Sunday, December 18, 2005


The Christmas Letter to end all Christmas letters. It describes the year that The Kreagal Family experienced in probably more detail than you ever wanted to know...but here it is, anyway.


Hi Everybody,
It's that time of year again and we hope you will understand that we are writing this 'generic' letter because it's the easiest way to bring all of our friends up to date on the happenings of us Kreagals during 2005. It's just been a fantastic year for everyone. As you remember from last year we were moving to our new house in Spring Corners just 200 miles from our old house. And although we are all just crazy about the new house, the move was quite traumatic for all of us but especially for Granny Kreagal, because while cleaning out the attic on Dorvin Street she tripped and fell down the stairs breaking both legs. But ever the optimist, Grans is walking incredibly well with her enforced hip replacement sockets, the Doctors having discovered that her arthritis had degenerated her bones to the point of no return. She gets around absolutely perfectly using her walker for the long trips around the house, and she has become the whiz of the wheel chair brigade down at the Senior Citizens Center, where she won the Blue Ribbon, Special Mention-For Trying. Grans is quite a remarkable woman, having rallied back almost to her normal self after the untimely death of Grandpa Kreagal, who had a severe heart attack to say the least, and died on the way to St. Aloysius Mercy Hospital, a grand place if ever there was one, where the paramedics rushed him having answered our 911 call quicker than you can say, 'Bring me a Budweiser, please'. It is truly remarkable that Gramps died at all.

In March, Glenn and I took a fantastic vacation, and well deserved too, white water rafting on the fabulous Monongahela River. It was kind of a strange time to run the rapids what with the cold weather not quite behind us but it was the only time Glenn could get away from the Lumber Yard, and to tell you the truth I don't think two people could ever have had a better time. It was truly grand. We took oodles of photographs which some of you will get to see at the next Clambake party at The Mercers, (some new friends here in Spring Corners). My very favorite photo is of Glenn being dragged from the river looking like an icicle, but smiling. Unfortunately he developed a terrible frostbite in his big toe on his left foot and the doctor had to perform what he called, a minor amputation. They did not have to remove Glenn's whole toe, luckily, just up to the first knuckle. He praised God all the way home.

Little Suzy, who is not so little anymore,(Ha Ha) gave birth to quintuplets in April--my was she ever big. She and Percy had been trying to conceive for about a year and a half and finally went to the Jeppsom Fertility Clinic here in Spring Corners where they eventually performed artificial insemination into a Petri dish, and then did the embryo transplant on Suzy. The results being, 5 pounds 3 ounces, 3 pounds 1 1/2 ounces, 4 pounds 2 ounces, 3 1/2 pounds 6 ounces, and last but not least, 3 pounds 4 1/2 ounces. We were all terribly thrilled. My, my, my, to have five grandchildren all at once is quite something. Unfortunately, Brenda Sue didn't make it. She was the littlest and the incubator failed when there was that awful statewide blackout and the emergency generator at St. Als Mercy, turned out to have a major defect. Suzy and Perc were thinking seriously of suing the hospital but I said, well at least you still have the other four. It was somewhat of a comfort until Baby Lucy suffocated while nursing from a bottle. I told Suzy she mustn't blame herself, after all, she only has two breasts and she is not a milk machine. Of course we were devastated when Baby Marvin passed away from crib death, but thank God, all that is behind us now and the remaining two are just grand, Baby Gaylord, named after that dashing character from 'Show Boat', you remember I went to see that show while carrying Little Suzy? And dear little Baby Tracy. Suzy and Perc named him in honor of my great great grandfather who fought in the second world war and had his arm blown off in the battle to save France or was it Spain, well anyway he's buried somewhere over there on foreign soil. I guess we will never find his remains. You remember he was the one who discovered a toothpaste that could clean toilets as well as teeth.

Now, for our biggest news of the year. Young Glenn Jr., who moved to Los Angeles three years ago, you recall, has been given a raise at the Computer Store, 'Software Is Us'. They have made him Manager, and because of his raise he is moving into his first real home. He says it's in this lovely area called West Hollywood, and that he and his friend Jeffrey have found this darling little house which they are re-decorating. He is so talented! And I guess they are even doing some major construction. He says it's the first time he's felt at home in a place since moving to Los Angeles. Of course we miss him terribly and wish he could have stayed here with us, especially now that we are in this wonderful Spring Corners--it is nice to have your children near you, you know? But he's happy in California, and that's all that matters to Glenn and me. We know he will have great success wherever he lives. He is doing some modeling on the side and he’s so funny he won't send us the magazines because he says the pictures really don't look like him. I'd love to see them anyway, of course, so would Glenn Sr. Our only son, and such a handsome boy! Both Glenn and I are so very very proud of the fact that he has struck out on his own, even though he was terribly young when he left us, but we also have great pride in the fact that his awful drug addiction problems are all behind him now. And he did it all on his own. What a grand boy he is.

