happy holidays

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xmas letter 2009

Season’s Greetings!

Another year has passed since we last caught you up with the XX family.

Yes, we’re all doing well. Everyone still has all of their limbs, all of their mobility. We may have a few more inches around our waistlines, to be sure, but we look at that as a good thing: It means we’re all eating well! The economy hasn’t gotten quite that bad yet.

We, to a family member, are psyched for the holidays. We all have prepared big lists of things we want from Santa, and we are staying up late to make sure he comes through on the delivery end, metaphorically speaking. But, enough of metaphors; lets talk specifics!

Some of you may have heard that Valerie and grandma Mary had dropped out of the rap game, but you were wrong. Valerie is still teaching special education students in Highland. It’s her 13th year on the job, and she quite enjoys her school — despite the building’s goofy floor plan. “The place is shaped like a wagon wheel!” Matt exclaimed when he visited.

She is still hot on Beethoven’s heels with the piano lessons, and agreed to provide the stirring accompaniment to the Yolka Christmas pageant at church this year. Also, Val is pleased to announce her team of bounty hunters have finally tracked down the fugitive Indiana sinus doctor who, facing class-action lawsuits concerning shady billing and medical malpractice, absconded with a pinch of Valerie’s money. He was found camping in the mountains in the Italian Alps, and now Val keeps ominously calling for “frontier justice.”

Earlier in the year, grandma Mary got to mark it a century that her parents claimed this country as their native soil. Three genations of Krochtas held the family’s 100th annual Orthodox Christmas dinner on January 6. They ate a lot of raw garlic, shared potato soup and pierogis, and Matt drank, like, three Diet Cokes. With Valerie’s help, Grandma Mary has also been cranking out chapters of the massive family history and life story she has compiled.
All of that, and you thought they left the rap game.

A year on from heart surgery and feeling spry, Uncle Bill is teaching geography at Gary Edison. He has enjoyed a couple of vacations this year with fiancee Sandy, of Portage and her son, Zach, Portage High Class of ’12. Bill has guided his home on Flint Lake through a couple of renovations. Notable among those: He went ahead and pulled the trigger on a back-porch hot tub, in what was considered a strong decision by the rest of us. We are on the record as impressed with the tub’s positionable jets and multiple settings.

Meanwhile, deep in the jungle that is six years of college, Mary has been pounding away at the tall, brass doors of the academic establishment, much like the mighty Kong at The Gates. She demands from it a master’s of library science degree by delivering to it a series of devastatingly awesome grades. She is a year into her program at Indiana, and has enjoyed getting to know Bloomington as a graduate student. In October, she ran the Chicago Marathon, and beat literally thousands of slower people. It could be easily argued that Mary has had a solid year.

Looking east, we find Matt has been living in Central Virginia for a few years now, riding an astounding wave of stability in the newspaper industry at The Daily Progress of Charlottesville. He is looking for a change of scenery, tasting the wind, and studying the ground. But speaking of running: Matt has been running a lot himself. He ran a half marathon in the Philadelphia in September, and ate a cheesesteak literally an hour later, because, he figured, “how often do you visit Philadelphia?” He is planning for another race in the spring, and will totally let you know how that goes in 2010’s letter, man.

Elsewhere, District dwellers Mike and Virginia have been quite busy. Mike remains the guy who is actually in the room with news anchor Wolf Blitzer when he’s hosting “The Situation Room” on CNN. And Virginia has been all over Central America with the Rainforest Alliance. But they still manage to spend almost all of their time on the family scion, Anna “Bubba” McMullan, who is — can you believe it? — turning four in February.

You should see Anna. She is huge, likes playing dress-up, and talks constantly. Anna makes great conversation. She is taking dance lessons, and is in her second year of preschool. Everyone thinks Anna is pretty awesome, except for her baba Valerie, who thinks she is deliriously so. Valerie really enjoys being a grandma, and she’s pretty good at it, to boot.

All of this happened in only a year! That is so much activity, it almost seems impossible it was all accomplished in a mere 12 months. Maybe this Christmas letter has stumbled upon a time warp that has slowed everything down, but we’re pretty sure that’s not the case. But if you find yourself waylaid in some sort of time warp, space vortex or other physics-defying phenomena, we hope you are still looking forward to a good 2010. Our family certainly is; the Congressional midterm elections are coming up this year, and we’re gonna mop the floor with ’em.
In any case, win or lose: We all hope this holiday season finds you and your family happy and healthy, and we wish you a happy new year.

Merry Christmas from the McMullans, and Lucy the labrador, aged 8

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  1. […] holiday-letter list, but if you’d like to see some old examples take a look here and […]


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