Ho, ho, ho, cheerio, here’s our annual Xmas letter…

Every year, I want to say forget about it, but when the first Xmas cards drop into our mailbox, my guilt takes over and I force myself to sit down to tell you that this year… I cannot find our Christmas tree or our winter comforter. On Facebook, I announced they must have eloped, but that is soooo previous centuries-speak that I think it is more likely that they self-radicalized and took off for Syria. Once they’re smoked out of their Syrian shelter after the nuke President Trump dropped on them, they will come limping back home and kill us all around Christmas time.

Our news: Jon’s still with the startup Forgerock (identity management) that continues to rake in new clients and dough, Will is finishing his first semester as a sophomore in engineering at Northeastern in Boston and Caroline is applying for schools. We’ll be empty nesters soon, which is good news because it means that after 20 years of censorship by the kids, we can finally let our freak flag fly and walk around naked all day. Burning Man, here we come.

I am still freelancing for Netflix, LinkedIn, Strava and Nextdoor. It actually means that, on slow days, I can go for lovely bike rides through the canyon behind our house, and I have taken up creative writing again, so I hope to push out more books, if publishers will have me. On hectic days, I will crawl out of bed to commute to my desk upstairs and still find myself in my pj’s by the time cocktail hour rolls around, so what can I say: life is good.

Uh-oh, I can hear my kids now: “that stupid Christmas letter is always about you”, so to mend my ways, I will now resort to bragging about my kids which is what you really ought to do in these letters.

I was particularly proud of Will this summer for being a camp counselor at Roughing It. His bonus check came this Fall, with a letter singing his praises. His leadership qualities (not falling into the trap of just wanting to be liked) were brought out, as well as his originality as a teacher and his emotional intelligence with the kids. Gosh, that letter was so worth it, and it simply erased the number of times he turned up stoned at dinner this summer, or the time when the dogs were eating his vomit from the ivy in the garden after a night of heavy drinking with his “homeys”. And oh, thanks, Will, for leaving that humongo trash bag with beer cans and pizza boxes in one of the closets in the room over the garage. We now know why we had a little rat infestation there. What can I say. We love you so much, and know you mean well. Seriously.

Caroline evolved this year into a mature young woman with a talent to make everyone laugh (the latter she had from an early age already). I admire her originality and guts to be her own person, something I couldn’t do myself when I was 17. Going through the grueling and self-scrutiny of college apps, she has kept her cool, and we can’t wait to see where she’ll end up. Like her dad, she has become what I call an “Amazon whore” as there is an Amazon package on our doorstep almost daily. Could this be related to our cash-flow problems we have noticed lately?

My Christmas muse says: don’t exceed the one-pager, so I will leave it at that. Now remember: be humble, be kind, speak out against bigotry, don’t live in fear, or if you do want to obsess with terrorists, think about what you want to do about the homegrown terrorism of gun and police violence in this country, hug your loved ones and TELL them you love them, stay away from assholes, laugh a lot, and carpe vita. Life’s too short, so smell those roses and count yourself lucky.


The Lakes

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