Posted by: donrhymer | December 16, 2016

Christmas Wishes from Kate

I woke up this morning to a notification that I had a new blog post!  What a surprise – since I haven’t posted in over a year.  Clearly, it was not me, my account had been hacked, but I made me think about the fact that it’s been so long since I’ve posted.  I check the site from time to time and see that there is still traffic on it – people are still checking in every once in awhile. It made me wonder – why haven’t I been posting? Why haven’t I been writing?

I’m not sure what the answer is, but I can say that times that I feel the raw, unleashed pain – the kind that takes my feet out from under me – those times are becoming a little farther apart.  Believe me, they still happen, and will always happen.  I’ve learned not to steer away from the pain, but to just sit with it and let myself feel whatever it is I need to feel.  Those are the times that have often fueled my blog posts – when I feel a need to share the ache and the memories, write them down, invite people in to the experience, and then be able to hear back from you.  Your memories of Don have been nourishment and a gift to me over the past 4 years.

This is the tender and sacred time of the year for the kids and me – our fifth Christmas without Don. I always enter this season feeling already a bit bruised and wobbly.  Time to get the tree, put up the lights, wrap the gifts, bake the cookies.  All the things we’ve done over the years, and things we took for granted that we would always be able to do together.  My kids are more than I could ever ask for – they are present and they show up. They surround me and keep me steady.  But the hole in our lives that Don left is more apparent this time of year.  We see him all the time – on Thanksgiving Day two of his movies were on TV!  He lets us know he’s with us.

The kids and I are doing pretty well – life is definitely moving forward.  Andrew is writing and producing, and he and Scarlett have been writing together as well.  I can’t wait to see what they create.  Molly and Daniel are working hard to get Pop Up Greens on it’s feet – their small business of painting and selling pots and plants. (Follow them on Instagram at @popupgreeens, or check out their website at  Carrie continues to work at The Voice (one of my favorite shows!), and the kids and I all got to go to the stage last weekend to hear Kelly Clarkson sing “It’s Quiet Uptown” from “Hamilton” (our new family favorite).  I’m busy with Elizabeth House and Mops, and have been helping Molly some with her business.  I also put my little beach house on VRBO, so it’s been fun to rent it occasionally and connect with the guests.

It’s a grey, rainy morning here in Southern California.  I got up today with a list a mile long of what I need to take care of.  When I saw that this site had been hacked, I decided that what I needed to take care of first was me.  I’ve been meaning to write, and update you on how we have been living life.  That we are living life. I’ve loved seeing some of your families on the Christmas cards that I’ve gotten. Kids getting married, babies added to the photos. Lives that are full, but like us, lives that have broken edges. The beauty is what we choose do with those edges – how we sand them down, soften them, invite people in to our lives in a way that we help heal each other’s broken pieces.

I’m grateful for another Christmas with my family, my community. Don used to say “Life is short, walk freely”. We know all too well how true that is. To quote “Hamilton”, our new family obsession, “How lucky we are to be alive right now”. I wish for each of you and your family a sense of the joy and wonder, but also the vulnerability of this holiday season. Take hold of it and feel it. Look for where God is showing up in your world. Be kind to one another. And most of all, focus on the good.

Merry Christmas.



Posted by: donrhymer | May 27, 2015

The Puzzle Piece

Hardly seems possible that two and a half years have gone by since Don’s death. That’s over 900 days. I think the most time we ever spent apart was a few weeks, when he would go on location for a film shoot.

A lot of life has happened in the past 30 months. Our kids are all here in the Los Angeles area and are working hard at building careers. Don would be so proud of each one of them for the unique ways that they are pursuing life. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted and much has happened in the past six months as well. I adopted a sweet little puppy in October. I took her to have her spayed, only to have the vet call and tell me I was too late! We had an unexpected litter of three puppies over the holidays. Not what I would have chosen, but they were a welcome distraction during the hardest part of the year for us.

