Last year around this time, several in my circle were rather ambivalent about doing the Christmas Letter, as they were suffering from the same illness that has infected Social Media followers who see only the far scale of perfectly curated lives vs. calls for donations for those desperately disenfrachised or in need….
The whole receipt of Holiday Greetings that are hard to reply to include the thoughts of,
“Well….things not so good here, seems like all there is to report is folks sick, dying or laid up….but I receive all these cheery letters full of fun people doing fun things – – think I’ll skip it this year….”
“Well, my life not as challenging as they are traversing, right now so just seems rude to say anything that is good or ill, cuz they are in a pickle, just about now and I don’t want to gloat or whine…..
So, for one who felt this way, last year, I wrote a ‘funny’ fictional Christmas Letter and figured, okay – that is done for another year – –
(You can read the 2019 letter here…..)
And decided to do another, for this year, based off last year’s letter, and maybe this year, I’ll actually print it off and mail it –
Here is the 2020 version….and it will make more sense if you read the 2019 version…..one in my circle asked why I use aliases –
And, well, the short story is….
To Protect the innocent – of which Mabel is not one…and she does the writing…..
Greetings! We made it through the 2019 holidays, early 2020 surgeries and illnesses and girded our loins for the onslaught of Election Campaigning mail and news year. And then something called COVID-19 showed up in March.... And between it all - well - we're writing this year off as a 'win' - simply because, We are still here to write the letter, and can afford to pay for stamps to mail or internet service to post/send online. We didn't die in a protest rally, from massive heart attack or stroke due to the stress induced from politics, weren't run down by a pitchfork and torch mobs (one mob was mad we weren't wearing a mask in our backyard, the other was mad because we were wearing a mask in our backyard) nor did we die from the latest 'fear' or any one of a million other things that happen everyday. None of us went to jail or lost our jobs. None of us were unable to get food to eat, water to drink or air to breathe and we have maintained the lungs to process that air - - even Mabel with her nasty habit of smoking..... (which just goes to demonstrate how sinners are often rewarded here on this plane of existence....) So while many in our clan continue to work long hours every day and are glad they are deemed essential or their clients believe them to be, and others have quietly healed from early 2020 surgeries at home, we realize how very, fantabulously, lucky we are. Many have not been this lucky, this year. So we are counting our blessings, and doing our best to not focus on all the fear, bad things happening to some folks unless we can see a direct way to aide those in need. We are surrounded by folks who are making money hand over fist and also those losing their savings to stay afloat during shutdowns. We still have our share of loved ones struggling with other things and may not live out the year...or 2021, who don't have COVID It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt is our motto - - and this year, so many have been hurt for a myriad of reasons - many of which stem from a convergence of many things - things that have been wrong for a long time, things that have been ignored for a long time, and well - ain't no vaccine or politician gonna show up and fix any of these things quickly or neatly, that affect so many and have affected many for a long durn time - from running a business, buying groceries, getting medical care to getting a roof over one's head. And so, we await the year of 2021. Maybe things get 'fixed' maybe they don't - maybe it goes well, maybe it doesn't. That said..... Mabel is already planning a "end of the world" party at some point this year to celebrate December 12, 2021 - - for, she thinks, perhaps the scholar who translated the Mayan tablets had dyslexia - and perhaps, instead of 12/21/12 it was really supposed to be 12/12/21 - -who knows if she's right, but she'll be researching recipes and sending out invites, anyhoo, just like she did in 2010 (a little early, back then, but she figured, why wait for the end of the world to have a hoedown with friends, food & music?) She figures, if rallies and protests can be held, if casinos stay open while small cafes & churches are shut down, she can hold a little get-together for friends and family who want to show up. And the music will be cranked loud - - and, to hold outdoors, she's gonna have to get an event permit to hold a block party, if it is allowed....and hope the neighbors don't complain about the loud music....and pay for the extra man power or bribes to neighbors to shut down one street in her tiny town - - food? Well, she figures she'll send out the invites with Potluck included and BYOB - we provide the watering tank with ice in it to keep things cold - if you have camp chairs, fine - if not - she has wood stumps to sit on - - or concrete blocks..... That said, Mabel ain't too good at party planning, overall - so be sure to bring your fave food and drink, along with a chair or blankie to sit on. Given her being a plumbers daughter, she will ensure there is water to drink, wash up with, etc., and toiletry needs.... just as soon as she figures out how to earn the money for Port-A-Potties OR disguises small outhouses as garden art columns placed here and there about the place.... along with..... Thus, the family has scaled back on doing gifts this year in order to proactively save up for the bail funds to spring Mabel out of jail when she gets herself into hot water - again...... And if we talk her out of it, or she is wrong, well....guess maybe we'll do something else with those funds - in 2022 Hope this finds you and yours faring well. Signed, Mabel (Mama Bear, Billy Joe Jim Bob Jr and Billy Joe Jr send their best wishes, but refuse to sign anything Mabel wrote .....