Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ghosts Of Xmas Letters Past

I finished up the "dreaded Christmas family newsletter" yesterday. I know many people are not fans of these holiday missives but I try to keep mine blog-like, light with a tad bit of humor.

Since I've discovered the power of my digital camera, the last few letters have included a collage of pictures. I'm not sure how some people feel about my mailing unauthorized pictures of them to my friends and such but some family members might object to my using any picture of them in my newsletter. So I don't ask first.

Afterwards, I put a copy into a notebook that contains about 20 such annual newsletters dating back over 20 years. I thought it might be interesting to re-print a few paragraphs to highlight some of life's goings-on during the past couple decades.

1989: I did fulfill one goal when I ran in the 8K St. Patrick's Day Race last March. Didn't mind plodding along with the retirees and the Weight Watcher drop-outs but when that pack started pulling ahead and fading from view, it was discouraging. If I run again, I not only want to cross the finish line, I want to beat someone there.

1992: My only computer now is my Commodore 64, which doesn't work that well and does not telecommunicate. I have been planning to purchase an IBM compatible but there always seems to be other priorities (new car, furniture, shoes for the kids).

1994: MOST TERRIFYING MOMENT OF THE YEAR FOR WENDY--When we woke up one morning to discover our pet rat Splinter had escaped from his cage during the night. He was re-captured without incident, however.

1995: Greg led the mourning for the passing of Splinter, our first family pet. Wendy didn't shed any tears. She had been pointing out ever since Splinter had escaped from his cage one night that he was living far longer than the average rat.

1998: My parental authority does seem to erode daily with my boys. I asked Greg to help move boxes one day recently and he snapped that if he interrupted his homework to help out, he wouldn't be able to make his bed-time. When I replied that he could stay up the extra five minutes it would take to move the boxes, he chastized, "Don't get smart with me, dad." My other son Scott has gone beyond stealing my lines. He actually says he IS "Mr. Talaga" if he is alone at home when a stranger calls.

2000: Wendy and I celebrated our 20th anniversary at Disneyworld with an elegant dinner at the California Grill, then dancing at Pleasure Island till the wee hours of the morn. Well, past midnight anyway. I spent the wee hours of the morning walking the grounds outside the Disney hotels looking for Greg and Scott who had gotten off at the wrong stop on their busride back to our hotel.


Blogger TechnoBabe said...

This is a good idea, Dave. Lots of fun reading the snippets from each year. I know so many people who don't write all year long and at Christmas they summarize the year, sometimes two pages or three, to add the letter to their Christmas cards. I always enjoy reading your family doings. And I would think people who receive your Christmas card would enjoy seeing the picture collage. For me, receiving some pictures is the best.

3:43 AM  
Blogger Carine said...

love hearing about "letters of your past" Dave.

Especially spending some of your anniversary hunting down your lost boys!

Our daughter was about 5 when she decided to leave one friends house and go to another w/o informing me. I wasn't as cool as you evidently-no, not me. I called the police, shut down my parents business and had any neighbor I saw out looking for that little girl.
took us 4 hours and I swear that was the day I started turning gray.

Happy holidays

9:43 AM  
Blogger Lynilu said...

I personally like those letters, but I agree, they must have a little humor. And I like pictures, because with a few old friends I stay in touch with, but haven't seen in years, it helps me to be able to recognize them when I do see them! I'd say you're doing a remarkable job!

9:53 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

TECHNOBABE--I sometimes have trouble coming up with enough stuff for one page. I can't imagine writing a letter that went on for two to three pages. Well, without including something about Michigan weather.

CARINE--If mine were five years old, and any other place besides Disneyworld, I would have been panicking too. It didn't help my search though that the boys had a disagreement and SPLIT UP, each going his own way into the night.

LYNILU--Makes me wonder if folks remember me from my picture. Not just a coincidence that I applied for a walk-on role in an upcoming zombie series. I wouldn't need much make-up.

3:26 PM  
Blogger Tramp said...

Thanks for the inspiration (and the kick up the backside), I have still to write one for this year.

2:58 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Thanks for stopping by, Dave. You are a man after my own heart! One of my wife's friends told my wife she should start proof-reading my blog posts. Apparently she has broken most, if not all, of my "rules." Oh well . . .

7:31 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

TRAMP--It's not to late to write your own. I usually get at least one and often more Xmas letters after December 25th. Even after January 1st.

BOB--My wife regularly proofreads my blog. So far though, only once has she nixed the whole thing, forcing me to write another. And it wasn't even about her.

3:55 AM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Dave ~~ Peter writes a Christmas letter each year and I enjoy getting them He mostly rhymes his, but no
pictures. A couple of other friends enclose pics with their news. I am sure your friends and family enjoy your efforts. I hope you had a nice Christmas family party and that you escape the freezing weather for a while.
We call TVs Telly or TV.
Footy means Australian Rules football which is close to a religion for many of us. It is played March to September. At the
moment we are having Cricket Tests against England. I enjoy that also.
Enjoy the Christmas Holiday and take care, Regards, Merle.

2:44 AM  

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