People have asked me many times over these months, “Are you keeping busy?” “Are you busy enough?” If you know me, you know that I’m a “stuffer” of my emotions and I’d rather do anything than have to feel them. However, somehow I instinctively knew that I couldn’t stuff this level of loss, and that I needed to actually pull back from things I was doing to allow myself time to feel, to grieve, to experience the pain. I know that everyone handles loss in different ways. For example, I had one person tell me that the best thing she did after her husband died was to accept every social invitation that came her way. I must’ve looked at her like she had two heads as I thought to myself, “That’s the most insane thing I’ve ever heard!”

This spring has brought with it a new feeling for me. I can see an open space in front of me that I am beginning to recognize as life. An invitation to stick my big toe back in. For the first time in so long I am able to look a little bit outward, rather than inward all the time. Life doesn’t necessarily feel good, but it feels a little bit better. This open space scares the hell out of me because I don’t know what to do with it. A friend who also lost her husband describes us as on a “path of reinvention”.  It’s a path I’ve resisted at every turn. I don’t want to reinvent myself. I want to be who I was. Who I was with Don. His wife. Parents together of our kids. It’s not where I would ask to be, or want to be. It’s just where I am. And figuring out what to do with that is the journey.

Another friend whose son died of cancer describes us as puzzle pieces whose shape has been forever changed. The picture on the puzzle box looks different than I had imagined or dreamed. I am a different person than I was two and a half years ago. That’s inevitable. It’s just the truth. My edges are different and I don’t fit into the puzzle the way I used to. I’m not a couple anymore. I go places by myself. My conversations with our kids are my own now, not ours as parents. To be fair, my kids and friends never make me feel out of place – it’s just part of my own transition. I’m learning how to be comfortable with (that’s the challenge) how I fit into life now.

I’m at that stage in life where a lot of my friends are starting to look forward to the next chapter, the next big adventure. Weddings and grandkids. Downsizing from the family home. Retirement and travel. All really good and life-giving things. When I look ahead to those things my sadness is that Don won’t be here to experience any of them. All the joys in life he is missing that will always be “less than” without him. But I also realize that I can’t resent other people’s happiness – it’s not fair to them, and it would make me a bitter, sad woman. That’s not how I choose to live my life.  As Don said, God does indeed inhabit the bitter and the sweet.

I know I have many more chapters and many more adventures ahead of me. So I’ll continue to figure out how my piece of the puzzle fits into life. I don’t have any answers yet, but at least I’m beginning to ask the questions.

– Kate

Posted by: donrhymer | October 26, 2014

The Flower Box

Our house at the beach has been a place of respite, of calm, for almost ten years now. It was one of the few places (Dodger stadium being another one), where Don felt he could really relax and breathe. As hard as it is to go to the beach by myself now, it continues to be a place that is good for my soul.

I’ve tried to keep up with projects around the beach house. Last spring I was there for a week and had seven repairmen come through in four days. Lots of things needed tending to, needed repair.

Especially the flower box in the front yard. The red geraniums that spilled over the front of it hid that fact that the box had probably been there for 20 years and was simply rotting away. I tried nailing it back together. I tried wood glue. It just kept falling apart.

Don’s good friend Chris generously offered to build me a new flower box. He said it would be a good project for him and his son to do together. Of course I said yes. Of course I’d like a new flower box.

Little did I know what this project, this “triumph of Irish engineering” would mean to him.

I want to share this lovely tribute to Don in yesterday’s LA Times, written by our wonderful friend, Chris Erskine. Thanks Chris, for the flower box.

And thanks for loving my husband so well.

– Kate

Posted by: donrhymer | May 15, 2014

Rhymer Reason

Don had a way with words. As a writer he spent so much time at his computer – writing, rewriting, rewriting, then rewriting some more. I can still hear him as if he’s in the next room, working on a draft and laughing at his own jokes.

