On the off chance I still have readers, I thought I'd check in:
Things are OK. Looking up a bit, even. I always get in a foul mood before Christmas, and it always lifts eventually. Knowing it goes away doesn't stop it from coming, though. I still think that someday I'd like for my very own Christmas tradition to consist of getting the hell out of town about 15 December, and returning after the New Year. It would be nice to have this few weeks surgically removed from Real Life.
In the meantime, here I am. The Card is sent. We don't subject our loved ones to a dressed-up list of everything we've bought and accomplished over the year (honestly, I'm glad you love your new car or whatever, but doesn't a Christmas letter strike you as a peculiar place for that sort of news?), but we do subject them to a picture of the girls. As luck would have it, most of the people we love in this world live hundreds of miles away, and still more are headed that way. We don't see some of them even annually. Hence, The Christmas Picture of The Offspring. I've taken some great ones over the years, so the bar's set pretty high. And of course the photo card places keep discontinuing the template I like best, resulting in an hours-long online research project involving multiple, overlapping and largely forgotten usernames and passwords (about which rant forthcoming, if I have the energy, which is to say insert your own rant here because I'm probably not going to bother, except to say that I have HAD IT with having to have usernames and passwords for every damn thing I do). It can add up to an ordeal, albeit self-imposed and potentially bizarre to outside observers (thank you Catherine, it did help). This year Mr. S. figured out a very simple (now that it's set up) way to get it done precisely how we like it to be. He's good at that sort of thing. I think I'll keep him. Why he'd keep me, who the hell knows.
In the other room, the Peanut is singing, to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb:
I'm grateful for my family, family, famILY
I'm grateful for my family
And for my friends at school.
Must be a preschool Thanksgiving song. Works for me.