Dear Christmas Card Recipient, Mail Thief or Recycling Industry Sorter,
I'm happy report that 2010 was an excellent year for my subset of Villarreals, meaning that nothing catastrophic happened. No job losses, hospitalizations, robberies, car explosions or locust plagues crossed our paths the entire year.
We added a dog, subtracted a truck and welcomed a Honda Odyssey into our garage. It's a smooth Swagger Wagon, equipped with eight seats, 18 cup holders, electric doors and thousands and thousands of dollars of debt.
Some of us changed. Luke evolved from a 2-year-old who made train sounds that drove his mother crazy all day into a 3-year-old who made continuous heavy metal guitar riffs that drove his mother crazy half the day (she earned a 4-hour daily respite by retreating into the calm, quiet recesses of part-time middle school science teaching).
Emma transformed from a screaming, tiny ball of disapproval of all our actions into a slightly less tiny ball of crudely worded disapproval of all our actions. Chief among Emma's list of Disapproved People was one Santa Claus of North Pole, Arctic Circle, who accosted Emma twice in Williams, Ariz. -- first when he requested that she sit on his lap and ask for presents, then again an hour later on a train ride when he crudely handed her a jingle bell. Emma twice screamed at the overbearing clod with sharp fury, prompting Luke to ask "Mommy, why is Santa Emma's greatest enemy?"
Our new dog, Murphy, adopted us from a Human Rescue society. He makes up what he's missing in a fourth leg by producing 35 times his bodyweight in black hair. We can only nod politely when complimented on our new black shag carpeting that complements the tile we had installed by the gentleman Emma refers to as "UhShawn."
On the job front,
-I made a major advance in my chosen field of demolition by volleyball spiking the life out of our TV while playing a video game.
-Jessica really accomplished nothing, at best. She spent half of the year as a stay-at-home mom -- what do those people do all day? And the other half as a part-time teacher in our pathetic failure of an education system that is but a roadblock to the shining success of charter schools, which will not only turn all our children into geniuses but allow us to one day defeat Ghana in the World Cup. But public school teachers, with their exorbitant salaries, cakewalk jobs and evil agendas of filling kids heads with evil lies such as global warming, evolution and the periodic table, are to be reviled and destroyed. Luckily we've put a state legislature in place that will do just that, as quickly as possible.
-Emma prepared for a future in the federal government by beginning a hobby in which she hunts down loose change to throw into the trash can.
-Luke finally settled down on a career choice. After insisting he'd be a farmer, astronaut, Laker, Cardinal, racecar driver, Army man, Joker, dragon and builder, he decided he would become a rock star. "I'm going to be on your iPod, Daddy," he said firmly. "And you better play me loud." Please join me in congratulating the boy in choosing a field that's more stable than that of his father.
So now you're all caught up. Take care, enjoy life and when things get tough, just be thankful you're not the Arizona Cardinals' quarterback coach.