The Christmas Letter

zed in snow

Zhenny in the Christmas Snow

For some reason I thought it was perfectly okay to announce that my husband was laid off on the world wide web before telling family or friends. It is as if I am writing a diary to a special friend instead of hundreds of people. Once we started receiving email attachment and snail mail letters my husband thought that I should compose one. I had actually written a short note to put in my overseas mail but they were sent before the bad day. It was impossible to think of a way to write a letter. Should I do my usual, list our vacations, health issues and then just finish with ‘and BTW my husband was laid off’? I finally decided that humor and straight forwardness was the best bet. This is, more or less, what I wrote to friends and family (leaving out some personal details). My husband is A.

Festive Greetings friends and family
First, and most important, who sent the chocolates to Auntie M.? She thought it was me, so before any other relatives get embarrassed and have to say, “I haven’t sent you anything” please tell her who the culprit was.

I saw this marvelous quote from NBC News –‘Tis the season to get flooded with Christmas letters — often a litany of bombastic bragging disguised as holiday cheer’. I thought that is a tad harsh but sometimes I have thought that and you might have about our letters… So without further ado, as soon as we came back from a fabulous vacation in Baha, A. was made redundant or laid off, as you say in the States. His company has been really struggling with both the oil price and the hostile takeover. They kept moving him from job to job but I could see the writing on the wall.

A. has been given a good severance package and we figure we have a year to get him a job in Siberia or Saudi… At first you are devastated – what next – but then reality sinks in and you think, ‘I could be living in Syria’. He is most likely going to become an independent contractor and has been given a verbal offer of a contract in the next few months. Given how bad things are, however, we will wait until there is something in writing before we open the cheap wine.

We applied for Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act and are eligible, but not able to apply until our health coverage runs out (3 months as we are, 18 months on Cobra). I was putting off applying for Disability as my doctor suggested I do, so I will think about it seriously in January. In the meantime we had a laugh when my earnings were predicted to be more than A.’s in the next few months between the book earnings and my occasional job as a writer for a local magazine. So far, so good and I am onto my third article.
Blogging is keeping me sane so there are endless blogs for you to peruse when you are bored. This is the one about A. being laid off
A Bad Day
This is one about our vacation in Baha
The Exciting Bus Ride
Our oldest cat
Mrs. Stripe

So have a wonderful holiday season, Merry Christmas, Super Solstice, Happy New Year. I am working on the 25th then will come home and cook my Teddy something reasonably nice for dinner. We swapped offices yesterday and didn’t start divorce papers so all is well and we had great fun at my fancy holiday event.

Love Kerry and A. xxx

We have had a few lovely responses from friends offering commiserations to practical help such as visiting Mum in the Alzheimer’s unit in Scotland. Many people we know work in the oil industry so there is barely anyone unaffected by this current downturn. Misery loves company! I laughed when I read the quote about Christmas letters. We have no children and have traveled frequently so ours probably sounded a bit like that in the past. You tend not to say that you have had vajazzling or many psychiatrist’s visits… Still, this blog is a way for our friends to know more than they ever wanted to about our sex life, my bad mental health and all the other funny things I write about. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ONE AND ALL!

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32 thoughts on “The Christmas Letter

  1. Sending support and hugs. Try to have a decent time. As you say, you could be in Syria. When I was in Germany doing a play in ’89 and having a hideous time with some of the rest of the cast, a friend sent me a postcard saying, ‘It could be worse, you could be in Tiananmen Square.’ Keep laughing – it’s the only way. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great letter! I like how you made a serious situation into a funny one. Like you, I feel comfortable writing personal things from my life on my blog. My mom and other loved ones read my blog but for some reason I still feel comfortable. Do you think it’s kind of strange? Lol.

    Liked by 3 people

    • There is something comfortable about a blog once you get into the routine and make new friends. I don’t like Facebook but feel at ease among WP folks – maybe we have the same things in common. Have a lovely Christmas in El Paso – look forward to visiting your lovely city in the future.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh you have my empathy. You never know, good things my come from this. Here’s hoping they do! I once sent a spoof Christmas Letter, mentioning all the bad things that had happened in the year. I can’t stand the bragging disguised as friendly. I saw one that listed all the important jobs a woman and her husband were doing, the amazing accomplishments of the children, their gorgeous new house, and the Christmas ski trip to Gstaad, if “our old bones can take it.” I saw that 15 or so years ago and it still stays with me. Yuck.
    Here’s hoping you have a wonderful holiday!

    Liked by 3 people

    • LOL! Any letter that mentions Gstaad has to be a bragging letter. I love the idea of a spoof letter and might write one next year. ‘My book is at the top of the New York Times best-seller list, my husband is on the first space flight to Mars and my cats have learned to write in Arabic’. Merry Christmas.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope you won’t end up in Siberia or Saudi, Siberia is too hot and Saudi too feminist 🙂 Often these things come with blessings in disguise, so I hope you two will be able to see the silver linings soon and loads of them and you might even by opening champagne soon, who knows?
    good tidings and all!
    Dagmar

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I wish you the happiest of happies. This is a great piece of writing – the line that struck the hardest was ‘then I remember I could be living in Syria’. All good things to you, please 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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