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Chronicles of Parenting

Chronicles of Parenting: Holiday Card Addenda

P.S. That blur in the bottom left quadrant of this holiday family portrait is our son (now almost five years old). This is the stillest he has stood in the last year. For his efforts during this 14 second photo shoot – which happened spontaneously on Thanksgiving Day when we were all wearing clothing of a semi-presentable nature – we rewarded him with a medium-sized candy cane, a decision we immediately regretted due to an uptick in living room acrobatics, and also stickiness.Holiday Card Addenda
P.S.S. Note that both the cards and accompanying envelopes are printed on 112 percent recycled paper and that we feel exactly as much guilt as we should about having them printed anyway. We recognize and admit that we are complicit in any industrial waste and particle emissions produced by this process. We also feel uncomfortable about the paper utilized for the postage stamps, not to mention the fuel required to deliver these superfluous slices of cheer. In honor of our child, and all the children of this fragile planet, we would be honored if you would dispose of this stylish matte card in your recycling bin instead of your regular trash at your earliest convenience so that it may have a second, third, or even 65th life.
P.S.S.S. Along similar lines, the tree behind us in the photo is artificial, composed of metal and some kind of unidentifiable plastic composite. We understand that this is exactly as environmentally irresponsible as it is responsible. It pains us to think of all the trees chopped down in their prime to die slow deaths in cozy living rooms across the country. And it pains us just as much to think of our synthetic tree taking up a considerable lump of space in a landfill at some point in the future — and this is only partly because this means we will be deceased and our child will have rejected our traditions and perhaps also our guilty global conscience. In the spirit of full disclosure, please know that in the absence of hosting a real tree inside our home at this time of year, we of course pine for the scent of real pine. That’s why we are burning a candle called Festive Fir, and we are simultaneously wondering what toxic chemicals we are inhaling.
P.S.S.S.S. We would like to apologize to anyone who is offended by the color of our Happy Holidays font. We would obviously prefer that it was a more denominationally neutral color than red, and for that reason, we attempHappy Holidaysted at length to modify this in the online template. But it became clear to us that in order to change this color to, say, purple, gold, or even brown, we were going to have to upgrade to a premium option that was not within our budget. We hope you will understand that this would have had a negative impact on our modest-yet-earnest year-end donation plans, not to mention our top secret financial backing of Santa.
P.S.S.S.S.S. Do not let these addenda be cause for concern. We are fine. In fact, we are buoying our spirits at this very moment by sipping sugar-free nog and whistling popular seasonal tunes. Soon, we will head down the driveway to mail these humble, child-centric greetings. We’ll open our mailbox, peer inside, and hope to see that we also received one from you.
The above addenda, like so many Chronicles installments, are exactly 57.6 percent based on fact. In truth, we took our holiday family photo outside, our son is very well-practiced at staying still for my millions of requests for photos, and we would never ever ever let our child eat a candy cane. (Except, well, that one time…) In all seriousness, Happy Holidays to all loyal and new readers… may you hug your loved ones and, of course, your blankets tight this season of merriment.

Jocelyn Jane Cox is a freelance writer and author. Her humor book on life in the New York suburbs, The Homeowner’s Guide to Greatness: How to handle natural disasters, design dilemmas and various infestations, is available on Follow her on Twitter at @JocelynJaneCox.The Chronicles of Parenting is sponsored by Blue Rock School.

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