. We came home just in time for some family drama as our new Grandma (whom I have yet to meet) is in the process of becoming our new ex-Grandma. Divorce is never good news but I try to look on the bright side. I no longer have to buy a $50 Christmas present for someone I’ve never met.
Here’s what everyone has been up to:
Sean is still enjoying his job and thriving. Despite his success, he still drives a certified piece of crap car that I can hear coming from two miles away. He loves gardening and woodworking and combined these two passions by building a smurf-sized greenhouse in our backyard. Seriously, a squirrel would be hard-pressed to fit inside of it comfortably. I made fun of him incessantly until last week when he came in the back door with a bowl of fresh, delicious, organic baby spinach for our dinner salad. Yum.
Julianne finally started pursuing her career goal this year. She decided to take the bull by the horns and start writing. She received her first rejection recently and has been paralyzed ever since. She is still enjoying the stay-at-home Mom gig but would like to start contributing to the family income soon. This temporary paralysis is a bummer and while she does enjoy blogging on anothergrayhair.com, it doesn’t bring home the bacon.
Our son is four years old and in preschool. He loves school and his teacher sings his praises whenever she gets the chance. Apparently, he is an angel in school. He is a sweet boy at home but he has a temper. Our current projects include learning to eat the food that Mommy makes for dinner and committing to memory the following house rules: “No hitting. No kicking. No choking. No poking. No yelling. No telling.” We’ve got our work cut out for us.
Our daughter is 19 months old and is as sweet and calm as any baby we have ever come across. Her laid back nature nearly sent Julianne to the loony bin as she suffered panic attacks worrying about her inability (or refusal) to walk. She finally took her first steps at 16.5 months old and has been on the go ever since. She is getting more teeth and we think we see some bling growing on her head. She seems destined for some diva behavior and we expect her tiara to come in any day now.
All in all, 2006 has been a good year. Our family is happy and healthy and riddled with guilt. I guess that makes us no different than the rest of the world. We thank God for family, friends, red wine and Dolly Parton. We wish you a holiday season filled with joy and a new year that is heavy on the happiness and light on the guilt. Cheers!