His last movie, Rio 2 (see it in theaters soon before it’s gone!!) was released in April. The kids and I went to Miami for the premiere and then hosted a little party here in Los Angeles on opening night. His voice is so clear and his words jump off of the screen. There is a sweet “In Loving Memory of Don Rhymer” tribute at the very end of the film. Every time I see the movie I am stunned by this reality – I may never again see his name or hear his words spoken up on the big screen.

Don’s words are his legacy, his gift. I have voicemails and texts and emails from him. Love letters from college, school essays and short stories. Chapters from a novel he started. I have his office, full of outlines and treatments and scripts. I can watch his tv shows and movies and see the characters that he created bring his words to life. I’m both desperate and grateful to have something tangible to hold on to.

It has been said that “good words are worth much and cost little”.  When each of our kids was in college Don would send them postcards every once in awhile, often just a sentence or two, to say hi and let them know he was thinking of them. They were his way of checking in, of giving a little “Dad advice” from a distance.  For his memorial service we decided to collect our favorites and have them printed to share with everyone who came.

IMG_1798Some quotes are serious, others are funny, but they all have a bit of wisdom behind them.  “Just show up” has become one of our family mottos.

The day before he died Don wrote the last quote on a legal pad in his hospital room. “Focus on the good.”  He was as certain at the end of his journey as he was at the beginning that God does indeed inhabit the bitter and the sweet.

His final gift of his words. No rewriting necessary.

– Kate




Posted by: donrhymer | February 23, 2014

The Attic

I’m sure a psychologist would have a field day with my need to clean our attic.  It’s been such a mess for years. Running nearly the length of our house, it’s a big space.  Every holiday, boxes have been brought down, emptied, and decorations put up around the house.  The boxes would then be returned a few weeks later and just left on the floor.  In particular during the years that Don was sick, we just didn’t have the emotional space to be able to have any order to the mess that was the attic.  It became almost a metaphor for how chaotic life felt.

I’ve spent the better part of the last two weeks cleaning the attic.  Well, the word “cleaning” is up for interpretation.  Organizing is a better word.  When I have spoken of my project, some friends have encouraged me to really clean it out.  Be ruthless.  Get rid of things I don’t need.

But here’s the thing.  At this point, I need all of it.  I can’t seem to get rid of anything.  My life with Don, our kids’ lives, our family – everything is stored in the attic.  I’ve bought 30 storage bins (yes, you read that correctly), and have begun to organize boxes and boxes of life.  Don’s college essays. Comic books and baseball cards.  Our love letters from after college.  I’ve come across Don’s scripts from when he was trying to get a job here in California. Letters to agents. Family photos. Our kids’ childhood memories. I even found a box full of what Don called his guilty pleasure, his “mid-life porn” – several years of back issues of “Coastal Living” magazine.

My need for order, for control – in the attic and in life – is palpable.  I can feel it as I write out labels for storage bins.  I need to know – physically and emotionally – where things are.  Labeling is important.  Maybe in a year, or two, or five, I’ll be able to go back through these bins and get rid of some things – things that right now feel vital and relevant, necessary to hold on to.

Two weeks ago I found a journal that I recognized immediately.  I opened it and on the first page saw my name, Kate Walther.  It was the little notebook that Don and I used when we were planning our wedding in 1983, in Alexandria, Virginia.  In it were quotes from caterers.  The names of florists.  A checklist of what to do 3 months out, 1 month out, 2 weeks out.  Questions to ask our pastor; thoughts as we wrote our vows.  As I turned the pages, I came to a list of photographers.  The first name was “Bermingham Studios, Alexandria”.  I froze.  And then I laughed out loud.  Scarlett’s father, Philip Bermingham, was the first photographer I called when we were looking for someone to shoot our wedding.  We didn’t use him (he was waaaaaay outside our price range), and we ended up with most likely the worst wedding photos ever (you DO get what you pay for).  But what a crazy coincidence.  What a small world.  Don was all about relationships, and he would have loved this connection.  This quirky way our universes could have crossed before either Andrew or Scarlett were even born.

