Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Dreaded Christmas Form-letter

Feliz Navidad!

Because things have been so darn hectic, I’m sending a one-letter-fits-all holiday greeting this year.

I’ve been working double shifts to cover a budget shortfall that was brought on when the neighbor unplugged us from his Christmas light-display.

For years, we’ve enjoyed the benefits of his Christmas generosity. To ensure our supplemental energy supply throughout the year, I’ve presented him with electrical figures to display on other holidays, as well.

There’s been spinning cupids, lit leprechauns and turkeys that flap their wings and gobble. I think his suspicions may have been aroused when I gave him the homemade display of dancing rodents for Groundhog Day.

Borrowing electricity for the household (and selling the extra back to the power company) had provided financial benefits that we’d sort of become dependent on! Of course, you understand the loss of this subsidy prevents us from sending gifts this year.

Good news! We finally got the skunk outta the crawl space under the house!

Turns out, it was a whole family of skunks! We should have known when the dog got blasted not three days after I had crawled in and wrestled the big female out of there. By the way, I’m sleeping in the house again, though I’m spending most of my time on the back porch… at least until everyone stops tearing up whenever I’m in the room.

Grandma came for a visit this past summer! It was lucky she arrived when she did - we were just starting to put up firewood for winter. By the end of the week we had her swinging that splitting-maul like a lumberjack. If you’d seen her you’d never guess she’d had double hip replacement. For a 72 year old… the woman’s got grit.

Granny was so choked up when it was time to leave, she didn’t say a word as we dropped her at the bus station - didn’t even look back… just did a sort of gimpy-jog into the terminal. It was touching.

The wife is doing fine and is happy as a clam! Country life was a little rough on her at first, especially when she saw that mosquito draggin’ one of the kittens away from its siblings. She’s finally growing accustomed to things, though, and often reminds me about all the men she could’ve married. I guess it’s her way of saying she got the cream of the crop when she married me.

My sons still refuse to invite any of their buddies over to the house. I’m guessing it’s because they don’t want them to feel bad. I think it’s mighty thoughtful of the boys - not everyone has a two-hole outhouse, and there’s no point rubbing their friends noses in it… so to speak.

My job’s been most satisfactory this year. I’m generally able to get five or six hours of sleep each shift, and some of that has been overtime - though you understand I still can’t afford to send gifts.

Well, that’s our year in a nutshell. Here’s wishing you all the happiness and cheer that we’ve had the good fortune to enjoy this past year.

We encourage you to “Go Green” with your gift giving this holiday. Small bills are best - they won’t cash anything bigger than a twenty at the drive-through.

Merry Christmas!


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