My family is not the most renowned for consistent Christmas letters. In the past, a good year consisted in taking a family picture. Some letters were so late that we had to re-title them as "Easter Updates." For several years, we sent nothing. Sometimes it just happens that way.
Finally, two years ago, we decided it was time we re-connected with the Christmas Card World and wrote a letter. One, double-sided, size-10-font, quarter-inch-margins, sheet-of-paper letter. Success! Sadly, it was not to last. 2011 was another year of silence from the Coder household. Let's just say, living in a family with ten kids, Christmas updates are difficult. Last year's condensed version:
Dear friends and family,
We are well. Sarah is still teaching piano and violin. Ben is still at school as a mechanical engineer. Emily and younger are all still being home schooled. Some kids are in orchestra (still). Daddy still has a job, Mommy is still teaching the Littles.
OR, one can go into greater detail, granting each person a paragraph, and end up with a book instead of a letter. Which consequently no one will read. Which ironically results in family and friends knowing as little about our goings-on as if we'd sent nothing. Which, we did.
So maybe I have finally discovered a "con" to living in a big family.
Anyway, this year, (no one desirous of the job of detailing the doings of each and every one of us) mama opted to simply make three lists: favorite books, favorite hikes, and favorite "happenings." Rachel sent out an email requesting everyone to send in his/her "favorite of the year" in each of these categories, and then compiled the lists. Mama printed out a picture (sadly NOT of the family, but of just "us kids" on our all-time favorite hike this year), and...that was our letter?
We thought and brainstormed and pondered and considered - for several days. Our three sad lists sat lonely on the computer, immovable until someone came up with a mode of presentation. And then, poof! one Saturday morning, an idea came!
This will make varying levels of sense to you, depending on whether you've read Dickens, Lousia May Alcott, or just watched "Little Women." And so, without further ado, our Christmas letter!
Merry Christmas! I hope you had a wonderful day celebrating the truest Gift, and that it encouraged you to keep Christmas in your hearts all year 'round!