I am not a huge fan of those holiday boast letters - the end-of-year wrap up ones. I don't mind getting and reading 'em mind you, it's the composition of them that I'm not so keen on (and the printing. And the addressing. And the mailing. And the thinking of piles of paper waste and the net ecological effect of the additional fuel needed to physically deliver them). I don't really remember if we had a family tradition of sending those out when I was growing up. If so it might be interesting to read through the ones my mother wrote when I was a teen. I imagine them rather like, "So! Superior Aunt [to be. She wasn't the aunt YET of course but was still quite superior] has had a full year... academics... ballet... science... phenomenal achievements." Significant pause and then, "Megan is... well... there's the violin still, and the drama (on and off stage natch. Much better at off stage) and we're almost sure that if she ever FINDS the teachers's desks, the ones she's supposed to deposit her school assignments on, she just might in a few years time graduate. If she's lucky. Very. Happy Holidays!"
I suppose I could have written a nice honest letter to mail out this year, but having thought that over it would consist of 50% regurgitated blog posts (with names for relatives who might be baffled by my genderless, identity free Children), 49% aimless, purposeless wandering and 1% pure whining (it was 50 degrees yesterday - FIFTY - well after the sun went down. Bleak midwinter my dear aunt Fanny). So, out of the generosity of my heart and a sincere love for my friends and family, I decided not to go down that path. Which left the difficulty of the card/greeting/acknowledgment of polite behavior. Which meant getting creative AND doing some work.
Until I recognized that I have Children! Who are very old and reasonably clever! And to whom I have a motherly obligation to offload all tasks in order to teach responsibility and the value of slave labor! So each Child was plonked down in front of the computer, directed to the folders containing the year's photographs and allowed access to Photoshop and my Wacom tablet (with only a few relatively dire threats). Then all I had to do was work up a cover image, write my own message - denying all responsibility for the festive holiday greetings of the Children - and package the whole thing up as a PDF slide show. I'd post it here for all of you but as policy dictates I replace the heads of all recognizable offspring that would leave you with festive photographs of three of the new cabinet members sporting the following yuletide felicitations:
Child 1: "Happy Christmas with lots of love from [Child]!" *sparkle* *sparkle*
Child 2: "It's impossible to write a meaningful Christmas message while covered in dog fur...Woof!" [two footprints added in purple]
Child 3: "May your Christmas be filled with joy, laughter, peace and plenty of food! I like food! Merry Christmas!" [rabbit made of brackets, an underscore and one set of double quote]
I have no doubt all our loved ones were deeply touched. They should be grateful though, Child 1 spent a happy evening yesterday producing its alternate holiday photo which included one eye with the iris and white replaced with deep, dark, nothingness, one eye weeping a small but tasteful amount of blood and a cropped in version of a sibling's head sitting in a cereal bowl ready to be consumed. Nothing says holiday spirit like flesh eating zombies say I.
The Children did point out that our holiday card, while stylish, did lack one thing - a photo of me. This is quite true and also quite intentional. However in the spirit of fairness (and thanks to the tireless and remarkable efforts of my parents) I give you me, just after wrapping the last million bajillion presents:
Hope everyone's holiday has (so far) been happy, if exhausting.