Sunday, December 25, 2011

Wrapped up

Daisy Jingle This 

The funniest holiday newsletter we ever received began with the following salutation:

Happy holidays from the disgruntled Smiths. (I changed the name to protect the disgruntled)  The newsletter cataloged the family's year of mishaps, misfires, and messes. It described battles with ill health and other unsavory features that are all too often a condition of being part of the human race. The writer of the letter was clear. In this race, the family was losing.

It was worse than the saddest country song you've ever heard without the weary acceptance of a blues song. It was an airing of grievances before any of us had even heard of Festivus and yet the writer gave the reader the gift of laughter.

I've always aspired to that ability. No matter what I write about, I want to be able to maintain my sense of humor.

While this year has given me plenty to fess about and I've had to dig deep to find the humor at times, it's also been a year that highlights what really matters. Love. Family. Friends. Health. Laughter. Books. Music. A good meal. A decent night's sleep. Shelter. Writing. Those are the things that make a life well lived. For me.

The coming year is full of opportunities for the good, the bad and the absolutely terrifying. But then, that's life, isn't it? We don't get guarantees. Not even if we're willing to pay the extra sixty-nine dollars for the extended warranty.

This is where I go all wobbly on you and tell you how much I appreciate you. How grateful I am that you come and read and share. How being part of this community is another vital part to my life well lived.

Now I have to go take a nap. Sophie woke us up at an obscenely early hour to unwrap her gifts from Dr. Who and I nearly wore myself out yesterday asking MathMan obnoxious questions about how he planned to stuff my stocking.

Wishing you all the joys of the season.


The Goldens


  1. I must have been terrible this past year. Santa didn't bother bringing me coal for my stocking; he gave me the FREAKING FLU on Christmas Eve instead.


  2. Hey, I just appreciate that you're funnier than a lot of people who make a living at it.

    Here's to a fun Christmas and a better year ahead!

  3. Have already had a magnificent Christmas and haven't touched but a single gift under the tree. This Christmas Eve/Christmas Day are one for the memory vaults, let me tell you.

    May I get wobbly and say thank you for continuing, through the fog of occasional depression and the griping of the cats, to write your little pieces that lift my spirits? May I get even more wobbly and admit that your blog is one of those things I look forward to reading, always with a green-tinged eye at the way your ideas and words and images flow off the screen?

    Happy holidays to the Goldens. Especially to the cat who had to put up with the hat for that picture.

  4. My husband gave me a nap for Christmas, too. It's only fair -- he opened his yesterday, all afternoon.

    As soon as I do the lights for my kids' Barbie and Monster High fashion show, I'm crashing'til the turkey's done.

    Happy Chrishanufestivus, Lisa!

  5. A nap sounds divine right about now. Thanks for putting so much laughter in my bucket. By far, you are one of the funniest people I have ever come across.

  6. Hi Lisa~ Merry Whatever! My x mas newsletter talked about our *year of the house* where literally one project had a domino effect of requiring other projects to be done. Not talking about little stuff either-- had to replace the main circuit breaker box, which lead to replacing the rooftop connection, which required a new roof. All that just to replace an ancient heating system... then segwayed into 'Speaking of fixing old things....
    had total knee replacement surgery.
    Another friend's newsletter talked about them selling their house to head into retirement.
    "If we wait to retire till the economy improves, we'll be dead" is the quote.
    This era 21st century depression sure takes us into different territory.
    The husband will lose his job & although the kid will graduate from college in 2012-- what kind of job will he be able to get?

    Things are bleak, and yea we try to keep up our spirits, I've not yet received any sugar coated *everything is just grand* kind of newsletters,
    cause that would be nauseating!

  7. Lisa, I absolutely love you!

    I come here because of your wonderful slant on things, even when it all just stinks.

    You say it all with a clarity and the images are so real that I feel I am right there with you. It's as though we're sitting across the kitchen table from each other sharing a glass of wine or a cup of tea.

    I like that.

    Happy Holidays to The Goldens! May the New Year be imminently better than the rest!

    Love you all!


  8. I can't take a nap...there's a Packers-Bears game to watch!

    Happy zzzzzzzzzzzz...