I’ve only dreamed of Don three times in these past 15 months.  The first time he was on a ladder outside an open window at our house.  The ladder started to tip and I reached my hand through the window and steadied it.  (Again, a psychologist would have a field day with that one).  The second dream was at our beach house and was so fleeting I barely remember it. I’ve sometimes gone to bed at night and prayed that I would dream about him.  That I could just see him. 

The third dream was two weeks ago.  Don and I were in our attic.  I was showing him my cleaning project, and we were talking about our kids.  I could touch him, feel him. He was healthy and he was happy.  It was so real, and the dream seemed to go on for a long time.  But at the same time, I was conscious of the fact that he wasn’t alive.  Somehow I knew that was reality.  After awhile, he told me that he had to go.  It was time.  I asked him if we could just walk downstairs first. He looked at me and said, “I don’t walk. I glide.”

I woke up laughing.  I had such an intense sense of his well-being.  I wondered if his comment was because he didn’t need to walk anymore, or if it was his way of giving me a glimpse of the ease of where he is now.  That he is indeed gliding.  That he is with his God.  Probably both.  I woke up happy to have seen and felt and experienced him.

And perhaps the dream taking place in the attic – might be his hint that I really don’t have control over any of this.  I can let it go.  Control really is just an illusion.

But he can still make me laugh.  For that gift, I will always be grateful.

And Happy Birthday Donald.

– Kate

Posted by: donrhymer | December 24, 2013

‘Tis the Season

Here’s the last Christmas letter Don wrote at the end of 2010.  He didn’t write one in 2011 – he wasn’t feeling well and I remember him saying, “I’ll write one next year”.  I can just see him writing these letters – he would sit in his chair with his computer on his lap and all of a sudden start laughing out loud at his own jokes.  He cracked himself up.

This feels like our first Christmas without him – last year we were all so numb, but this year it is real.  And it’s much harder than I expected or imagined.  The kids are all home (except Scarlett, who is with her family on the east coast) and we’ll open presents tomorrow morning, go to the Gallagher’s for brunch, have my sister and her family over for dinner, and then friends over for dessert.  Another family gathering that Don would love.  I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that he’s not here.

The end of Don’s last letter sums up exactly the way I feel – I could never have walked this path without my kids, my family, my friends, my God.  “Unfortunately, cancer is a family journey… Each one handled this very scary season of life with courage, grace and a steadfast faith.”  That statement rings as true today as it did when Don wrote it.  Maybe even more so.

I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing his voice again, because posting his letters has been very therapeutic for me.  His words, his humor, his wisdom – are all such a gift.  I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and happy holidays.  Oh, and another shout-out to Campbell for the Christmas pajamas!

Merry Christmas, Donald.

– Kate

From 2010:


As you all know, I’m a very busy man.  Perhaps the busiest man in the known world.  What with the binge snack eating and designing my line of festive toaster magnets, it’s a struggle every day to squeeze in a series of refreshing catnaps.

Obviously, there is no way I can set aside the important work I’m doing and write a Christmas letter.  So, I decided to go back through my Twitter account and post some of my “tweets” that tell the story of our year.  You may feel this is copping out, but like I said, I’m busy.  I mean, this sleeve or Oreos is not going to eat itself.

Jan. 1 – You ever have the feeling that nothing can go wrong?  That this is going to be the bestest year ever?  Bring on 2010!

Jan. 15 – Molly working as the assistant to a celebrity stylist.  Mortified that her father still buys his jeans at the hardware store.  “But they’re only nineteen dollars!”

Feb. 2 – On vacation in Lanai.  The maid at the Four Seasons didn’t bring my feather pillow.  Well, at least the year can’t get any worse than this.

Feb. 9 – Kate begins a slow descent into mid-life crisis.  Chardonnay at breakfast?  Prescription drugs?  Sleeping with the UPS man?  No, Kate takes up tap dancing!

Feb. 21 – Visting Boston for Carrie’s birthday.  An acting major, she loves Emerson College and has so many wonderful friends.  What a great decision.

