Happy Holidays..are you as fabulous as I am?

So 'tis the season...full parking lots, assholes who won't move out of their spots for you, long lines, maxed out credit cards, last minute scrambling for a gift for your significant other because in your frenzy of buying Lalaloopsy dolls, PS3 games, and Star Wars lego sets you completely forgot about him/her, baking, wrapping, standing in the godforsaken line at the godforsaken post office, and of course...holiday cards.

I truly love getting holiday cards in the mail, I look forward to it every year; I love seeing the pictures, seeing who loves me enough to send a card, etc, etc. And for the most part, I even love those damn letters. Those newsy letters filled with fun little tidbits about people I never see...good times. But invariably a letter will show up in my mailbox that makes me feel like a total asshole. You know the one I'm talking about...you get them too (or god forbid you SENT one)

Dear wonderfully amazing family and friends sent to us by our blessed savior:

Another blessed year has almost passed us by and we feel so very blessed to be able to share with you, our wonderful family and friends, all how incredibly wonderful we all are and how we spent the blessed year of 2011, year of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Chauncey is almost 13 and it's so difficult to find words to describe our amazing little boy who is rapidly becoming a wonderful young man, right before our eyes. He has had a fabulous year at the St. John's Preparatory Academy for Overachievers and excels at calculus, chemistry, physics, world literature, political science...well, there's nothing this boy can't do academically. Next term he has been invited to co-teach several of his courses, so of course we're ridiculously proud and he is making the astronomical tuition fees worth it! I guess mom won't be upgrading her BMW this year! HA HA! He started the fall football season with the freshman team but was rapidly moved up to varsity, as the coaches were astounded by his athletic prowess. I'm sure the senior quarterback was a bit disappointed to be benched for the season, but when Chauncey needs a break, he does get to see some playing time and is learning quite a bit from our boy. Looking forward to baseball season as well; Chaunce can't wait to spend the summer at two highly overpriced, exclusive sport camps, all the while making time for reaching his goal of 150 hours of volunteer work and rescuing wounded and abandoned ferrets...so proud!

Our little Penelope Rose is quite the astounding young lady. She turned 10 in October and was able to jet off to New York City with mom for a girls' weekend. Nothing says Happy 10th Birthday more than tea at the Plaza, a suite at the Waldorf, a shopping spree at the American Girl doll store, and an appearance on the Today show! Will be hard to top that for the big #11 but we're working out plans as we speak! Paris, anyone?? ;) So far she's impressing all of her teacher's at Miss Emmaline's School for Young Debutantes with her impressive knowledge of well, EVERYTHING! Won't be long before she's challenging Chaunce at his academic pentathlon competitions! She is still masterfully juggling ballet, flute, honor chorus, student council, yearbook, and fitting in yoga sessions every other day to stay in balance. She'll be going on her first mission trip this summer to teach young orphans in Zambia the importance of staying connected on the world wide web and maintaining physical beauty in an otherwise tough world...our little do-gooder managed to procure several thousands of dollars in donated beauty products from MAC and Estee Lauder to bring to the lovely little darlings of Zambia...she's always thinking of others! We'll round out 2011 with her 24th pageant of the year, fingers crossed she'll bring home another Grand Supreme crown to add to her collection!

James and I have had another busy year, as expected!! James received many achievement awards from his company and has garnered yet ANOTHER promotion! Along with those awards and promotions clearly came quite the pay raise (yay!) and the added bonus of several work related trips around the world, many of which I was able to join him. We spent several weeks traveling around Europe (the south of France is GORGEOUS and now James wants a bigger yacht..maybe next year?) The all inclusive resorts of Thailand really are something and we can't wait for another trip back to Fiji...maybe this time the kids can come too! Thank goodness for their team of nannies at home to help hold down the fort while we're away! I'm still involved with many charities and organizations and spend my days scheduling social teas and luncheons, auctions, and balls...all of course to benefit the many groups we support and sponsor. I feel so blessed to be in positon to help all of those less fortunate, it's amazing to see how exciting a "day at the country club" can be for those who wouldn't experience it without the tireless work of our committee...so rewarding!