  9. I'll be as glad as you to see the end of 2011. It hasn't been the greatest, but I'll wobble too and admit that I'm grateful for your friendship, and the FTF circle. You've been a lovely bright spot in the gloom.

    Happy holidays, chickadee.

  10. This is where I go all wobbly on you and tell you how much I appreciate you.

    Then quit dissin' mah Kountry Moosik:P

    Hugs to ya baby (What a rack!!) & don't bite anything I wouldn't.:)

  11. I was just getting ready to come by and wish you Happy Christmas even if you didn't have a new post up. I'm glad you did and very glad to read you got a seasonal letter that cheered you up with a family's tales of woe. I was immediately reminded of why I loved the Lemony Snicket books and hated the movie. Of course, I guess so did everybody else since they never made another.

    I always run out of something when they close the stores for a major holiday and this year was no different as I only have a few of our favorite snack crackers left plus we unwrapped the last toilet roll yesterday. Thank goodness there's an extra box of kleenex if required.

    Your sense of humor in the face of whatever life throws at you is an inspiration. I hope next year you'll be able to write about happier results.

  12. Happy (true, sometimes-disgruntled for us all) holidays, Lisa, to you and your family!

    One of my students wrote a fabulous paper on Dr. Who this semester...:)

  13. It's a darn good life at the end of the day, ain't it? Poor Smiths--but lucky Smiths, too. To be able to hold your epic fails and bad luck at arms'length and find the humor is lifesaving and, really, life-affirming.

    Happy holidays, Lisa. I really enjoy your blog and your spirit. Really glad I got to know you this year here on the interwebs.

  14. I also had a talk the other day with a friend who's had a really rotten year, can't wait for it to be over. I could only listen, stinging eyes, and listen. So long as it all goes well we are lucky.
    Hope 2012 is fab for you and family Lisa. Don't worry I am sure you will keep me laughing next year. Ciao xcat

  15. If you really appreciated us, you'd send us copies of Madden 12.

  16. Disgruntled is an excellent word. I think I'm going to start using it. Frequently.

    I have also hereby extended Festivus to the end of the year so that we can all continue to be disgruntled and possibly get more of it out of our systems maybe so it don't hang around.

    Just a thought. Might be cathartic. Can you have a big bonfire without getting arrested? And I mean OUTSIDE.

    A bonfire to burn all the gruntles. You have six nights. GO!

    (E's dad put hot pink fire starters (the lighters on long sticks) in my stocking and Cletus's. suggestive maybe? I think you need one.)

  17. I nearly wore myself out yesterday asking MathMan obnoxious questions about how he planned to stuff my stocking.
    Is that what the kids call it these days????

    Hope next year is a better one!!

  18. Agree with Averil above ... good riddances to 2011. The highlights of my year were being including in this FTF circle which, honest to Betsy, has kept me on the writing wagon. And so the highest highlights were meeting some of this FTF crew in person. See you in Chicago, Lisa... :-)

    Cheers, everyone. Here's to 2012.

    P.S. Naps must have been the order of Christmas Day --- that's how I spent the entire afternoon. Reading THE HUNGER GAMES and napping on the couch. aka heaven.

  19. "maintain" your sense of humour? Yup - I'd say high maintainance. You made me laugh all year Lisa. Thank you.

  20. Hope you had a Happy Hanukah/Merry Xmas, whatever. Don't know why I think it, but I think a major corner has been turned and the proles (that's us) are going to exact some justice next year. It's about time.

  21. A belated Merry Christmas to you! I appreciate you and your humor -- especially the cat tales. Here's to a very bright 2012....

  22. I knew I was doing ok with my annual letter when my sister told me that you had to know the REAL story of the year to understand what a great PR talent I had!

    Happy, Merry to you and your fam. Love you too!

  23. Awwwwwwwww!

    I appreciate you too, Lisa. A lot.

    And here's to 2012 NOT sucking 1/2 as badly as 2011!

  24. Those holiday preprinted letters are the best!

    Wishing you and yours all the best in the New Year.


  25. Lisa, you're always in inspiration - not only for your humour but your authenticity.

    Merry Christmas and here's to a brand new year. I hope it's good to you.


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