Editor’s Note – Many of you received this letter in your mailbox but there are so many of you out there and I haven’t enough scratch to fund the postage necessary to get a card into the hands of every acquaintance, spammer and web predator that surfaces on this site so as tradition dictates, I have reposted our annual Christmas Letter here for all to enjoy. If I don’t see you in person over the next week or so, I’d like to wish you all a very Merry.
We know – as those icy, cool tendrils of winter push forward and pull you in with their steel-tight grasp, you look towards that lone mailbox, standing sentinel outside your home, scanning for some semblance of salvation. For some ounce of warmth to whisk you away from this chilly reality. You anxiously await the daily arrival of your mailman, hoping against hope that this will be the day that your hero arrives. Well, wait no longer friends, for it’s here. The 6th Annual Humphries Family Christmas Letter has arrived to fight off the cold, warm your hearts and herald in another wonderful holiday season. And the shear fact that you hold this parchment in your hands proves one incontrovertible fact.
You didn’t stiff us on a holiday card last year.
First up, Aria, who in 2008 made the transition from toddler to pre-tween by turning 3 and maxing out her first credit card. This past year, Aria marked a number of milestones. First off, she gave us the go-ahead to kick Pampers to the curb. With our family no longer in the hock for 3,212 gross of diapers per month, our household budget breathed a sigh of relief while elsewhere across town, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. Ooops! There’s that ‘Butterfly Effect’. Aria also continued her swim lessons where she was recently graduated from Pike to Eel. Normally, this promotion is held until a child turns 4 but sometime around that evening when she telepathically called forth a flock of seahorses (in a chlorine-filled pool no less), they decided to grant our little Aqua Girl with the early bump. And in early Autumn, Aria enrolled in her first dance class and is eagerly looking forward to her recital next summer when her class will perform a medley of Swan Lake, The Nutcracker Suite and Riverdance.
Next we come to Colin, who in 2008 dove headfirst into the deep-end of kindergarten and has been doing swimmingly. With the advancement in school comes certain freedoms that most of us adults take for granted – for instance, the ability to purchase one’s own milk and to make a choice between ‘fancy’ chocolate and ‘hum-drum’ white. Ever the health nut, Colin will leave for school with his own self-directed maxim – “I’m buying white milk today. It’s better for you.” But somewhere along each day’s path, temptation enters and by the time he gets home, his chocolate milk mustache betrays him. Regardless, it’s a pleasure seeing him enjoy school so fully and relish these first fledgling days as his world really opens up. He’s really taken with school and often comes home to teach his sister, and their stuffed animals, the lessons he learned that day – turning our playroom into a makeshift classroom. I’d write more but I just saw the new schedule he posted and have found that I, and my fellow classmates Elmo, Grover, Uniqua and Baby Beluga have to cram for our upcoming MCAS exams.
Of course, 2008 is the year that a star was born when Andi took the stage in the role she was born to play, that of the lovely songbird Maria von Trapp in the Gateway Players’ summertime production of The Sound of Music. The show ran in mid-August and garnered rave reviews from the huge crowds captured by the spell that Andi’s lovely voice conjured. As I write this, I am still in awe at the phenomenal performance she essayed and just as important, how easy she made it all look. Having had a back stage view to the whole process, I am especially humbled by the fact that she bit into this role and knocked it out of the stratosphere, all the while maintaining the Herculean effort required for the day-to-day operations of our household including all the assorted chores, errands, appointments and activities. With the show behind us and Awards Season looming, Andi is currently weighing her options before deciding on her next big project. The same theater group is launching a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat next summer and there are some key roles that would really showcase her talents. In addition, she’s got to get back to those Grey’s Anatomy producers shortly, before they remove their offer from the table. This time, next year, we might end up postmarking this letter from 90210 as I write to tell you all about Andi’s Oscar chances, Colin and Aria’s commercial debut and the exciting life and times of Ed Humphries – Key Grip.
Which makes for a nice segue way to me. Last year, my big announcement was I got a haircut – or more to the point, shaved my head. This year, I put that chrome dome to work for me, allowing it to color my performance as Aide Warren, the biggest, baddest, meanest bastard that ever prowled the stage of local community theater, in my debut performance with the Gateway Players’ autumn production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Completely typecast, I reaped some of the best reviews I’ve had in my entire life including “I hope you take this as a compliment, I HATED YOU!!!” from one audience member and “As your mother, I have to wonder… where does that RAGE come from?” from some other woman who attended the show. Having successfully made it through 5 performances without knocking down the set or inadvertently killing the leads, I now return my gaze to my web site (www.edhumphries.com) where in 2008, in less than 3 years, I posted over 300 full-length entries. Not that any of you actually read it, you ungrateful sons of bitc… oh, where was I? Ah yes, Seasons Greetings and all that stuff.
Bringing us back to what is most important to Andi and I. The family we created and nurtured. It seems that just around the moment I seal the envelope on the last Christmas letter, I’m settling back down to write the next one. The sand drains a little too swiftly from the hourglass these days. Of course, I’m preaching to the pulpit. We’re all incredibly busy and those nagging little lines etch a little too swiftly across our countenances as the calendar pages rustle with wild abandon. But, as Andi and I find these little moments to settle down, to calm the pulse and survey our riches – measured completely by the wealth of friends and family we’re fortunate to accumulate – we realize that sometimes the briefest of moments, spent alongside those we love and treasure most, is worth all the time in the world.
We look forward to seeing you all soon.
From our family to yours, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas!!!