Monday, December 23, 2013

Dear Holiday Newsletter 2013

Dear Holiday Newsletter 2013,

In keeping with our holiday tradition each year, we scrambled and sent out holiday cards along with you, again penned by my better half. And I didn't even have to beg very much this year, yay!



At press time, we are slowly recovering from the Orlando road trip.  We* drove over 2,000 miles round trip (including stretches of parking lot traffic on the highways in GA and FL and multi-car spin outs due to snow in the Midwest) to visit Harry Potter, Marvel superheroes, and Disney princesses (last category for our adorable nieces as Dear Daughter would be aghast at any false insinuation).  *The loose use of the word “we” in the preceding sentence referred to Dear Husband's liberal use of the accelerator pedal on the driver side and Dear Wife’s  incessant application of the invisible brake on the passenger side during the drive.  There is simply no better family bonding experience than spending 40 quality hours together in a cozy 150 cubic feet of space.  We heartily recommend everyone to try this as soon as humanly possible.

More than usual, the holidays have snuck up on us this year as we are tardy with the tree, decorations, and cards.  In keeping with the past few years, DW has happily volunteered DH to report to the mass plebeians on the state of our household.  The executive summary version is that the The Household Members are getting one-year older (duh!), becoming snarkier and growing shapelier (longitudinal stretch for kiddos and lateral rings for parents).  If you prefer the fine print, please kindly read ahead for more mundane happenings in our humble family.

  • Dear Son is gradually shedding his protective shell and letting his unique personality shine.  DS now shares personal tidbits with friends at school; belts out greatest hits in the shower; does an uncanny impression of infomercials (something about buy-one-get-one with free gift by calling 555-1234); has inappropriate conversations with his father in Mandarin (he seems to be only fluent with the bad stuff); and proclaims that we need more vacations in warm destinations such as Hawaii.  DS is not athletically inclined, but has “kiapped” his way with conviction to a green belt in Tae Kwon Do in no time.  Armed with his OCD heritage and near-photographic memory, DS is also the household inventory manager as he can readily tell you where any given asset is located in the house; this skill comes in handy since his parents suffer from occasional senior moments and DD is prone to constant daydreaming. 
  • Dear Daughter will be graduating from grade school come end of this school year (yikes!).  DD's bedroom walls can tell the story of growth with evolving posters from cute animals to Selena Gomez to Harry Potter (wonder what/who will grace her walls next?).  As a preview of life to come, DD is already busy juggling school and extra-curricular activities.  In addition to her long-standing violin lessons, DD is in her school band learning the clarinet (finally playing musical  tunes instead of making hair-raising goose mating-calls) as well as participating in the 5th grade girls’ basketball team now that running club season is over.  Additionally, DD continues to improve in badminton at the Chinese school on Sundays; she now boasts that she can put the beat down on her old man (will need to dispel that notion ASAP weather permitting).    
  • Dear Wife reached the big 4-0 milestone earlier this year.  She is now beginning to pick-up speed as the saying goes.  Exhibit A: try keeping up with her while walking.  DW is in popular demand as the go-to substitute teacher at our neighborhood grade school by day and the energetic toddler Chinese school teacher on Sundays.  Between teaching and schlepping the kiddos around for enrichment activities, DW bemoans the lack of spare time to devote to her letters-of-muse blog, FB, and Candy Crush.  However, she always manages to find diversion time for her own happy hour with her beloved margarita or Kahlua and smoked almonds.
  • Dear Husband is hard at work in trying to break his personal record of consecutive days of not working out in a single year.  Alas, this is not a leap year.  At the risk of jinxing the outcome, we are about to close on the sale of our townhouse for a song, but we are ready to cut our losses and to bid farewell to aging property and rental tenant issues.  DH is thrilled that our slumlord days are coming to an end and is fantasizing on ways to spend the spare change that we will get at closing (maybe we can now afford to feel financially stretched).

We sincerely wish you and your family a most joyful Holiday Season and a peaceful and healthy New Year (Year of the Horse)! 


So, Dear Holiday Newsletter 2013, at the risk of seeming overly self-indulgent, we sent you out to our friends and family for a good laugh and some holiday cheer. Now that you've been dispersed, I hope you delivered our holiday wishes to everyone! 

Until next year!

Me and DH


  1. Your family and this holiday letter are super cute!

    1. Thanks, Nilsa! We are definitely a bunch of silly, quirky peeps. I hope you had a great holiday! Thanks for reading!

  2. So do you send this hard-copy or just email? It's a great newsletter for those who want to know the nitty gritty details of your family members (like I do!). DS - how inappropriate we talking about re: Mandarin convos? Hehe. DD - oh my gosh, middle school?!?!?! You guys must be busy getting her from activity to activity! Did she choose the clarinet and sports teams herself? DW - didn't know you had thing for Kahlua and smoked almonds! So fun to know this tidbit. DH - didn't know you had a townhouse on your hands? Too bad it wasn't generating the income you would have liked. Ours didn't either. It was nice not having that burden of slumlord-ship on our minds ;).

    1. Hi, Lisa, we do send a hard copy along with our photo card (pics were all from FL vacay). It takes forever to fold and stuff the envelopes. :) Regarding Mandarin convos: think phrases that have the word "eight" in them (how many can you think of?), haha! Yes, DD chose the clarinet and school activities herself, if you exclude the influences of classmates/friends. Friday night cocktail/almonds is my Weekend Happy, for sure. We've had that townhouse for far too long--couldn't sell it the first time around since the economy tanked, so we're glad to be done with it.

      I'm so glad to have seen your card online! It is SO cute, and you did a mini-version of the family update! :) Happy New Year!

  3. I have never written one of these yearly newsletters but I do love getting them from people! This is one of the best I've ever read. I am so glad your hubby is willing to help you out by writing it. There are pretty vast changes that take place from year to year that we aren't always aware of unless we reflect back. Your massive car trip sounds like one of the highlights. I hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday, Sandra. I hope to do better at reading and commenting on your blog in 2014! :-)

    1. Hi, Chrisor! Thanks so much for reading this! There are peeps who couldn't care less to read holiday newsletters, so it's always comforting to know there are some who do like to read them. I'm a huge fan of my DH's writing, and I do really appreciate that he steps in to write it (and has been for the past few years) after I went on strike. I have too many other holiday obligations... (not really). But you're right: these do serve as a nice set of memory keepsakes! We have had a great time off from school/work, and have eaten far too much food. I will do better with checking in on Instagram and reading your blog, too, Chrisor! Happy New Year, and thank you for being the wonderful blog friend that you are!

  4. I don't write yearly news letters, but got a kick out of reading yours! I had to crack up about your son's desire to have 'bad' conversations in Mandarin. I don't know what the appeal is, but I think it's universal. Earlier this year, my older son told me something naughty in Greek that his Yaya taught him (mother-in-law is Greek). He didn't count on me knowing what it was and he got in a lot of trouble. It seems moms pick up on the bad stuff, too :)

    I hope you manage to find more spare time next year (ha, ha).

    1. Thank you for reading the newsletter, Janna! Even though we love them, we don't get a lot of news along with holiday, but we write them in hopes of bringing smile to our friends and family. I don't know what it is about boys, but they just love the "inappropriate" stuff! What's funny is that DS's accent is so Americanized that the "bad" phrases sound so off!

      As for time, I'm seriously afraid that there will be less and less for this coveted part of me, and that's why your "ha, ha". You know me even better than I know myself. Have a Happy New Year, Janna!