It is January 5, and I am officially printing my Christmas letter (for 2013, lest you should think I am working ahead). One printer refuses to print the bottom part of the border, and the other printer doesn’t like my purchased paper, and so instead of handwriting envelopes to the 60+ people on my Christmas card list, I am sitting by the printer feeding it old paper and making sure it does what what I want.
It isn’t. It is printing crooked, and my perfectly square page border emphasizes that fact.
What was it Winston Churchill once said?
“Never, never, never give up.”
And so I continue.
You know, writing my annual Christmas newsletter was once my only outlet for writing — aside from the creative and delightful tests I write for my students. I looked forward to apprising friends and family on my family’s antics for the year, and it always seemed to garner positive feedback — along these lines, “I so look forward to your yearly newsletter. If you ever write a book, I will buy it.” Who wouldn’t continue the tradition?
Fifteen letters — double-sided — printed. Slightly crooked. Sigh. And so I continue.
In 2012, I began writing this blog, and in the latter months of 2013, I have multiplied my efforts by publishing daily. It has taken a toll on my “wanna.” In fact, I began this year’s (late) annual Christmas letter this way:
Dear friends and family,
Happy Newish Year! I missed the Christmas “deadline” and didn’t even muster my creative energies early enough to make New Year’s Day, but, at long last, here is my attempt at the Dagens’ annual newsletter:
All is well. Nothing much going on.
Cartridge just ran out of ink. Forgot to keep count of letters as they printed and so will have to start stuffing envelopes before I will know if I need to forgo the border and print on the other machine.
Then I confessed that the real reason for my lack of inspiration was because I’ve been two-timing with this blog — although I did invite my Christmas card recipients to join us here. But I knew not all of those in my physical address book have an online address or the ability to visit my blog, and so I began to offer some family highlights.
I found I had my “wanna” after all, and a short time later, after I’d captured my family’s accomplishments and oddities in multiple paragraphs, I closed the letter with this reflection:
As I write this, the house is quiet, save for my cat’s snoring as she sits, eyes closed, beside our R2D2-like kerosene heater. I am laughing at her quietly to myself as I enjoy these peaceful moments. Steve is at work doing physical therapy; Adam is painting a barn, his odd job of the day. I remember the days when I had all five children underfoot, when no cat would have dared to sleep so soundly. I wonder how I managed writing a letter on time back in those days, when I find it so hard to be timely now — but I rejoice in both the passage of time, the cherished memories of those times, and in the reminder of who holds all time, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
May God richly bless you and yours in 2014!
And so, belated, I am ready to send my annual “Christmas” newsletter to my dear friends and family. It is the last hurrah of the Christmas holiday (and school begins again tomorrow). My annual letter will appear with this photo of my children (and my granddog)…
For your enjoyment, may I include a snapshot of my cat, sitting upright, snoring…