Feb. 22 – It’s minus 9 degrees in Boston.  There is four inches of snot frozen to my upper lip.  She was an idiot for coming here and we’re thinking of having her committed, or at the very least hobbled so she can’t come back.

March 8 – Andrew heads back to work for the second year as a production assistant on HBO’s “Bored to Death”.  The boy is making a living in the film business in New York.  This is a miracle from God and making a joke would only jinx it.

April 1 – Dodger baseball is back!  I just took out a second mortgage on the house and bet it all that Manny is going to have a huge year and take us to the World Series!

April 4 – Kate becomes Volunteer Coordinator at Elizabeth House, a shelter for homeless pregnant women.  This officially makes her the most benevolent tap dancer in Southern California since Shirley Temple.

April 6 – A gorgeous day in Southern California, I casually stopped by my doctor’s office for a check-up… Oh shit…

April 12 – I have a fun-filled morning at USC getting a radical neck dissection, which leaves me with a nine inch scar.

April 17 – “The Scar” grows in power and influence.  Ultimately taking a part time job at Denny’s, meeting a lovely Filipino woman and moving into a moderately priced garage apartment in Reseda.

June-August – Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.  A summer of humorous discontent.  For details see

Sept. 7 – Molly to work at Madewell, a woman’s clothing store.

Sept. 10 – Andrew producing a series of educational videos.

Oct. 7 – Carrie chosen for study abroad spring program in the Netherlands.

Oct. 23 – Kate serving on Board of Directors of Elizabeth House.

Nov. 9 – Don eats solid food without gagging and uses a big boy potty!

Fun year, huh?  Well, actually with a few notable exceptions, it was.

I was standing on the corner in Pasadena yesterday and an old, possibly insane man was staring at me.  I try not to return the stare of the possibly insane.  Andrew taught me that during my one and only ride on a NY subway, but I could tell he was taking in “the scar”.

He finally tapped me on the shoulder and said: “Life hit you hard.”

He was right.  Between the cancer and the deaths of my mom, dad and grandmother, life hit all of us in the Rhymer family hard this year, but I’d like to think we fought back a little too.  Unfortunately, cancer is a family journey, and I must say… one I couldn’t have made without Kate and my kids.  Each one handled this very scary season of life with courage, grace and a steadfast faith.

And our thanks to you all – family, dear friends and casual acquaintances alike, for your thoughts, prayers, cards, blog comments, good wishes, flowers, candy, yogurt, muffins, and a special shout-out to Goldberg and Campbell for the various fruits of the month.

We could not have made it through this one without each one of you.  Now please…



Posted by: donrhymer | December 23, 2013

Almost done…

From 2009:


La Canada, CA – The Rhymer family made national news this year by formally renouncing all local, state and federal ties and forming it’s own city-state.  In an awkward rambling interview, Don Rhymer explained it this way:  “Look, the fact is we are smarter, more successful and way more incredibly, awesomely hotter than we have a right to be.  It’s nothing personal.  I just feel that the Rhymers have evolved beyond you people and quite frankly, you were holding us back.”

The new nation, Rhymlandia, was formed on a Tuesday night in early September shortly after Rhymer realized his Netflix queue was empty.  Yes, the winds of political change blew strong, philosophically and even physically.  “I have never started my own country before, but I knew instinctively that the first thing I should do is build a moat.”

“A moat, he’s calling it?” said his wife, Kate, still aglow from the effects of her blockbuster birthday party she shared earlier this year with Kathy Gallagher.  “I thought we were just having drainage problems.”

Oldest son Andrew, a Brooklyn resident who has worked this year as a production assistant on the HBO comedy “Bored to Death” and the upcoming Discovery Channel documentary “Rat” seems to be Rhymer’s only ally in this political uprising.  “Look, he might be nuts, but he promised to make me Ambassador to Brazil. I don’t care who you are, that looks pretty damn good on a resume.”

