Jokes and Sass

An Honest Christmas Newsletter: 2020

December 18, 2020

(author’s note: those year-in-review things that families send out? you know those? that, but not lying? anyway please know that I care sincerely about your struggles, this year has been varying degrees of challenging to absolutely impossible, you are seen and you are loved, therapy is important, please forgive me for my pretty messed up sense of humor)

(I also kinda hate myself for putting “author’s note” but I thought it was funny idk on to the actual post)


Dear friends and family,

This year has been such a difficult one, and we wish we could spend it with you: we miss you! Well, that is, we miss some of you. The rest of you, we’re actually thrilled that the pandemic gives us an excuse to not have to be around you over the holidays, and we’re currently brainstorming excuses for next year. It has been really great to keep up with you all on Facebook as much as possible, especially when we see you in huge groups without a mask! Yes, specifically you, Aunt Eileen!

Given that so many families this year lost so much, we’re doing our best to remember that we still have so much to be grateful for. Our best is nowhere near sufficient, though, and despite knowing that we’re living in a comfortable home with a stable income, each member of the family spends every waking minute suppressing a scream. #gratefulthankfulblessed

Bill’s coming up on his twelfth year at his job, and he learned quickly how to transition to that WFH life! “Quickly” here is, of course, relative, and he still forgets to mute his microphone on at least half of his conference calls. His colleagues are increasingly fed up, but he’s got a fun way of diffusing the situation: he reminds them all he’s not a millennial and not “techie” like most of his team! Oh, how they laugh every time he says that. The best one so far was when he gave a ten-minute presentation to a client without turning on his camera OR his microphone! That little oopsie lost the company a client and lost him the respect of his secretary, but we’re all adjusting to “the new normal,” ha ha!

Sandy’s been learning how to manage online school for the kids, which is, for some reason, yet another responsibility that’s fallen on her shoulders, just like nearly everything else! Someone could use a quarantini, ha ha! She’s been switching the kids’ computers between the kitchen and the basement every day, because apparently the basement is the better spot, despite the WiFi consistently failing to reach the laptop down there for fifteen consecutive minutes, and Bill somehow loses the ability to hear any time the kids are yelling for help! What a goofball!

Sandy is seeing an individual therapist to help normalize therapy for the family and because a close friend posted a maskless selfie in Target captioned “I am an American, I am FREE.” As a family, we’re seeing Dr. Schrader every week nowadays (we’ve been working together as a family to address what he has us call “The Incident”) and he’s been very helpful, especially after we deleted the TikTok app from the kids’ phones and drank a bottle of wine each.

Jacob is missing his classmates, and isn’t adjusting well to online classes at all, and the absence of structure has been causing him to withdraw from both his friends and his family in stages, and one of the few points of agreement between Bill and Sandy is their worry for him, but he recently got a Nintendo Switch, so he’s doing Minecraft, or something! His newest hobbies is looking up obituaries for people with his last name and asking his grandfather for the names of Vietnam War protest songs. He’s asked for a drum set for Christmas, so there’s no good solution here! #pandemichobbies

Olivia is still Miss Smiles, as you’ll remember from last year’s card! Except, of course, when we had to tell her that she couldn’t go to her friend’s birthday party because they were having a maskless, indoor party, we were ready for a sobbing meltdown, but instead, she got a flinty look in her eye and called her friend a “selfish bitch.” We have no idea where she learned that! We found her in her room later cutting up the unicorn Squishmallow pillow she received from that friend. Did we mention she turned the big one-oh this year? Ha Ha!

Speaking of milestones, Bill and Sandy celebrated 15 years of marriage this summer, and celebrated by letting the kids watch six straight hours of TV and DoorDash-ing Chipotle. The evening was thrown off course a bit by a phone call from Bill’s parents wishing us a happy anniversary that they used as an opportunity to ask why we weren’t going out to a restaurant to eat. Bill (such a jokester!) told them “because we’re not ******* stupid” and Sandy had to ask the kids to turn up the volume on the TV so they wouldn’t hear their dad screaming “do you want to die?! because it sounds like you want to die!” at Nana and Poppy. The Mandalorian sounds great on our sound system, by the way! Ha ha!

And last but not least, our dog Waffles has developed some kind of separation anxiety that’s manifesting even when we walk down the driveway to the mailbox. He’s very good at barking while the kids are in online class, and earlier this fall, he found a nest of baby rabbits and murdered them. Olivia was the first to find him covered in blood after, and she got a quick lesson in “the Circle of Life,” and not the Beyoncé kind! LOL!

We’re excited to see what 2021 has in store for all of us, and hopefully it’s seeing more of you “I.R.L.” (that’s “In Real Life,” for all you “boomers” out there, ha ha!) instead of on our screens. Please excuse the quality of the picture, but it is the one photo we have of all of us this year, and we didn’t realize that the dumpster was in the background when we took the picture. Kind of fits the 2020 theme, though, doesn’t it? Ha ha!

Let us know how you’re doing, if you get a chance! If your Christmas newsletter is filled with any kind of happiness, though, it’s going directly into a fire.

Happy Holidays!

(enclosed picture shows four grimacing people and a blurry dog)

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