Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Merry Christmas and All That

Here is a copy of our family's Christmas Letter/Card this year. Just in case you were interested. And if you weren't, well...
move along. 
I'll wait...

Hey friends.

I didn’t really have time to come up with a cute Family Christmas Card this year, so I found a form-letter online that I’m going to use to send you Christmas Greetings from the Tietjen Family. I have never really done this before, so please bear with me a moment…

[Greeting,] –nailed it.

[Open by warmly expressing interest in audience’s past year, followed by assuming their interest in your family’s current happenings.] –What he said.

[Begin listing family members one-by-one, cataloging accomplishments, major occurrences, and the High Point of each person’s year.
Editor’s Note: Be sure to leave out embarrassing and inconsequential details, as making your family seem ordinary and less-than-perfect will surely turn your reader off. There is nothing so unattractive as one’s humanity showing.] …okay… that’s a bit harsh. Oh well, that should be easy?

Klayton: K is just about to finish his last semester as an undergraduate with a major in History, a minor in French, and a glare that will melt the flesh off of your face à la Indiana Jones’s last crusade if you dare ask him what he plans to do with such a useless degree. He has spent a particularly intense fall semester as a full time student taking 22 credit hours while working three jobs and spending two months of his “free time” coordinating the sale of his property management business, a six-year-old venture that he is not too terribly sad to see the back of. His application letters to graduate schools are all “in the mail”, so to speak, and he is eagerly awaiting the Golden Ticket to four more years of college that one of these institutions of higher learning is sure to offer him. Preferably attached to a bar of chocolate, but we will take what we get.

High Points: Making the Dean’s List for all three semesters of school he attended in 2014 (apparently in college being on the Dean’s List is a good thing) and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix much-too-late into the night with Mandy (see below).

Mandy:  Never one to waste an opportunity, Mandy has spent much of the past year having an elaborate nervous breakdown due to stress, lack of sleep, and dangerously high amounts of caffeine intake (mostly intravenously and/or via fistfuls of chocolate chips taken on the hour, every hour). She, too, has worked multiple jobs this year, including office manager (see extinct property management business), online content author, and, recently, a seasonal retail worker at her local Kohl’s. Oh, and she also mothers three children (see below) and even occasionally glimpses her spouse (above).  Mandy placed first in her age group in a 10K this summer, which enabled her to strut around like she was cool for a good forty-five minutes, until she accidentally strutted past a mirror. Mandy turned thirty last month and decided to celebrate with an elaborate big screen viewing of The Goonies, inarguably the greatest film of her or any generation.  She also was recently called to be the Primary Chorister at church, a job that she is intensely excited about but trying really hard to play it cool so just don’t blow it for her, okay?

High Points: Receiving her Bachelor’s Degree (English Literature – don’t even say it. Serious side effects of her glare include facial-flesh-melting AND low sperm count) in the mail and throwing elaborate parties for any and every occasion she could think of (although, oddly, not for said college graduation).

Avery: Having turned seven in May, Avery spends most of her time planning her upcoming marriage (I won’t embarrass her by naming the groom-to-be, but if we could go a day without discussing her eventual nuptials I would be so, so pleased), discovering how the world works and then passing on the info to her ever-attentive little sister. Avery is enjoying school immensely (except for homework, but that’s not technically school and anyway no one ever cares for homework… so I guess all of this really goes without saying), especially recess (Duh) and reading time. Avery has discovered her love of books this year with the help of friends like Junie B. Jones and Roald Dahl (and the fact that Mom pays her $1 for every chapter book she reads. When you’re seven, $1/book is hitting pay dirt, hard).

High Points: Her elaborate BYO Stuffed Animal birthday extravaganza at our local zoo, beginning gymnastics classes with a friend, and our road trips to Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and South Dakota where she got to see sorely-missed friends, family, and Mt. Rushmore.

Carter: If you took all of the energy emitted by the sun in a given moment and infused it into a firecracker which you then shoved up a unicorn’s butt, you would have a portion of Carter’s explosive, sparkly, and warm personality. Carter’s perfect day looks something like this: Wake up. Eat breakfast (Immediately. No seriously. Now. Mom. Is breakfast ready yet? I’m hungry. Mom….) Have a play date with her best (“best best best best”) friend. Eat lunch. Take a seventy-five minute bath. Make Finn cry by giving him one (ten) too many hugs. Hang on her big sister’s every word. Sing fifty-five songs (forty of which are Carter Originals; the others are from Frozen, obvs). Eat dinner (two bites). Eat dessert (two helpings, please). Go to bed (code for make Big Sister giggle late into the night). Repeat.

High Points: Her Unicorn-themed forth birthday party, every time she got to see Brooklyn and Xavery, playing soccer and beginning gymnastics, and anytime the camera was on her (girl can mug for a photo like no one’s business).

Finn: This year Finn went from sleeping more than he was awake to “Holy-crap-will-you-ever-go-to-sleep-?-Please-I-am-begging-you-stop-climing-into-everything-!-Oh-no-,-he-fell-down-again-.-Finn-please-get-down-put-it-down-sit-down-you’re-grounded!!!” This year Finn taught his parents that little boys truly are different than little girls in more than just the diaper department. Finn loves: saying hi to strangers, giving high fives, saying “CHEESE!” for the camera, throwing everything on the ground, taking baths, being INTENSELY adorable and climb-ing-on-to-ev-ery-thing. Finn dislikes: nursery, being told “NO!” and any food that isn’t candy.

High Points: One word: Halloween. Finn figured out the racket that is Halloween in about four seconds, flat. After that he would waddle up to each door without help (mom and dad just slowed him down), hold out his pumpkin-shaped Halloween bag, say “TRIHH-TREEEE” (roughly translated- Trick or Treat), smile, receive the forth-coming compliments from the adoring masses as well as his (well-deserved) handful of candy, say “TAAY TUUU” (thank you) and shout “HAAH HAOWEE!!” (Happy Halloween. Or, more likely, “See you, Suckas!!”) over his shoulder as he toddled back to his stroller. He would then imperiously ride to the next driveway, where he would repeat the process.

[Once you have given way too much information on each family member, insert more formalities about wishing readers health, wealth, happiness and all of that other nonsense here.] Riiiight… Listen, this thing is getting way too long. No one is still reading at this point, anyway. I’ll just skip this part.

[Close with something clever and memorable.] Ummm Thanks for, like, reading and stuff? …I really hope I’m filling this thing out correctly…

[Expression of Fondness,] Peace out, you guys!

[Your Family’s Name Here]
The Tietjen Family