The Christmas Letter

Monday Author: Susanne Skinner

holly, holly border, Christmas letter

As both a writer and receiver of The Annual Christmas Letter I hold strong opinions about them. They keep us connected, if only once a year, to people we no longer see on a regular basis. My Army brat years built friendships across the world and a holiday update is something I look forward to every year. I catch up on the lives of people I love who live far away from me. Sometimes a photo montage is included and I get a bonus visual update.

When social media happened it changed everything. If we’re connected I can see you 24/7. Updates occur in minutes, not years. I look no further than my smart phone and instantly know if you are:

  • In/out of a relationship
  • Grandparents
  • In the hospital
  • On the beach
  • Drinking wine
  • Buying or selling
  • Arriving/departing from an airport
  • Retired
  • Dining out
  • Stuck in Baltimore
  • Fill in the blank

Or any combination of the above. There are no surprises and no filters.  Our lives are out there offering minute- by-minute updates to people we may never see again, and possibly don’t even know or like. Many of the holiday updates have become formulaic and overdone, and no longer reflect real people living real lives.  There is no new news.

I still write the annual holiday letter. In fact; it’s one of my favorite December activities.

But what news can I share with you that is not already known, shared, liked and commented on? Is there something that will make you think of us, roll your eyes, or perhaps even smile and say “I believe it?” I think there is.

Our Annual Riff on the Christmas Letter 

Happy Holidays from Casa Caron! We are filled with holiday spirit(s) and ready to recap the last 365 days of our lives. Writing about our over-the-top accomplishments is something I look forward to each year. Where do I start? 2014 was an amazing year and we can’t wait to share it with you.

Biker BabeWe kicked it off with gusto by trading in the old SUV for a pair of Harley Iron 883s. It was time to begin living our lives with conviction and riding without compromise. Why drive around in a wanna-be van when you can have the wind in your face and some serious leather on your back?  t was a transformative decision.

Becoming bikers lifted us out of the rut we’d fallen into, bringing some one-of-a-kind dining experiences and a brand new circle of friends. We even found a couple’s activity—matching tattoos! It was a reminder to live in the moment and be spontaneous. Our local club is The Road Warriors, and we had jackets embroidered with our biker names—Bad Boy and Shaniqua.  S’up my brotha? We be like jamin’ in the biker hood now.

The steady employment routine restricted us.  We blew off working for the corporate man and got in touch with our inner spirit of adventure. We cashed in the 401-Ks.  I mean really, what were we holding on to those for??  We downsized and hit the open road. The grip of the material world held us for so long we forgot what real freedom feels like. We look forward to seeing all of you in 2015 because life is a highway and we’re on it.

Road WarriorYou’re probably wondering about the kids.  Mike, Nate and Dan are on their own now. After we sold the house, the freeloading dried up and we lost touch. Emma’s in college so we made arrangements for her to live there year round, and that left us with Angie. We were wondering what to do with her when Occupy Boston came to town. I was able to relocate her to a tent on the parkway, near a good soup kitchen. She has a warm winter coat and every now and then we catch a glimpse of her on the evening news.  YOLO girl!

We are enjoying our new-found independence. Suze remains committed to developing the perfect chocolate chip cookie with a blog to chronicle her research—The Deadliest Batch. Alan pursues his love of all things Tequila, insisting it IS a food group, and recently invented candied tequila bacon. Oh yes, he did. The simple pleasures of eating and drinking have become our favorite pastime. Also present time and future time.

Suze was sidelined for a while when she sprained her ankle. It was a bad dismount during pole dancing lessons, which was unfortunate. A promising career was cut short and we were counting on the additional income. Alan was given probation after that unfortunate incident in Wal-Mart that was blown way out of proportion. He was not stealing the identity, he was merely borrowing it.  

In Other News: 

  • There were no births, deaths, engagements, marriages, gender reassignments, promotions, lottery winners, hospitalizations or arrests (really…there were no arrests)
  • Grandpa Sam turned 94 and continues to show us what quality of life really means
  • We bid farewell to our forever friend Chance as he crossed the rainbow bridge
  • Bad Boy and Shaniqua are gainfully employed; 401-Ks intact.
  • Somebody really did get a tattoo.
  • Nobody got a Harley
  • Everybody is in touch, happy and healthy and sending a cup of holiday good cheer your way! We are also drinking it.

PEACE IS ALWAYS BEAUTIFUL ~ Walt Whitman

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