we are rooting for you: holiday letter 2012

you know what’s a good song? “everybody needs somebody to love” as sung by Solomon Burke. Solomon Burke used to perform while seated on a throne that he’d have placed on stage with him. Solomon Burke passed away in 2010. Solomon Burke was the man.

but I digress. the family Christmas letter is complete! please check it out below:

Season’s greetings from the McMullans!

merry xmas

It is nearly time to put 2012 to bed. Did you have a good year? Are things, for the most part, looking up? Yes? Good! With us, things are looking up too.

It’s true: The year was a series of small victories for our family. Valerie, for instance, won a cool $4 playing the Mega Lotto last month. And in April her son Matt found an entire box of Junior Mints inside his office desk.

But 2012 was more than these petty achievements. We also had some big happenings – some seismic shifts across the landscape, if you will. So let’s take a moment to catch you up on the more dramatic of them.

so dramatic!

To begin, we had a major relocation: Just after finishing a second year working in a public high school in Massachusetts, Valerie’s daughter Mary Claire decided to head home to the Midwest. Mary spent a July in a canoe in Manitoba, and is now the new librarian in an Indianapolis grade school. Cool new job! Great work, Mar.

Mary is very excited about her post in the Circle City. Not only does it allow her to sample the cultural accoutrements of that fair burg; she also enjoys the fun and reward of introducing little kids to a world of books. She advises all holiday letter readers out there: Use your library cards!

As an added bonus, Indy isn’t too far from Mary’s boyfriend Dave, a PhD candidate at Michigan State University, or from Valerie and Grandma Mary in Valparaiso … where things are, honestly, getting a little weird.

too many damned buttons

Oh yes: In Valpo, Valerie and Grandma Mary fight a doomed battle against a creeping tide of dated home appliances. Disputes with the house’s “newfangled” answering machine and its “confounded” DVD player remain unresolved as of this writing.

But it takes more than “too many damned buttons” on the TV remote to slow Val down. This fall, she began working with special education students in nearby Lake Station. Over the summer, she grew enough tomatoes in the city’s community garden to outlast a nuclear event. And last month, she and Grandma Mary saw that Lincoln movie everyone’s talking about with a neighbor who’s a distant relation of Honest Abe’s wife herself! Unimpressed, theater management declined an opportunity to comp the group’s tickets.

We thought that was pretty bogus. Matt says if he still worked at the cinema like he did in high school, he could have gotten them in for free, no problem. But these years later, he’s stuck sneaking in through the emergency exit like everybody else if he wants to see a movie without paying for it.

In Washington, DC

In Washington, DC, Matt has recently started a new job writing op-eds for a business nonprofit. He’s looking forward to learning all of the ins and outs of manufacturing policy, and reports he hasn’t lost his keys in over a month.

Yes, it would seem Matt is really hitting his stride out there! But he’ll be the first to tell you: Getting by in the big city is much easier with Mike and Virginia nearby. Even before they moved into their new home near DC’s new ballpark this fall, Matt had timed out a door-to-door bike ride: It only takes 20 minutes.

Virginia, Mike and company have neat new digs, with plenty of room for the kids to run around in. First grader Anna’s elementary school is only a short walk away, and baby Catherine – now nearly a year old – can crawl the length of the kitchen floor in no-time flat.

The parents are perennially on the move, be it to tee-ball practices, gymnastics lessons or birthday parties. They remain in the same jobs – she with an environmental nonprofit and he in CNN’s Washington bureau – and celebrated their ten-year wedding anniversary in June by each eating through the 6-lb Burrito Challenge at El Jefe’s Tex-Mex Cantina in suburban Virginia. Both were sent home with extra-large Burrito Challenge Champion t-shirts to honor this shared accomplishment. Here’s to another happy ten years, you two!

they survived the Burrito Challenge

Yes, in 2012 we’ve prospered. But we don’t expect every year to be nothing but conquered burritos and minor lottery payoffs: Rather, we only hope that these good times will help us weather the bad. Everybody hits rough patches from time to time.

So wherever and whenever this letter finds you, our family wishes you a happy holiday season and a fruitful new year. Please let us know how you and yours are doing! And know that we’re all rooting for you.

-the McMullans

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4 comments so far

  1. Caitlin Cakouros on

    Christmas High 5s coming your way…reunion tour over Easter holiday? I think I’ll be stateside 🙂

  2. Joseph Scarpa on

    Mar and Mike’s entrance to Russian Orthodox Christmas. It all plays out at :31. Mar’s wearing orange, Mike’s donning the power blue.

  3. dudeokay on

    “whoa, BIg Gulps, huh?”

  4. Anonymous on

    i love the christmas letter. thank zeus it’s still in existence and keeping everyone up to date.


Comments are closed.