The seeds of Rhymer’s dementia appear to have been planted shortly after youngest daughter Carrie left for Emerson College in Boston.  “Hey, when I left home, we knew there would be problems.  Having me around the house is sort of like having your own Cirque de Soleil.  When they pack up their tents, you’re going to miss them.  Except the contortionists.  Everybody thinks they’re creepy.”

After graduating from FIDM and starting work as  the assistant to a stylist, Molly is the only Rhymer sibling left on the west coast.  “I totally hung in there with this whole Rhymlandia thing until Dad started wearing skinny jeans and a cape.”  Mortified, she moved into an apartment in Pasadena shortly thereafter.

Fortunately, economic embargoes and possible military actions were avoided when shortly before the holidays, Rhymer folded his fledgling country.  Why give up?  Why now?  Maybe the mantle of revolution weighed heavy on his hairy shoulders, maybe more worthy endeavors caught his attention.  The world may never know.  According to bystanders, he simply yelled:  “Ooo, look, cake!” and ran off, leaving his political ideologies scattered on the patio.

Casually brushing the cake crumbs from his ill-fitting sweater, Rhymer looks back on the historic events of this year with uncharacteristic emotion:  “Life changes. Sometimes it makes you a little crazy, but it’s sure nice to share it with friends and family you love.  And by the way, skinny jeans chafe.  But I’m keeping the cape.”

Posted by: donrhymer | December 23, 2013

My favorite…

From 2008:


They exaggerate, they fabricate the facts, they stretch the truth, and sad to say, the Rhymer Christmas Letter is no exception.  But this year?  This year is different.

This year, I will write the usual Christmas letter and then I will have the courage to once and for all tell the truth.  Controversial?  Oh yes.  Funny?  We can only hope.

Ready?  I hope so, because the truth isn’t always pretty.  Especially when it wears those jeans that make it look fat.  This could be a bumpy ride.  Pregnant women, those suffering from vertigo and anyone under forty-eight inches tall should turn back now.



ANDREW graduated from NYU this year!  Hard to believe.  It was an amazing day, and the ceremony took place in Yankee Stadium no less.  He’s living in New York, and in the tradition of all great writers – bartending!  He’s writing scripts and finishing up his senior film, Sucker Punch.

Okay, that was all a lie.  The truth is: we haven’t seen Andrew in years.  The boy disappeared in early 2005 with twenty thousand dollars in tuition money and a carton of unfiltered Camels.  According to the private detective we hired, he’s in Bolivia, living with a divorcee named Alegria and recently enlisted in the Merchant Marines.  We were initially confused seeing as Bolivia is a landlocked country, but than again geography was never really his thing.

MOLLY has had an amazing year!  She’s now at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in downtown Los Angeles.  She spent two months living with Andrew in New York while she interned with up-and-coming designers Vena Cava, who showed at Fashion Week.  She’s also started her own line of headbands.  She’s doing a brisk business and is in stores as far away as Australia.

The truth?  You know it’s really embarrassing, but as it turns out, Molly isn’t even ours.  I know, weird, huh?  As far as we can piece it together, sometime in early 1991, Kate was picking up a bunch of kids at a Chucky Cheese in Burbank and apparently came home with one more child than she should have.  In our defense, our house is quite large, she was an extremely quiet toddler and back in those days we were very disorganized.  Anyway, she has now been reunited with her real family and is living peacefully in a trailer park outside Barstow.  We miss her.  Okay, the truth is… not really so much.  She had very expensive taste and the whole vegetarian thing was really starting to creep us out.

CARRIE is a senior!  She just played the lead in the La Canada High School production of “Barefoot in the Park”.  It was a wonderful performance.  In October she and Kate spent another week in Mississippi with Habitat for Humanity.  She’s still working part time at a local bookstore and is busy applying to colleges.  She’s pretty sure she wants to pursue theater.  So far she’s been accepted at University of Oregon and about five other schools so pray for her as she’s got a lot of decisions to make.

