My 2019 Christmas Letter is Here!

Dear Family, Friends, Strangers on the Internet, Weirdos Who Send Dick Pics, and Hate-Readers,

Happy Holidays! Can you believe that the decade is coming to a close? I don't know about you, but I still write 1990 on my checks. Yeah, I still write checks, that's probably why I think it's 1990.

This has been quite a year for me and my family! Where do I start?

The kids are aging faster than ever.

Gomer is a freshman in high school this year. He mostly communicates through grunts, text messages, and inappropriate-but-hilarious memes. I am worried about his hearing since he always has Airpods jammed in his ears or he's screaming at his friends, "I need back up, bro!" into a gaming headset. He thinks it's cool that he's taller than me now but that's not a huge accomplishment, actually. His sister is taller than me too. In fact, most people I know are taller than me. He's a bit of a sass-master and a complete slob these days, but I have to remind myself that in the whole scheme of things, he's still a good kid. His grades are decent, he hangs out with me when I beg him (or buy him dinner), and I don't think he's getting into too much trouble. I mean, I haven't found a vape or an empty bottle of booze under his bed yet. Also, I know his friends read this blog now and report back everything I say, so shout out to Gomer's friends! Please tell him his mommy loves him.

Adolpha is a seventh-grader. She's our entrepreneurial one. I think she only goes to school so she can sell stuff to her classmates. That girl always has a plan to make money. Her schemes must work, because she's always got cash. She's also a party-planner. God help me. I suspected the overachieving gene skipped a generation but this year it was officially confirmed. It seems like every week Adolpha is asking to plan a party, bake for a party, and/or decorate for a party. And, did I mention, she wants all these parties at MY house? Ugh. She's in the midst of planning her first-ever Christmas party and I would appreciate thoughts and prayers at this time. She mostly communicates through elaborate stories where she's sooooo mad about something (Yeah, she got my bitching gene as well as my mother's overachieving gene, and yes, it's a lot.), TikToks involving dogs behaving like humans, cookie recipes, and PowerPoint presentations. For instance, this week it was an 8-slide presentation entitled: "Why We Should Decorate More for Christmas."

The Hubs is ending Year Three of his Ten Year Start-Up Plan. It has been an enormous amount of work for him but he is dedicated to making big things happen. One of the things I really love and admire about him is his work ethic and his passion. I have to remember that when I get frustrated because I don't think I see results. I also have to take a step back and really look at the big picture to appreciate what he's done. He has customers and revenue now. This year he was invited to speak at a big-deal conference, he's heading out next year to another big-deal conference. Plus, he's reading voraciously. I think he read more books than me this year! It's good to see him reading, because for a while there I was convinced he could only read headlines. He's still selling real estate and helps me in his free time. Basically, he never sleeps.

What did I do this year? Well, let's see, I published How I F*cking Did It! where I tell you all my secrets to success and Will Work for Apples because teachers are rock stars. Every time I tell people the title of my blog, they're like, "I have a list!" so I made journals for everyone to keep their own lists in. I had a midlife crisis that inspired me to write a book called Midlife Bites. I had to find an agent who then sold it to Random House and now I'm writing my ass off and trying to be vulnerable, helpful, inspiring, and funny all at the same time. It's exhausting and I'm going grayer every day from the pressure. I'm not sure when it will be out, probably sometime in 2020. I started a podcast with Denise Grover Swank. It's called Two Midlife Mommas and I've received at least two emails from listeners telling me it's a really great podcast for commuters (that's high praise in the podcast world). I went to New York City and recorded the audiobook for People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Competitive Crafters, Drop-off Despots, and Other Suburban Scourges. I think my favorite part was the hotel room and bed all to myself.

Hmm, I think that's it. Oh wait, I'm still planning my biggest giveaway ever. Starting tomorrow, I'm sponsoring 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS right here on this blog. I have some good stuff (and some really, really okay stuff) to give away. You should enter to win. If nothing else, you can always regift it.

Speaking of regifting. I don't want to blow it by getting all cocky, but I think this might be my easiest Christmas yet. In the past, I've been that mom who lost important gifts and had to go out and buy new Santa gifts. I've been that mom who blows the budget because she keeps seeing one more toy someone would like. I've been that mom up all night on Christmas Eve building a motherclucking dollhouse or wrapping a bazillion gifts. This year my kids want big-ticket items, so I think they'll have 2 or 3 gifts under the tree and that's it. I've ordered everything to be shipped to the house and as soon as it arrives I peek inside and make sure it's what I need and then I tape the box closed again. I hand off the sealed box to Adolpha the Party-Planner and she wraps the gifts. Even her own. Sure, I miss some of the fun stuff from when they were little, but having kids who wrap their own presents and bake their own cookies, is really freaking nice. Five stars, highly recommend.

I did some traveling in 2019 and got to see a lot of you! It was so much fun! I'm adding new events to my calendar for 2020. If you want me to come and visit you, drop me a note and let me know.

This is my favorite time of year for the blog, because people tend to think of me when they put out their own Elves on the Shelves. I'm so grateful to each and every one of you. It makes my day when you tag me in Elf pictures, send me inappropriate Santa pictures, and buy sweary socks for stocking stuffers every time I recommend them. I'm also really grateful to those of you who put on pants and brave the Post Office to send me holiday cards and gifts. Thank you so much!!  I really get some of the most delightful and thoughtful things in the mail and I use them all. In fact, I noticed the other day we're completely out of Christmas toilet paper.

I hope your new year is the best one yet! I wish for you nothing but chocolate that refuses to stick to your hips, unlimited wine that never makes you drunk or hungover, soft and cuddly socks and blankets that keep you toasty warm but not too hot, and a good, ache-free sleep that lasts all night and only ends naturally on time so you don't need an alarm blaring in your ears forcing you to start your day off yelling at everything and everyone. Oh wait, that's what I asked Santa for. That's okay, I'll share with you!

Love, Jen


Gayle Bell said...

Thank You for you being extremely funny you.

Unknown said...

Kids who bake their own cookies & wrap their own presents...what an amazing time in your life!

Anonymous said...

Every wish in your last paragraph sings to me! Bless you lady (& I use the term lady loosely...)

Jamieson Dale said...

Cannot wait for your 2020 book!

Unknown said...

You. Are. Hilarious.

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