And thus, I present to you the (edited for the web) Adams' Christmas letter. If you didn't get one in the mail, I probably forgot to tell the one in charge of such things to put you on the list. But now you can't complain any way.
Observing that the number of Christmas cards from friends this year was outnumbered by the number of cards from the vet, the chimney sweep, and other people whom we have to pay to associate with us, we were reminded us once again that many of our friends and relations have no idea where we live or that we’ve added two people to our family since we last wrote a Traditional Christmas Form Letter™, way back in 2005.
Actually, we were reminded of all this last Christmas, when the forwarding order at the Post Office was most definitely expired, and resolved then to write a Christmas letter, and then a New Year letter, and then a Groundhog Day letter, and then an Independence Day letter until we came full circle and resolved to write a Christmas letter, which this is, because Christmastide isn’t done for a few more days yet.
So, as is customary in a Traditional Christmas Form Letter™, we will note that we-are-very-happy-and-our-family-is-perfect-and-our-children-are-oh-so-adorable-and-smart-etc.-ad-nauseum. And with that out of the way, herewith some relevant statistics:
Justin: Lawyer. Going grey. Dabbles with gardening, carpentry, housecleaning, cooking, child-rearing, and criminal defense, the latter two items not being related at this time.
Jordana: Mother. Not going grey, no way, no how, so just shut up about it. Homeschools the more sentient children, nurses and wipes the bottoms of the less sentient children, cooks, sews, gardens, and cleans, sometimes at the same time.
Oldest Boy: Age 10. Brownish-blondish, tall, gangly, brown eyed. Sweet, curious, obsessed with Lego blocks, political paraphernalia, coins, stamps, books, and whatever other new thing he discovers in the next five minutes. Career plans include Lego designer, paleontologist, Pixar artist, and President of the United States. Voted most gregarious and pedantic. Does laundry. Annoys sisters. Incapable of holding a baby without dropping it. Excellent conversationalist.
Oldest Girl: Age 7. Blond, blue-eyed, petite, vivacious. Drama queen, acrobat. Voice like Lauren Bacall’s. Does not smoke, as far as we know. Refuses to acknowledge pain. Reads, writes, draws, sings loudly and off-key, with enthusiasm. Wears glasses (far-sighted). Voted most inexplicable, perplexing, and remarkable. Can and does beat up ten-year old brother, yet exhibits maternal instincts. Capable of holding babies without dropping them. Excellent dramatist.
Middle Girl: Age 5. Brown, wavy hair, dark brown eyes, honey-colored skin, petite. Learning to read. Excellent pouting skills. When not chuckling or pouting, produces ear-splitting screams. Bouncy, prone to sudden bouts of chuckling, prone to sudden and inexplicable mood swings. Having learned to write name, has autographed entire house and furnishings therein with initials. Voted most likely to rat out siblings on the slightest pretext.
Younger Boy: Age 3. Blonde, blue-eyed, petite. Viking-like physical appearance and behavioral tendencies. Dangerous to himself and others. Double-dosed with testosterone. Hobbies include picking fights with anyone and anything bigger than himself, which is about everyone and everything, climbing to dangerous heights and falling down, sustaining at least one noticeable injury per day. Mechanically inclined. Voted most likely to burn and pillage the English coast line, hotwire family car, and operate chop shop. Voted best smile. Also voted best wicked smile, best wicked-gleam-in-eye, and best disregard for personal safety and the law. Excellent pugilist.
Toddler Girl: Age 1. Brownish-blondish-reddish hair, blue eyes, petite. First word: “meelk!” Climbed, then crawled, then walked. Vicious right-hook, usually delivered to just older brother, or to anyone when “meelk” is not timely delivered. Pleasant smile, unpleasant scream.
Hobbes: Age 6 (42 I.D.Y.). Brown, black, and reddish hair, with a tinge of grey around the jowls. Hobbies include threatening anyone who dares walk down the street, or the mail man, or neighboring dogs, and hapless stray cats who taunt him from on high.
The Purple House: Built 1909. Purchased from an exotic dancer, who painted it purple, in December 2006. Moved into in January 2008. Features include 11-foot ceilings, original wood work, multiple fireplaces, 4 bed rooms, hardwood floors, nosy French neighbor across the street, mentally ill neighbor next door, nosy American neighbor straight out of stuffwhitepeoplelike.com two houses down, extensive termite damage that the termite inspector, of course, did not notice prior to our decision to purchase, and under-framed roof complete with bowed and cracked rafters. Other names include the “Money Pit,” the “Mr. Adams’ Dream House,” “We’re Never Doing this Again,” and “Why Justin and Jordana Will Never, Ever Consider Themselves Wise Real Estate Investors.” Has a big back yard. The purchase of the Purple House, along with the birth of the Small and Terrible Three Year Old in 2006, would be why we didn’t manage to get a Christmas letter out that year, and the never-ending renovation of the Purple House, which still wasn’t done in December 2007, would be why we didn’t get a Christmas letter out that year, either. December 2008, we were just lazy.
By the way, during the approximately eight-month renovation period, we lived in the home of two dear friends whom we can attest to be, literally, long-suffering, as we were there when the suffering took place. What a blessing it was to be taken in, and an even greater blessing to not be kicked out as we repeated, each month, at first delusionally, then despairingly, “we’ll be ready to move in next month.”
The year 2009 has been dull and, given the interesting times with which we have been blessed and/or cursed the preceding three years, blissfully so. We’ve expanded a garden, done a bit of house repair, made only one trip to the ER, and otherwise just muddled about. We’re healthy (most of the time, except when the children infect us with something, which is not infrequently), we think of you and the many other people who have blessed our lives (except when the children are fighting, or singing raucously, or otherwise inflicting chaos, when we just hide in our bedroom in a fetal position), and we hope you and your loved ones are well. Given our wretched failures in regular correspondence, we shouldn’t dare to say this, but we are shameless and so humbly request: please stay in touch.