Monday, December 10, 2007

Day 29 - The Christmas Letter!

Happy Holidays

Greetings! As December approaches, it’s a time for reflection—what did we do, what did we learn, and what are we willing to admit to in the Christmas letter?

Christmas letters are traditionally the time to brag about one’s 3-year-old son who just won the Nobel Prize for physics, how wonderful a 2-week stay at a private Caribbean Island was, and how one was made CEO after only 4 months at work. Here in the real world, Andy has been informed that Micron is outsourcing his job, though he can work until July if he helps work himself out of a job, David is doing well in second grade, though the Nobel Prize committee has not contacted us as of yet, and work has kept me so busy that I have barely managed any time off all year. But we’re all healthy and happy, and as we didn’t move, sell any houses, or plan any weddings, it was a relatively calm year.

The Yearly Update:

Toni’s employment: selling business telephone systems for DataTel

Andy’s employment: let's just say “pending”

Finally, a sequel: For years people have asked me about doing a mid-year Christmas letter update, and while recoiling at the thought of the constant envelope-licking that would involve, I did finally join the technologically “with it” and created a “blog” (web log), http://catanova.blogspot.com/. There you can find the Vermin Adventures, examine some lovely décor options we’re considering, view our wedding photos, and read about our latest experiment: NPR has been running stories about a family who decided to spend no money for an entire year, which inspired us (with the threat of impending job loss) to adopt a “can’t buy anything new” program for one month, beginning November 12 and ending on December 12. We are currently about halfway through the month, and have discovered that while the “true necessities” of life aren’t things at all, there are a lot of things that would really be nice to have right now—like epoxy, address labels, and postage stamps. We have not yet decided what our next “for a month” adventure will be, but we would be willing to try “living on a private yacht while cruising the Mediterranean” or “living on a Tuscan villa” if we could just find someone willing to swap with us.

Christmas in the Magic Kingdom: Since we have David for Christmas this year, we will be spending the holiday in California with Andy’s parents, who conveniently live just a few miles from Disneyland. David is almost 8, so we think he’s old enough to cope with standing in lines but young enough that we can still convince him that the rides without long lines are really the coolest ones. Those who do not occasionally lie to children do not live with them.

This year we have learned:

  • If presented with the alternative often enough, you will greet gifts of dead rodents and birds with sheer joy.
  • Men do not consider comparing 37 slightly-varied paint chips as a “togetherness” activity.
  • Some people would find being treated as a surrogate parent by a cat cute and touching. I am not one of them—especially not at 4:00 AM.
  • As adults, it is not socially acceptable to say, “Go away and take your flying monkeys with you.” That’s what attorneys are for.
  • The 15-year-employment anniversary gift with Micron is a stereo. The 18-year anniversary gift is a lay-off.
  • A lot of marital stress can be avoided by having his & her tubes of toothpaste.
  • Hearing flapping near your head an instant before a cat leaps onto your chest may actually be the worst way to wake up ever.
  • If you hate white walls enough, an evening of painting can be a good date.
  • If you join a group called the “Mystery Stole,” you may or may not like the result. Hence the “mystery” part.
  • Every couple has things which challenge the concept of “share and share alike.” Ours are blankets and pea pods
  • Our national security is a tad lax at the Canadian borders, as Andy was able to travel in & out of our country with his driver’s license and my passport, or perhaps he crossed at a spot that gets a lot of female impersonators.
  • When you send a child through a social graces class, it is advisable to ask about the curriculum beforehand so you will be prepared when the child refers to the correct way to eat a parfait.
  • Anything can be fun if approached in the right state of mind. Sometimes that state of mind requires alcohol.
  • Cat doors were invented by people who never owned cats.
  • Do not ask your spouse to always explain his or her behavior.
  • Voles are neckless mice and here in Idaho they are unlikely to carry rabies.
  • No matter how many times one is proved wrong, one always approaches a garden with optimism.
  • Always be flexible when baking—it might be a rotten cake, but it could make decent brownies.
  • If you’re putting things away “for safe keeping,” it should probably be done by the one with the better memory.
  • A blog may take up some of your best Christmas letter material.
  • Life is an adventure.

We hope this finds you healthy, happy, and enjoying a wonderful holiday season!

Best wishes, Toni & Andy

2 comments:

SusieH said...

SO funny!! What a year to recap :) You're such a wonderful storyteller, I'm glad I wandered into your blogosphere. Merry Christmas.

Sally T. said...

Put the cat in the basement at night. Oh, no basement? Well - attic? Bathroom? Ours gets locked up and we avoid getting jumped on.

Yes, Merry Christmas. Enjoyed your recap. I was thinking maybe I should just copy it and send it to my card list, as my life isn't all that interesting!

Sally T.

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