My dude's aunt and uncle like to send a generic family update letter at Christmas. His mother always forwards it to us, as requested. I get a pretty big kick out of these letters but recognize that they probably aren't intended to be funny. As a result, I have redacted any identifying elements but included the letter otherwise intact so you can get an idea of the kind of information they deem important to inform us of during the holiday season. I have also followed the real letter up with my version of a holiday letter celebrating the events of the past year.
Dear [redacted] and family, December 2020
Once again it is that time of the year when we remember the wonderful celebrations in years gone by and know that this year will not be the same. With Covid 19 still rampant in most of the world, we have all been asked to "mask up, isolate, keep our distance from others and no large gatherings,” when celebrating the season!
We will miss being “in-person” at all the church services, concerts, parties and gatherings with family and friends but will have to learn to celebrate in the NEW way without all the regular people, gifts and trimmings. But the "REASON for the SEASON" remains the same but will be celebrated while in the quietness of our homes in this unusually strange year.
There were highlights for us during this year, though few and far between, but here's what it was.
January: Lunches with many church friends after Sunday services.
February: Gender reveal party of our first great grandchild, scheduled to arrive in June, 2020.
March: Our first Zoom church service- actually very good!
April: We began our weekly Zoom meetings with our scattered family living in [foreign place names redacted].
May: Planting vegetables in the communal garden at the [name redacted] Heritage Farm.
June: Arrival of our great grandson, 8 lbs. 6 oz. 21 inch, [name redacted], born on [date redacted], 2020.
July: The garden is produced organically grown carrots, lettuce, etc. etc., and lovely raspberries - for jam on [name redacted]’s morning toast!
August: Flight to [place redacted. Also, what the fuck? You flew somewhere in August?] for delightful times with Club 56 and [family names redacted, but there were two of them] family gatherings.
September: [Wife's name redacted] tested positive for Covid 19 - [husband's name redacted] tested negative. [Maybe you shouldn't have flown somewhere and celebrated two family reunions during a pandemic. Just sayin'...] Solitary confinement for 14 days. So we co-authored and published the "Club 56" 65th anniversary book when we could do nothing else.
October: [4 people's names redacted] sold their respective homes and moved into new residences in [name of new neighbourhood redacted].
November: Three long-time members of our church family passed away- a sad time for us all.
December: We're making a "power point presentation" for our family - 65 years from our many pictures. [Can't wait.] We hope to celebrate Christmas “in person” but will have to wait for the latest recommendations.
We trust your life has been, at least, as “exciting” as ours. We wish you a very happy, joyous and a Covid 19- FREE 2021. God's richest blessings! Keep well and have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!
And now for my version:
Dear Who Even Cares Anymore, December 2020
Well, this year sure has been a shit show! I don't care about baby Jesus, like, at all, but I'm writing this holiday letter because what the hell else is there to do? I'm tired of reading. I'm tired of watching TV. I'm tired of Zoom calls. I'm tired of people telling other people to wear masks. I'm tired of wearing my mask. There has been literally nothing to celebrate, but here are the "highlights" of this last year anyway.
January - Jesus, what happened last January? Maybe it snowed? Last January is lost for all eternity in a covid-brain fog.
February - Went to the last concert I would see for who knows how long, and it was a band I don't really even like that much. I only bought tickets because I thought some friends were going to go, but they didn't end up going.
March - Had a dinner party mid-month right before the shit really hit the fan. Somehow managed to find some toilet paper. Bought an extra bottle of soy sauce. Dude's brother cut the tip of his finger off.
April - Stopped wearing deodorant. Embraced the concept of day pajamas.
May - Compulsively watched CBC and CNN and felt miserable.
June - Drank a lot of gin by the pool.
July - Drank a lot of gin by the pool.
August - Drank a lot of gin by the pool.
September - Got a couple new scars from picking at my mask zits.
October - Switched from gin to tequila.
November - Finally opened the new bottle of soy sauce. Started watching The Sopranos. (It's good!) Took a selfie in a dress I never got to wear because we didn't go anywhere.
December - Took pictures of rotting jack o' lanterns and hoped they made it to Christmas (results pending).
That pretty much sums up 2020. I wish I could wish you a very merry Christmas, but we all know it's probably going to suck. I look forward to seeing pictures on social media of everyone's family gatherings and the resulting shaming that will inevitably follow if there are more than four people sitting around the turkey.
Maybe 2021 will be better, but we still have to get through the rest of winter without dying or losing our goddamn minds any further. My demographic is last on the vaccine priority list, so I guess I better stock up on gin. Try not to die before I get to see you again, okay?