the holiday letter & other traditions

Abbey is famous! Well, at least among those who will be receiving holiday greetings from us this year. See for yourself:

Unfortunately we underestimated how many stamps we’d need, so quite a few people aren’t going to get a special one. Darn. Not that anyone probably cares about a stamp with Abbey on it nearly as much as we do.

But I must say, personalized stamps were a great invention. A total racket too, but still pretty great.

Anyway, this was our first time participating in the whole holiday letter tradition. We resisted at first — and with good reason, it ended up being a huge amount of work — but we decided that being married with a real job and a baby on the way… that’s about as grown-up as it gets. It was now or never.

Mostly, we decided to do it for the baby. My mom used to send out a Christmas letter every year full of funny anecdotes about my sister and me. I love going back and reading them, and I’d love to give the baby the same thing, even though his/her role in this letter is just a cameo, swooping in and making me suffer for a few months. But still. At least now I have documented evidence of such, which hopefully I can leverage in the future — say, when he/she is an ungrateful teenager. Yeah. That sounds good.

With the baby coming, we’ve also started to think about other traditions we want make sure to take up, such as things we each grew up doing:

  • Eating chili on Christmas Eve (Andy)
  • Eating cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning (me)
  • Reading the holiday book together as a family each year and having everyone present sign it (Andy)
  • Having a real, live tree with tons of ornaments (me)
  • Midnight mass (Andy)
  • Advent calendars with delicious candy (me)

You get the idea.

We’ve also started thinking up some new traditions we’d like to incorporate into our holiday repertoire, like:

  • Volunteer work Christmas afternoon
  • Writing a thank you letter to someone who had a big impact over the year

I’ll be curious to see how the Foreign Service shapes our holiday traditions (I’m guessing a real, live tree isn’t going to be an option in Benin, for instance), but for now…

Happy holidays from all three and a half of us!

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7 Responses to the holiday letter & other traditions

  1. Doh says:

    And a merry Christmas to you guys. All 3.5 of you.

  2. Becky says:

    Love the picture!

  3. Daniela says:

    Happy Holidays! Beautiful picture!!!

  4. Bridget says:

    what an adorable picture!

  5. Jeanne says:

    Chili–check; cinnamon rolls–check; holiday book–check; live tree with lots of ornaments–check; midnight mass–check; advent calendar–hmm, lot of days to catch up on; chinese restaurant on Christmas–added by Bess.

  6. Carolyn says:

    Cute!! I love hearing about everyone’s traditions. Note for your HHE: bring a big fake tree. They are hard to get in Cotonou and very expensive. I wish I could tell you that a real tree would be an option, but a Christmas bush of some sort is as close as you will get. 🙂

  7. Linda says:

    Thanks for including us on your Christmas list. Great letter! You have definitely had an exciting year.

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