The Christmas Letter You Will Never Get

(It’s that time of year when Christmas letters [or family brag rags] touting glorious accomplishments and grand adventures ending with “wish you were here with us in paradise” arrive in the mail. A former parishioner facetiously spoke of wanting to send a letter detailing a family’s misfortunes. I don’t think Larry is the only one to have that thought. Here is my attempt.)

Dear Friends and Family,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and Happy Holidays.

It has been a mixed year here, but, we aren’t giving up.

Son Freddy, former youth pastor at a wonderful church, did plead guilty
to pedophilia and started serving his sentence in July. He’s in solitary
confinement, which will give him precious, glorious time for prayer.

Son Ralph has been in the program “Praying You Out of Being Gay” for
a few weeks and even though he has threatened suicide, the counselors
say that is just normal and nothing to be worried about. We don’t know
about this whole thing but our associate pastor says he will corral the
church prayer warriors to help Ralph.

Daughter Margie went out-of-town for a while to lose weight. We were
worried about that growing tummy bump. She’s only seventeen and we didn’t
want her putting on the “Freshmen fifteen” at college. She came home with
a flat tummy and, while she didn’t make it through her freshman year at
the local community college, we expect great things as she moves up in the
local grocery store from grocery bagger to the “sky’s the limit for this beautiful child,” as the very nice manager, who has taken Margie under his
wing, assured us.

Mom is working her AA program. She’s had two month’s sobriety and we are ever
so proud. She’s finding ways to recycle all the bottles around the house.
The Christmas season is a particularly perilous one for alcoholics so pray
that mom remains “on the wagon.”

Dad is staying by himself in his “man cave” most of the time.

We will be attending our wonderful congregation’s Christmas Eve Candlelight
Service in spite of the fact that our beloved (now former) pastor won’t be there.

He ran off with the choir director. We are praying for the pastor’s family who will be leaving the parsonage. The deadline is Jan. 1. Unfortunately, we can’t continue to pay for them and we need the space for the next pastor and family.

Well, that about sums it up.

Wish you were here to enjoy this most sacred and festive season with us.

Your loving family and friends

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