If I haven't mentioned it already, we are blessed beyond measure for so many wonderful things this year. We can only hope that the good Lord has blessed all of YOU, our dear family and friends, as plentifully as He has blessed us. We wish you all the happiest of holidays and implore you to remember the reason for the season...look for a postcard from the Bahamas sometime soon! Love to all, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

With love and prayers for a prosperous New Year that you can be thankful for,

The Snootington family

Ok, so MAYBE a bit of stretch...but you KNOW the letters I'm talking about...we are wonderful, our kids are fucking amazing and accomplish more in 20 minutes than your little spawn will EVER achieve, my husband is rich and successful and I get to buy shoes and bags and jewelry like it's my job, all while fitting in trips to the spa and salon...barf, barf, barf. I get being proud of your kids and your husband but seriously...SOME people take the holiday letter a little too far with the whole blowing of the sunshine up one's own ass. It makes me want to send them a singing telegram in which I pay extra for the giver of said telegram to assault the receiver.

And what they do/accomplish/achieve over the course of a year makes me feel like a total asshole. A bottom-feeding, mother of delinquents, underachieving asshole. My drafted out holiday letter would probably sound a little bit like this:

Dear family and friends...

Odds are good my family and I will be taken off of your holiday card list after you read this but I figured for this year, hey...why not jump on that holiday letter train just this once?

Where do I even start? Kind of hard to wade through everything that has happened in the past year in my mind...I guess a fog of valium, vicodin, ritalin, and Jack Daniels will do that to a person, huh? But I DID get myself a new Keurig so that makes mornings more bearable...of course the Bailey's added to each cup of coffee sure does help too!

Samantha is our oldest and will be turning 11 this coming April. We're ready to pack her off to boarding school because the pre-teen years are upon us and will likely result in a homicide here sooner rather than later. She pretty much sucks at school, she's fighting to keep her head above water...we're just happy she has maintained 50% attendance so far. She WAS in band for a while but was asked to be removed from the class when she "accidentally" hit a few other students in the head with her flute. We tried art classes for some time, but apparently sniffing glue was the only thing she got out of those. So we're working on her, slowly but surely.

Alex turned 7 in September and is trying kindergarten for the 3rd time, we're hoping the old adage "third time's the charm" holds true! Fingers crossed!! He loves playing with legos and riding his bike, we think we've nipped the "ride around the neighborhood chucking legos at unsuspecting passers-by" game in the bud...HOPEFULLY! We like to encourage creativity and activity but apparently other parents didn't like HIS method of combining the two, so we've made it a requirement that the legos stay INDOORS for the time being. He enjoys rough-housing with his sisters but we need to curb the number of knee drops and choke holds, the plus side of that is that he is really doing well in the Parks and Recreation wrestling program!

Ryan is a 3 1/2 year old little spit fire. Her cute little blonde pigtails and big brown eyes are deceiving...she's um, well, she's something. We've got her enrolled in a preschool program 3 days a week and we've only had a few issues so far. Thankfully no parents have chosen to press charges! She loves to paint and draw, hopefully a few gallons of Kilz will mask the "artwork" she has created throughout the house that we are currently renting! But we don't like to curb creative energy so we just kind of go with it...gotta choose those battles wisely, right? :) MOST of the play-doh has come out of the carpet, doors can easily be replaced, and I THINK the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser will really come in handy!

As for Vince and I...it's been an average year. Vince is still hanging in there in the USMC, working on a Naval Base has been a challenge for him but he's muddling his way through. I'm still staying at home with the kids, which, given their current "issues" is probably a good thing. Our legal "troubles" are hopefully almost over...send prayers that the case DOESN'T make it to court! My personal habits are getting under control, my support group really helps with it most days. I keep busy with the kids as often as I can, they finally lifted the ban on me volunteering at their school which is great!

We're hoping that 2012 shapes up to be a good year for us and the rest of you as well! We are so blessed to have you all in our lives and hope that we can continue to maintain our relationships throughout the coming years...we need as much as support as we can get! Love and holiday blessings to you all in the coming year!

From our family to yours...

So there ya go! Unfortunately time got away from me and I wasn't able to print these babies up and get them in the mail...I'm a little bummed but pleased that you all can read about my wonderful family on this forum.

Again, I need to reiterate that I really truly enjoy reading the holiday letters that I get in the mail...mostly because I'm friends with normal people who don't enroll their kids in intensive language programs for "fun" or have them involved in every activity imaginable in the hopes of early acceptance in an Ivy League school...So if you sent me a holiday letter, I read it and enjoyed reading about you and your kids. I also enjoyed that you are NOT one of "those people" but I know you all know some of "those people", so not only do I thank YOU for not being one of them, but I thank THEM for giving me something to write about...Merry Christmas to all! Cheers!