Again, the truth?  We’ve kept this pretty quiet, but just between us?  The girl’s doing time.  Oh yeah, a dime and a half at Chico.  We’re still not completely sure how it all went down, but there was a bank and a getaway car, and then Carrie suggested running through a drive-thru and before you know it the cops caught her with ten thousand dollars in cash, a large order of Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes and a Chicken Soft Chipotle Wrap.  She writes often, whenever her cellmate Big Ethel lets her use the pen.  We were lucky enough to visit this summer and were able to catch her performing scenes from “Carousel” at the annual prison talent show.  If you would like to help fund her appeal, you can donate canned good and cartons of cigarettes to

KATE and I have been married twenty-five years!  We had a wonderful anniversary trip to Napa Valley and we can’t wait to go back.  She’s queen of all things high school drama, very active in National Charity League, and this year began doing a lot of work at Elizabeth House, a facility for homeless pregnant women.  She’s obviously the virtuous charitable one in this relationship and I’ve been lucky to ride her coattails all these years.

Okay, this one is hard.  Yes, we have been married for twenty-five years, but it’s time to once and for all reveal the truth.  Kate won me in a poker game.  It was the fall of 1982 and she was living in Washington, DC.  She was a different Kate back then.  Rowdy and randy with a thirst for the dark side.  She ran a poker game out of the basement of the Library of Congress and one night… she caught a queen on the river and walked away with me, four thousand dollars and the keys to a ’74 El Camino.  Yes, those first few weeks were rough and I would be lying if I didn’t admit that my smart tongue often earned me the lash.  But within months she was letting me out of the basement for brief periods to darn her stockings.  Within the year we were married at a VFW hut in McLean, VA and looking back… I wouldn’t change a thing.

Okay, so now you know the REAL STORY!  It feels so good to finally be free to tell the truth.  We hope that unlike us, you’ve had a trauma free year.  May the season bring you God’s blessings, wonder, and peace.

“Blessed is the season that engages the whole world in a conspiracy of hope.”


Posted by: donrhymer | December 22, 2013


From 2006:


Restless nation breathes a collective sigh of dread…

Los Angeles, December 2006 – It’s indeed beginning to look a lot like Christmas, as, after a one year absence, the Rhymer Christmas Letter once again lays siege to America’s postal system.  Citing exhaustion, a lingering depression over the Dodger’s inability to land a power hitter, and the hard truth that he was just too drunk to type, Don Rhymer failed to pen his annual holiday dribble last year.  The response to this startling development was swift and uncompromising… “Thank God I don’t have to smile and pretend to have actually read it.”  – Andrew Rhymer

The always rambling, occasionally incomprehensible holiday musings of the La Canada resident had built a loyal following amongst an eclectic group of friends, relatives, prisoners and, not surprisingly, a growing number of mental patients, most of whom like to read it backwards, then fold it and wear it as a decorative Christmas hat.  For seven consecutive years, Rhymer parodied the typical family Christmas letter, usually singing his own praises while shamelessly using his lovely wife and three children for cheap comic fodder.  When asked to comment, his wife Kate was quoted as saying:  “It was all in the name of fun.  Plus getting revenge by shaving his eyebrows in his sleep always felt good afterwards.”

Why bring back the Christmas letter?  “It was just such an eventful year,” says Rhymer.  “I’m more awesome than ever, and really feel that America needs to know that.”  This reporter was able to secure an advance copy of the letter that weighs in at an astonishing 47 pages.  Forty-six and a half pages talk about Rhymer himself:  his expanding waistline, his short-term memory loss, and his recent inability to digest corn – take up the lion’s share of the pages, but what this reporter found particularly disturbing was his twelve page analysis of his ear hair.  Writes Rhymer in one frightening passage – “Foliage increased 18 percent in July alone.  May be a record… call Guinness.”   A disturbed man in obvious need of help.

The only redeeming quality in the forty-seven pages is a single paragraph given over to bragging about his long-suffering wife and kids.  He details Kate’s year of transition getting now a second child off to college.  Her continuing commitment to National Charity League, and her participation in re-establishing the Drama Parents board at the high school.  Son Andrew is apparently now a junior at NYU.  Having spent most of the summer working on his father’s film “Deck the Halls” he was excited to get his first screen credit as a production assistant.  It was a big year for the oldest Rhymer daughter Molly, who in the spring had her deb ball, the culmination of six years of volunteer work with the National Charity League.  Now a freshman at Arizona State University, she is majoring in interior design and a proud Delta Gamma sorority sister.  Carrie, just months away from getting her driver’s license, is a sophomore at La Canada High School where she is very involved in chorus and the drama department.  A finalist in the statewide drama competition, she is soon to be seen in a production of Neil Simon’s “Brighton Beach Memoirs”.

As always, in closing the letter Rhymer tries to redeem this whole shameful attention-grabbing exercise by attempting to be heartfelt and caring.  He talks at great length about being grateful for God’s blessings and thankful for the gifts of friendship and community.  He preaches that life is fragile and oh so short; then just as we start to tear up, he ends the letter by telling us that he is now going to the bathroom about five times a night and has given serious thought to installing a camping toilet by his bed to save him the ten foot walk.  His misguided attempts at humor only prove once again that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him understand what’s funny about it once he gets there…

So, this reporter begs you, when the 47 page spiral bound Rhymer Christmas Letter comes your way, complete with a tri-fold insert of Don in lederhosen… toss it.  Your attention only encourages him to write again and, as a nation, haven’t we suffered enough?  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!

Posted by: donrhymer | December 21, 2013


From 2004:


Due to circumstances beyond our control (laziness, lack of inspiration, an all encompassing malaise), there will be no Rhymer Christmas Letter this year.

Yes, we are aware of the worldwide ramifications.  The fall of the Yen, the drop in the NASDAQ, the inevitable coup in Thailand, (seriously, the Rhymer Christmas Letter is HUGE in Thailand), but it just didn’t happen this year.  Oh, sure we could have come up with something.  Several options were discussed.  A Rhymer “Pop-Up” book received much consideration, but this idea was quickly shelved when Carrie suggested a “Dad’s Pop-Up Love Handle” page.  We talked about designing a Rhymer Christmas Letter website… but since we still haven’t quite gotten the hang of email we decided that was a little ambitious.  We even discussed releasing a full trilogy of Rhymer Christmas Letters complete with twelve pages of commentary, behind the scenes footage and deleted scenes, but let’s face it the Rhymers are barely interesting enough for one page.  So it was left up to me… and I have failed you all.

So, without a letter we will not be talking about the girls.  Molly, now a junior in high school, reader of great books, champion of independent film and edging herself ever closer to driving.  And Carrie, eighth grade, journalist, philanthropist and killer Napoleon Dynamite impressionist.  Both are lively, energetic young women who fill our lives with music, dancing, and the occasional screaming battle over a missing cashmere sweater.

And since there sill be no Rhymer Christmas Letter we will also not be able to tell you that unfortunately, Andrew has run away from home.  Well, he calls it “going away to college” but Kate considers it an abandonment.  He just finished his first semester of film school at New York University.  He loves New York, but is just realizing that they have this thing called “winter” there.  A time of year when wearing board shorts and sandals to class results in something New Yorkers like to call “frostbite”.

Without a Rhymer Christmas Letter this year there will be no proper forum to brag about my wife.  A woman who continues to inspire and surprise me.  She’s taking on a bigger role in the National Charity League as well as trying to grow the calendar business by adding a second product, “A Year in the Life of Our Baby”.  As long as she doesn’t try to add an actual baby, she can sell all the calendars she wants.

I trust the lack of a Rhymer Christmas Letter will leaving a gaping hold in your holiday.  I expect marriages will crumble, many of you will turn to the drink.  But rest assured a new day will dawn, there will be growth in the spring, and next year I’ll start the letter in July. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, ad God’s blessings to you all.


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