Merry Christmas to all and to all…..

Every year as I sit down to write our Christmas letter I address the same textual question: Comment on the season or offer a chronology of the year? Brandie recently remarked how nice these are to have and look back upon to see how our family has changed and so there’s that valuable aspect. Still, there’s the hackneyed, stereotypical pitfall that must be avoided. I frequently try to balance but am never sure, like my checkbook, how much is in there. Thus endeth the preamble, or pre-ramble as the case may be. Thusly:

I personally haven’t done a thing in 2009, same job, same activities (sans Homeowner’s Association) however I am still able to maintain my weight, so I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

Brandie has had a tough second half of the year. She got broadsided in June (the authorities have advised me to stipulate this was not her fault, and by authorities I mean Brandie) and still hasn’t recovered. Whiplash is a tough deal but we’re hopeful this round of treatment (which includes home traction, yow!) will be successful.

Nate has had two knee surgeries this past year (May and September) a couple of car accidents in Feb. and July (not his fault), graduated, started college at Chadron State (playing football) and may be having shoulder surgery soon (labrum tear). We are really hopeful next year he will NOT reach his out of pocket maximum for medical insurance. We have goals.

Abbie works at Sheridan’s Ice Cream and played soccer last spring. She’s playing Intramural b-ball with her friends this winter. She turned 16 this year and got a black 2004 Mustang so she’d have something to do with her money from her job. She’s still interested in art, more of the graphic design variety I think. She’s begun to look at colleges and think big picture, down the road, how she can support me in my old age.

Madison has had no accidents this year, we are happy to report, and still dances about 25 hours a week. She and Brandie went to Florida for National Dance Competition this past year and her studio did very well. She did a solo this past year in competition which we thought was awesome but she’s decided not to continue with this. My guess is she couldn’t take all the crying backstage as she put the other soloists to shame.

I tend to paraphrase a lot. I think it’s because I can’t really remember the details, or I’m too lazy to fully explain, I don’t know… I recently heard the comment that at Christmas sometimes we think back on past Christmases when we were much younger and long for the kind of feelings we had then. When we can’t attain the level of emotion we recall, we feel disheartened and not as joyful. Upon hearing this, I realized that was me and Charlie Brown. And just as Lucy can’t diagnose Charlie’s problem I can’t quite resolve this one either. I think perhaps as an adult it’s our responsibility to try to make those Christmas memories for our children or those who wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to create or enjoy that kind of moment. Perhaps if we gave gifts rather than exchanged them this year it would create more of those moments for us as adults. (Now I’m just blatantly ripping off stuff from our pastor. Is it wrong to steal from the clergy at Christmas?) Oh well, sorry. The thing is even if I make these new memories, I’ll probably just forget them but it’s the thought that counts, right?

Anyway, here’s hoping that for whatever reason in whatever time you’ll enjoy the season, for ‘tis truly divine. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, The Giffins