Starting sometime around 1998 Don began writing our annual family Christmas letter. It was his attempt at a light-hearted parody of some of the holiday letters we would receive. Some years he would make it sound like one of the kids had written it, but Don was always the author. He would use the opportunity to give a family update, with his signature humor. And he always managed to make fun of himself.
This seems like a perfect time to share some of his previous letters. In re-reading them, I find myself laughing and enjoying hearing his voice again, often sarcastic and snarky. People would sometimes tell him that his was their favorite letter every year. One Christmas he decided not to send a letter, and the response was swift and furious. One friend left us notebooks and pens on our front porch in case Don had just simply run out of writing materials.
This first letter is from 1999, from Molly’s perspective.
Like I’ve said before, Don’s words were one of his greatest gifts. I miss his humor, but I also miss the heart that he could convey. I’ll post a few letters between now and Christmas – every few days. I hope you enjoy hearing his voice once more.
“Happy Holidays” (Christmas, 1999)
It’s that time of year again. Time for Christmas letters!!! Some of you remember that Carrie wrote our family’s Christmas letter last year, so I asked if I could do it this year. I told Dad I wanted to write a new and different Christmas letter, so I decided to turn this one into a GAME! Ready to play….
“WHO WANTS TO BE A… MILLIONAIRE!!”
Actually Dad watches it, but that’s just because it makes him feel smarter than Regis Philbin which I keep telling him does not seem all that hard. If you can answer all the questions correctly then you… well, you’ve been spending far too much time with us and probably need to get out more. Ready?
This Rhymer family member ate an entire box of mint chocolates and then proceeded to throw up on Mom’s white berber carpet eight times?
- a) Dad
- b) Bagel (our beagle)
- c) Carrie
- d) Mom after seeing our report cards… well, I’m sorry but we were very busy!
(Is that your FINAL ANSWER!)
Mom and Kathy Gallagher had their 40th birthday party…
- a) on a boat
- b) in a horse-drawn carriage
- c) at Delancey’s Pub to take advantage of their 99 cent spicy buffalo wings
- d) they’re not forty – and don’t you dare say they are, OK??
(How are you doing so far? Two for two?)
Dad signed a deal to write what sequel?
- a) Porky’s III
- b) The Santa Clause II
- c) Rocky 12
- d) Saving Private Ryan – From his Overbearing and Understandably Clingy Mother
(I don’t get this last one, but dad thought it would be really funny and he’s supposed to know what’s funny even though personally I think most of his stuff could use a little work.)
Andrew took up what new sport this year?
- a) curling
- b) blackjack
- c) golf
- d) looking at girls on MTV and saying… “Wow!”
(It’s funny but for some reason Andrew’s interest in girls seems to be in direct proportion to his growing addiction to hair gel.)
Carrie was in not one, but two school plays. Afterwards, people were heard to exclaim…
- a) “I’ve never seen an onion played with such energy.”
- b) “Kudos – more fun than recess!”
- c) “Carrie Rhymer IS Lady McBeth… only shorter.”
- d) “Make up your bed right now young lady. I don’t care what your manager said!”
And finally… for ONE MILLION DOLLARS!!!
Molly – that’s me – spends most of her waking hours…
- a) worrying about her bangs
- b) curling her bangs
- c) praying to God to heal her fractured bangs
- d) remarking how particularly good her bangs look today
If you said all of the above… YOU WIN!!! Hope you enjoyed my game and I think I should close by saying we all think God was particularly good to us this year. Mom and Dad kiss all the time, which is very annoying and quite frankly embarrassing for people their age. Andrew is a great big bother and even though Carrie uses my skin care products WITHOUT EVEN ASKING ME… I still love her. I have to go now… it’s a very bad bang day, a lot of long hours and heartache ahead. May God give your family joy and peace this Christmas.
The Rhymers – Don, Kate, Andrew, Molly and Carrie