This year has been unique in its collective misery. In case you've been living in a cave for much of 2020, we've all been living in caves for much of 2020, and that could make writing the annual holiday newsletter a bit challenging.
No amazing vacations, no graduations or weddings to attend, only raging wildfires, civil unrest and politicians running amok.
We know devoted newsletter writers will be stymied on how to compose those normally cheery and positive missives, so we've decided to give you a little help with our MadLibs-style holiday newsletter. You can go joyful, or you can go full 2020.
Dear (Family, Friends, Fellow Survivors):
Another year has (a. sped by b. limped along c. swallowed us in unimaginable horror) and we wanted to (a. share b. sound off c. weep uncontrollably at) the news of how our (a. family b. neighborhood c. band of apocalyptic survivors) has been doing.
The year started off (a. great b. as usual c. in the blissful ignorance of not knowing what the rest of the year would bring). It promised such (a. adventure b. love c. opportunities to work dozens of jigsaw puzzles again and again, until the images wore off, and we were left to assemble solid white pieces). Our early 2020 vacation to (a. Europe b. visit the family c. the backyard) was fantastic and (a. provided us with great memories b. allowed the kids to collect an excellent assortment of souvenirs c. was the last time we'd see anyone without a mask for months).
March brought devastating news that the coronavirus had crept into our country and that we were now in the middle of a pandemic. We faced the news with the spirit of the pioneers who settled our country and (a. gracefully accepted things were changing and we would need to hunker down b. decided to clean out the attic and reorganize every closet in our home, then dust all the rocks in our garden c. went a little crazy purchasing 275 packs of toilet paper, 500 gallons of hand sanitizer and getting banned for life from Costco).
Spring brought good news that our oldest son had been accepted to college and would be attending university (a. later this year b. early next year c. in his bedroom). Our high school-aged daughter was excited to (a. make the cheerleading squad b. pass all her courses with top grades c. get access to all of her online classes, most days). They were both a little sad that they couldn't (a. attend a formal graduation b. enjoy prom this year c. leave the house without hazmat suits).
Hubby continued to work hard (a. at his job b. trying to find a new job c. attempting to teach the cat to talk, the bird to fetch and the dog to purr). As for me, I'm finding fulfillment (a. doing volunteer work where I can b. making up new recipes for tuna salad c. learning to swallow the fear and anxiety that would cripple an otherwise healthy person).
The rest of the year provided (a. so many happy moments b. opportunities to study Greek and learn to plait sheaves from the wheat we grew in the backyard c. endless hours of pondering the meaning of life).
Through it all, our little family has (a. grown closer in quarantine b. stopped speaking to each other c. finally mastered Zoom.) Although that once-in-a-lifetime cruise to exotic ports had to be (a. postponed b. canceled entirely c. never spoken of again), we did manage to keep our spirits up with (a. short daytrips and hikes, safely practicing social distancing; b. ordering one takeout meal a week to help our favorite local restaurants c. pretending to vacation from different rooms and areas in the house while fighting back tears and cursing the fates).
It's been hard, but we've been thankful (a. for the company of each other b. that toilet paper eventually came back in stock c. that we had a contentious presidential election to keep our minds off our problems).
As this long year comes to an end, we wish you and yours (a. a bright holiday season b. a new year that isn't quite as dark c. good luck with whatever new disaster awaits us in 2021.)(c)2020 The Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC