The Annual Humphries Family Christmas Letter – 2010

Editor’s Note – This letter accompanied our annual Christmas Card. If I didn’t send you one, it’s not because I don’t care. It’s only because there are way too freakin’ many of you out there. : )

‘Tis the holiday season but something’s amiss. You’ve imbibed four gallons of spiked eggnog in your custom moosehead mugs but something seems off. You’ve turned TNT’s 24-hour Christmas Story marathon into your own karaoke contest – speaking along with all the parts – but still, something lacks. You’ve liberated every dime store tschostke in mid-August in hopes that you’ve found the next Silly Band or Pillow Pet and have Amazon.com and early retirement in your sites but something nags at you. Then you take a little jaunt to your snow-dusted mailbox and find exactly what you’ve been looking for. That’s right – the Humphries Family Annual Christmas Letter is here to make it all official. Let’s make with the merry as Christmas time is finally here.

Until Santa or a stork decides to gift us with another bundle of girl or boy, we begin our tale where we always do. First up, our youngest Aria Leigh – who in 2010 made a major step forward, entering the hallowed halls of Kindergarten. Although her big bro Colin blazed a trail through just two years prior, Aria has made the place her own and has really impressed us with her enthusiasm for learning. For starters, she’s reading at a pace well above her tender age which has led Andi and I to turn to hieroglyphics instead of verbal spelling whenever we want to pass a message along secretly between the two of us. How she interprets “Pyramid, Sphinx, All Seeing Eye” as “Should we go out for ice cream?” is beyond me. Aria has begun her third year of dance, with her instruction focusing on tap this year. Oh , how our hardwoods yearn for the good old days of the soft shoe and moonwalk. Aria also followed her parents’ footsteps and auditioned for a role in a local holiday play. When she was told that we got the call and she had been cast as Baby Whale, she replied “Oh – I already knew that. I auditioned so they knew I wanted a part.” This little Diva thinks she’s got it all figured out. Why, it seems like just yesterday when she hit me with – “Daddy, Why would you shave your head just so you could glue hair to your arms?” Hmmm, seemed like a good idea at the time.

Moving on – we come to Colin, who made a huge leap, leaving his beloved early Grade School for the big leagues of our local Elementary. He had been Chairman of the Chalkboard at his first school, so we were a bit apprehensive as to how he would adapt to the new school that he’ll attend from now through fourth grade. It turns out our fears were all for naught, as Colin has embraced it. In fact, he’s genuinely thrilled with the place and he now professes that “teacher” or “restaurant owner” or “both” will be his future occupation. He also says that when he’s old enough, he’s not moving out of the house. We are!!! After all, he really likes it here. On the athletic side, Colin began taking Mixed Martial Arts lessons. Andi and I throw caution to the wind the next time we try to place him in a timeout and have our little Karate Kid in front of us, egged on by his sweet little sister’s pleas to “SWEEP THE LEG – PUT THEM IN A BODY BAG!!!”

Andi has had a very busy year. It’s no wonder time flies with such reckless abandon when you take a look at her usual dance card. In addition to all of the assorted household chores and duties which she pulls off with seemingly effortless ease, Andi has taken great pleasure in donating much of her time to volunteer at Colin and Aria’s school – assisting in the libraries and classrooms on a weekly basis. In addition, her voice has carried far and wide, as numerous churches in the area have made her their go-to person whenever they need someone to sing in honor or tribute to a wedded or departed individual. In fact, she’s landed so many funerals of late that I’m beginning to grow suspicious of her Soprano title. It’s always sounded mob-related to me and with so many funerals, who’s to say she’s not whacking people just so she can earn the singing gig on the back end? In addition to the steady stream of singing engagements, Andi also co-starred in three productions, The Love Boat, The Wizard of Oz and this past summer’s spectacle, Beauty & the Beast. To see her tackle all of these productions and balance it all with work and family time is humbling to my eyes. But seriously, would it kill her to fetch me a beer?

And finally we come to me, Ed. Recently; I was called upon to draft my Self-Assessment at work for our year-end Performance Reviews. Simply put, we list our goals from the year prior and what we did to accomplish them. Hell – that’s easy. My goal was to find a job and I got one. That’s an Easy-A in my book. So that’s the big news for me. After a year of unemployment, I re-entered the daily grind. Forget “TGIF”. I’m screaming “TGIM” – that’s how good it feels to be back at work. On the personal side, I added one more credit to my amateur acting career with a starring role in a local comedy. When Aria’s teacher asked me the title, I glanced around the room and told her I had to spell it. “L-O-V-E-,-S-E-X-,A-N-D  T-H-E— I-R-S”, I replied. “Mr. Humphries, this is the age of MCAS. These kids can practically do Calculus let alone spell!!!”, she replied. Oh well, the title was the most risqué thing about it. Bottom line, it helped shake up my daily grind of hunting gainful employment and I had a complete blast. And almost as soon as it was over, I was back to work and all was right with the world once again.

And that’s where we find ourselves closing out this year that raced by, once again, just a little too swiftly. We began the year with a palpable sense of uncertainty. The job hunt was as abysmal as advertised and things weren’t looking up. But we never got down so long as we had friends and family to look up. Each and every one of you has played a pivotal role in our lives and no matter how despairing times could seem, we always knew that our lives would thrive under your light. We may make it a point, once a year, to jot this all down on paper – but know this – we think of it, and all of you, often.

And with that, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from our family to yours.