The only sour note in the whole year was our youngest, Violet, poor darling, has had a very difficult time adjusting to her new school. You all know how hard it is to leave all your friends when you are just sixteen, and she had gone all through grade school and junior high with most of them. But she is in therapy and her stutter has decreased almost 50%. The only thing Glenn and I are concerned about is that she seems to have practically stopped eating and of course is terribly thin, but outside of that, she is very very healthy and we are both sure she will be happy again very soon, praise the lord.

Glenn and I have found this wonderful church here in Spring Corners. It's rather old fashioned and I guess you might say, straight laced but we like it very much and they were absolutely wonderful to the family when Suzy and Percy's house burned to the ground in July. Luckily no one was hurt badly except Baby Tracy, who suffered third degree burns on his little backside. But he's such a wonderful little soldier, that he's taking the colostomy extremely well.

And other than the above mentioned this has been an absolutely serene and wonderful year. Everyone will be here for Christmas, except our middle girl, Rita. At the moment, we are just not sure where she is. We think it's somewhere between Nairobi and Kenya, or something like that, having taken a sabbatical from her work at the refinery to commune with nature, and see the world. We will miss her of course. We thank God every day for all the blessings he has bestowed upon us, in fact Glenn and I are off to a prayer meeting shortly, to give God our Blessed Thanks for the wonderful year he has given us, and we pray that all of you will have as wonderful a year in 2006 as we have had in 2005.

With Peace and Serenity,

Marva and Glenn

What is your feeling about getting Christmas letters?

Links to this post:


had this to say:

well, i love this letter! i think christmas letters are pretty cool actually. we have a huge sprawling family, and not every one blogs, so its a way to easily inform everyone. a personal note is nice, but when you send out 50 of them, the note becomes "happy holidays from m, c, and the boys". and noone gets to hear about how life is for us. so yeah, im all for christmas form letters.

michele sent me today, but i come on my own so often its all good!

Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 4:24:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

That one was pretty interesting! In general, I don't like them. If they are from people we know well, but don't see often, that is fine. Some of hub's business associates used to send letters, and we had no idea who half the people were (nor did we care to know). Most of them brag about what they bought, who graduated with honors, where they vacationed or the new Bentley they purchased. YAWN!

Michele sent me this time, but you know I come every day!

Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 4:36:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Wow. I had to ask if this letter was real, actually, since I don't read your blog regularly. You have had quite the eventful year if so!

I actually love to get these kind of letters and I never feel like it is bragging, but maybe that is because I send them myself sometimes. I didn't have it together this year, so I tried to jot a short note if I could instead. I like to personalize it someone, if I can.

Michele sent me and have a great holiday!

Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 5:11:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

ha! Fun little letter. :)

As for getting them - Usually I at least find them amusing. We do a family newsletter that I save as a PDF file and email to relatives who manage to continually forget the url's to the blogs we keep on both kids and to friends who live out of the area. It started as a quarterly thing when the oldest was at that stage of hitting milestones what seemed every other day. It's since fallen off to twice a year and if I ever stop procrastinating, I might get the 2nd one done for '05 before it turns '06. ;)

Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 5:49:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Whoa, that's quite a letter. I don't want anything like that from anyone. If I don't know more about what is going on with them than that then we couldn't be that close. I love the photo cards and nice personal notes written but please no letters. Its supposed to be a Greeting, not a catch up.

Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 6:39:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I like Christmas letters although I have never seen one as long as the one you had in your post! The ones I get people tend to sum it up a little more compact than that and they are usually one sheet. But I think they are fine!

Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 6:50:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I love holiday letters of any kind.

Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 7:12:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

This is probably unpopular to say, but I'm not really a fan of Christmas letters. I got one, the first in years, last week & it was from my cousin's family; his wife wrote it. She included every single thing her side of the family did. Didn't bother to mention our side's family reunion. She must have mentioned 15 family events.
But the daggar was when she asked for prayers. Please pray for the shepard of souls, firemen, military, you get the idea. Not 1 mention of my aunt (my cousin's grandma) who had just died. Perhaps she could have asked prayers for his family to help with their loss? Or mention the loss of such a loving woman.
I know she did this to hurt my cousin, as they're getting a divorce. It hurt me to hear my mom upset about the card she received.
I don't think I'll ever like these letters again. And if I get any correspondence from her, it will say 'return to sender'.
Sorry for this sour note, this letter just made me think of the one we received.

Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 7:47:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I think it's Happy NEW Year, not Happy Tell Me All About LAST Year, right??

I loved this letter...I often thought about writing something like this and sending it to people, but with my family history, people would be bound to believe it!!

Thanks for the laughs. You're a great writer!

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 7:49:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I like to receive mail at Christmas, even if it is a letter. BUT, I would MUCH rather have a little personal not scrawled inside the card than hear about every little detail of their past year. Some are just plain obnoxious.

Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 7:58:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I liked it so much yesterday that I came back today! ;-) Is this the letter that you commented about on someone else's blog? It's a good one, you're right!

Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 8:24:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I like the intent of mass letters to family and friends. As this letter clearly illustrates, it's the execution that is sometimes a little lacking.

Still, there's something to be said for bringing everyone up to speed. We have such large and diverse constituency bases these days that it's impossible to keep in touch with everyone. So this is a nice way to do it.

Of course, blogs can work in a complementary way, but something tells me this family wouldn't be into it.

I laughed the whole way through. Thanks for sharing'll help me make it through tomorrow with a smile on my face too!

Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 8:33:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Back again from Michele's (I'm addicted to your site...sorry!) Just wanted to let you know this entry has inspired me to dust off my own mailing list. I used to send out Carmi Speaks messages to around 400 friends and family members.

I started it soon after I left my previous job to start my writing career in earnest, but I let it lapse a bit this year as my workload picked up. I justified this by convincing myself that the blog was a perfect replacement.

In fact, the two should I'm going to fire out a message later this week. Thanks to you.

Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 8:36:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

It was a great letter up to the point when we were cursed with the hope that our 2006 was like their 2005. God forbid!

It's been a while since I've gotten a family history type Xmas letter. They don't bother me much but since they go out to so many people, and as a result are quite generic, they aren't very interesting either.

Michele sent me to see you in your Hollywood Hills, Naomi. Perhaps you live near "Glenn, jr".

Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 8:39:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

That was hysterical! We are military & try to send out a very brief letter telling folks where we are each year & where we might be going. Mostly though, we include pictures of the kids, because that is what folks really want to see, right??

I get one each year from a friend's mom that is such a downer. This year it no kidding began, "Right after I mailed my Christmas cards last year, I ended up in the hospital..." We always just laugh and go along with it. What else are we supposed to do?

Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 10:13:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

hi from michele's
I used to send these letters then the seperation, divorce and now I send zero cards. maybe some ecards if I make time to do so.

Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 11:13:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

What a letter!
I like letters, I do. I don't know what I would think if I ever recieved a letter like that though lol

Monday, December 19, 2005 at 1:14:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

That's a great letter - it sounds nearly as bad as some of the year the Aginoths have had LOL!

I never write Xmas letters - people who really mean something to me get updated much more regularly than once a year, and others don't need an in depth update:-)

However, I love getting long rambling letters telling me everything about someones life at any time of year - just nosy I guess.

I'm having fun with my Blog explosion thing - it's a way to see new blogs - although like everything you have to trawl through a lot of dross to find a few you like! I expect I'll get fed up with it soon enough as it is quite tiome consuming, but I like the renting blogs idea, I'm probably going to keep up with that - again, just cos I'm nosy:-)

Monday, December 19, 2005 at 1:26:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I don't MIND family lettes, but I guess I sorta have to wonder - why wait till Christmas to do this? Why not have a quarterly update instead of wait for a holiday, or some other time - most people are crazy busy at Christmas, so honestly... the two times I've gotten holiday letters like this, I shoved them to the side and read them after New Years. :)

Here from Michele's! :)

Monday, December 19, 2005 at 6:49:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Christmas letters stuck inside Christmas cards are abominations sent by people who think that you may in fact be interested in what they have to say, when in fact if they were your friends and therefore you wanted to know, you already would know! Am I being simplistic here or have I missed the point?

Monday, December 19, 2005 at 7:40:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I don't like generic letters sent to family. For a business, fine. If I am your family and you care if I know how you are doing you can call me anytime.

I hate wasting money on cards for christmas, commercial. I try to send a personal note to my friends and see each of my family. No mass letters for me, thanks.

Monday, December 19, 2005 at 8:42:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I love the entertainment value of a good Christmas letter. We get tons of laughs out of the ones we receive at our home!

Monday, December 19, 2005 at 9:54:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I enjoy christmas letters. I actually plan on sending a christmas email this year adn I've not had a chance to get cards printed up and the money situation didn't help any.

Merry ho ho!

Monday, December 19, 2005 at 11:24:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Hey--thanks for all of the fun posts and holiday cheer!



p.s. Michele sent me...

Monday, December 19, 2005 at 12:46:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

If the Christmas letters I get were this entertaining, I wouldn't mind getting more of them!

Monday, December 19, 2005 at 1:23:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I haven't read your comments to see if you say more, but I have a strong feeling this was a satirical post, meaning it was a fake Christmas letter?

If not, it certainly shows that some maintain a front that is hard to imagine plus share info you'd rather NOT hear!

I love letters, in general, so there are some that are in a certain style that is like a private joke, but still endearing in its way ,yet truth be told Naomi, I'd much rather a personal note. I understand why there is not time for one.

I DO appreciate those friends who append their letter with a personal note, however brief. That compromise seems to bridge the gap between a form letter and the human touch.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 at 1:59:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

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Tuesday, December 20, 2005 at 7:27:00 AM PST 

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Thursday, January 12, 2006 at 6:36:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

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Maybe you can drop by my site one of those days.

Sunday, January 15, 2006 at 1:09:00 PM PST 

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