About two months ago, I wrote the greatest Christmas letter of all time. In it, I announced that Galen and I moved to Texas this past summer, tastefully detailing the ups and downs of 2018 that led us to our current jobs as teachers at the same school in Houston. Through devastatingly clever witticisms, I covered what it’s like to live in this great nation of Texas where the bugs are always smaller in somebody else’s yard, and beer cans order you to leave if you don’t know what happened in 1836. I even included a photo of me and Galen posing in an open field with our new cowboy boots and ten gallon hats while some longhorn graze in the background. So I guess there’s no need for me to rehash all of —
Wait, you didn’t get my Christmas letter in the mail? Even after I personally reached out to get your correct address?
Well. So much for the Texas mailing system.
… And now, here’s where I admit a few embarrassing things:
- I had to secretly google “Texas 1836” at a bar a few weeks ago so I wouldn’t accidentally offend/get in a fist fight with an angry Texan,
- We don’t own cowboy boots or ten gallon hats, and
- I never mailed, printed or even finished our Christmas letter.
There are probably passable excuses for this last one (a broken laptop, relentless travels, spending more time with family/friends than on Microsoft Word, being incredibly lazy, etc. etc.) but you don’t need to hear those. What you should hear is this:
One of the main reasons I wanted to send a Christmas letter this year (aside from the fact that I’ve never done it before and it sounded fun) was to make sure that all of our friends and family had our current address, email addresses and phone numbers. Even though I didn’t get physical letters and photos out this year, that part is still true. We want to stay in touch with you. We want to talk about our weird and wonderful life in Texas and hear about yours, wherever you are. An obvious draw-back to moving is that you miss all of the places and people that you came to love there; but one of the benefits that I, for one, so frequently overlook is that your world becomes so much bigger when you move. I track news and weather in so many states now, because the people that I love are scattered all over the place. Ventura and Seattle and Fort Collins and Chicago and Annandale matter to me because you are there. You make them beautiful. (Ventura didn’t really need the help – but good for you for being able to afford it, anyway.) Even Houston is beautiful because of the people and places that we’ve come to love here. Of course keeping in touch personally is important (hence my wanting to make sure all contact info is correct!), but even seeing your city name on a map brings joy into my day, because suddenly, impossibly, there you are.
Thank you for making my world bigger and more beautiful this past year, even when you weren’t aware of it.
This is all a little haphazard and sloppy, but if you get nothing else from this post, get this: you are loved, and wished so much more than a happy new year. I wish you warmth, long conversations with old friends, prayers that are tangibly answered, faith when they aren’t, good books, a longer attention span, muscles that love to move, sleep that is long enough, joy that isn’t tied to circumstance, the witnessing of a miracle, work to show and work to do.
- If you know of places that sell ten gallon hats, let me know – and,
- Let me know if you need updated contact information. We would love to talk to you and hear all about you and the beautiful life you’re in the hard work of building.