A Halford Christmas Letter

Every year about this time we start getting Christmas cards from friends and family with included letters about their goings on for the year. I always enjoy reading them but quietly laugh while thinking of the Halford’s Christmas letter sent to me years ago by a good friend.

Dear friends,

Merry Christmas and best wishes for a long 2009 from all of us Halfords. This past year was an interesting one for us in many ways. If it wasn’t for the Crampos from Pittsburg I’m not sure we would have come out of it as well as we did. Thanks to all that were true friends this year. The year started almost twelve months ago and proceeded month after month until now. It’s been a trying year for all of us but I’d like to think it’s been even more trying for me, let me share.

200812201917.jpg I’ll start with me. I continue to be a homemaker, keeping it all together… albeit loosely. I’ve tried to keep myself as busy as possible with clubs, events and functions. I’ve also managed to get my coffee addiction under control as I’m now down to just 8 cups of coffee. Anyone else live for Starbucks!

Frank, 18 months. He is a wonderful little boy. I’ve often asked myself if I could stand raising one more boy and Frank is my daily answer. I think he’ll be sleeping through the night by springtime. What a delight! Just getting teeth!

Raol is three and has taken to WWF wresting. I don’t think it’s a bad obsession at this point in his life as it will certainly help him fend for himself in later years. Has 8 teeth.

Davey is 4. He really didn’t do anything of relevance this year, lost 1 tooth.

Bobby, 5. Bobby’s year was full of fun mostly as he lost nine teeth and also participated in an Indian Guides trip to the Ozarks. The dentist looks at me a bit strange, as Bobby has lost so many teeth so quickly. I told him it’s a combination of the hockey team and an aggressive tendency to pick fights with older kids. Bobby doesn’t have many more teeth to lose.

Jane turned 6 this year and spent most of the year fighting with her brothers. She did join Indian Princesses but hasn’t gone on any events with her dad as he is traveling virtually constantly. Jane lost two teeth.

Skip, 7. This year Skip and Paul built a go-cart. It started off as a good family project that brought them together after what seemed to be constant fighting in the past. They fought about everything… cereal, seats in the car… it was driving Dad to drink. Older brother Dan even helped them build the go cart. I think Dan thought it would impress the neighborhood girls (it didn’t), he’s still dateless. The entire summer was building that darn go-cart and then driving that thing around and around… around and around… it nearly drove me stark raving mad. In September of this past year Skip crashed the go-cart into Dad’s new BMW. Dad was not pleased but Skip’s concussion and bleeding shut him up. Still, Dad grounded Skip for two years and Skip also has to do all outside maintenance… for the $4,350 damage he caused to Dad’s car. Skip ended up getting 32 stitches and 14 staples but we think he’ll be fine. In addition, Skip lost five teeth.

Raphael turned 8 this year. As Connie says “big whoop”. He thinks now that he’s seven the world revolves around him… he thought the same thing when he was six. I’m amazed as how selfish kids can be in this day and age. Overall he’s a good kid. Raphael lost seven teeth and broke an arm.

Connie 8,started the year off in PeeWee baseball but by his 7th birthday party he started showing more and more interest in bongo drums. We had a family meeting to help him decide that he should really play baseball and that learning instruments was for pansies… but we couldn’t change his mind. Now I have a son that plays bongos… we’re all hoping we won’t end up in one of those stupid marching bands. Connie didn’t loose any teeth this year and his brothers are calling him a wimp for not losing any. I’m guessing his brothers will rough him up a bit extra this coming year to make up for his lack of tooth loss this past year.

Poppy turned nine this year and he spend most of his waking hours with roller-blades on. At first we were all excited about his infatuation with them, then we were just amused that he wore them all the time and everywhere we went. Now it’s out of control and we’re thinking of seeking medical attention. Poppy has had some trouble in school as he refused to take off is “blades” as he calls them. On the positive side he was picked as MVP for the Junior All-town PeeWee Ringers (a roller hockey team). He also lost three teeth.

Rob, 10. Rob is in the third grade and has shown an interest in dance. Being honest, this is a tough family to be a boy-dancer. His only ally is Connie and that’s not saying much. I will continue to support his interest in dance although I myself think it’s a bit strange. Rob lost 4 teeth and we continue to battle his bed wetting habit.

David “Q-Tip” turned 12 this year. His friends on the football team nick-named him “Q-Tip” because of his hair style at the time and the name seems to have stuck. “Q” as we’ve become accustomed to calling him is excelling in science call. His teacher shared that he even made some original chemical compounds this year… he seems to spend a lot of time on the Internet researching various chemical compounds. Weird hobby if you ask me. He has asked for a some chemistry equipment for Christmas and who knows… maybe Santa is listening.

Mark 12. Mark, like Dan is puberty-bound. Dad and I are gearing up for this as we now know, too well, what to expect as his older brother Ralph is more than challenged our patience and understanding. Mark continues to be interested in very physical sports such as Junior Rugby, Football and wrestling. Mark lost one tooth and separated his knee.

14, Dan. Dan has now gone through puberty. We’re all very aware of this as his voice has changed, he now sleeps until noon on weekends, thinks Dad and I are stupid, no longer thinks family vacations are cool enough for him and has noticed girls. I continue to be amazed at the lack of motivation he shows. With Mark, Dan and his older brother Ralph in puberty Dad and I are treading water just to get through it. I honestly think puberty impairs logic. Dan also build a web site, it’s at http://www.springfieldguylookingforgirl.com. Dan broke a tooth in half… he told me he was opening a door… and ended up getting caps on his two front teeth.

200812201918.jpg Ralph, our oldest, turned 18 this year and was the only one not to have been able to make family picture (so I’ve included a separate photo, he was “on a trip” with some high school friends. I’ve always loved his hair and now I have the pride of seeing more of it. After lots of fighting with his Dad about getting him to cut his hair we finally gave up as he tuned 18 this year. We believe Ralph has a strong future ahead of him in medicine as he has shown an interest in studying pharmaceuticals. For his summer break he went on a long trip with a musical band called “Phish”. Ralph has had four “dates” (one with a cosmetology major) and we’re happy for the progress he’s making in that area. Ralph hasn’t lost a tooth in three years and counting!

Dad has been working hard, as hard as any man I have known. He travels almost all the time to make a living that puts food on the table for all of us (he also isn’t in the family picture as he was traveling). Dad continues to be pleased with the progress all the boys (and girl) are making towards becoming men. His job was in jeopardy due to the economic downturn and uncertainty with the terrorist events but he feels more secure with Blimpie, his employer. Dad had a root canal and two crowns re-secured.

2008 was a long year for all of us Halfords but we all pulled together. I’m so proud of my boys (and girl) for the American spirit they are showing. I think this year would have been more tough for me if I hadn’t remembered to put things into perspective. As my granddaddy always said “It takes a big man to cry, but it takes a bigger man to laugh at that man.”

Until next year. Have a Merry Christmas.

The Halfords

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