I’ve got this whole thing with holiday cards… I really like
them in theory.  I like getting them, I
like knowing I’ve sent them out, but in general, actually doing the cards is a
whole other matter. They are always a
much bigger project than it seems in the beginning.  Everyone expects a little note and proper
addressing. Actual stamps on every
single envelope. Once you have kids you
gotta add in pictures.  And the damn
lists just keep growing!

Obviously, I’m still working on my cards.  (OK, yeah, I sort of leave those as the last
item on my list but hey, as long as
they’re postmarked before Christmas
they count!)

I have found a little time saving tip, however. I’ve started writing (dare I say it?)… the
family newsletter.  *gasp!  woe!* I
know newsletters have the potential to be informative, cheesy, bragging, or
sweet, and they can elicit a range of emotions from the people who receive
them.  But most importantly… they save
you from writing a heartfelt personal note in each and every card!  And hey, I love all the people on my holiday
card list but by the week before Christmas I’m a little burnt.

Of course, just to write a regular family newsletter would
be utterly boring.  So I present you with
what I sent out last year…


Dear Friends,

We hope this holiday season finds
you and your loved ones well. We’ve had
an exciting year in the wg and Keen household! The highlight of the year was our family trip to visit the Smithsonian
Institute in Washington, DC.

It was there, outside the aircraft museum, where
remarkably we were recruited for a top secret government mission! Apparently, a group of ex-patriot Moonies had
acquired a vast secret fortune (to fight the slanderous use of the term
“moonie” in the press) and hidden it in France in the 70s. Unfortunately, all the poor Moonies died off
before their civil suits went to trial and the American government wanted to
obtain the fortune to help lower the deficit. We, being patriotic Americans (despite Bush) AND fiscally-minded, of
course agreed and after an emergency condensed “family spy training course”
(FSTC), off to France
we went.

Once in France we
quickly located the ultra-secret Moonie vault and let its whereabouts be known
to the people in charge. Our beloved
government immediately denied any knowledge of our existence. (Bastards!) Having spent all our own cash to reach and stay in France so as to
not “blow our cover” we were suddenly without funds to get back home. Fortunately, we happened to meet a conclave
of French Ninjas. At first we worried
that the French Ninjas were assassins sent to “deal with us”, however, Chance,
in what we thought was baby babbling but apparently has been speaking the
obscure dialect of French Ninjaese this whole time, communicated with the French
Ninjas flawlessly.

After hearing our heart-wrenching
tale of governmental backstabbing the French Ninjas took us in and helped raise
funds to send us back to the states. (The French don’t really want us there anyway.) During our stay Chance continued to charm
them with his command of the language, and Keen further won them over with his
culinary skills and helped pay our tickets home with one heck of a French Ninja
bake sale.  I briefly entered their martial
arts school and am now the proud master of the Flames of France Multi-Punch and
the Flying Beret Death Kick.

We returned home and have spent
the rest of the year compiling our spy memoirs in a soon to be made,
straight-to-video, Movie-of-the-Week. The
cats missed us terribly while we were gone.

Again, we hope you all are well
and we look forward to hearing about your
adventures. Our best to you all. Merry Christmas and many blessings to you in
the New Year!

Love always,
wg, Keen, and Chance


This year we’re going on safari! 

– the