For the past 4 years, I’ve written a letter in December that goes out to our friends and family detailing the big events of the last year along with a picture collage my mother (Natalie) puts together. This year, I’ve decided to offer wider access to the letter. Genius should not be kept hidden.
It’s December. That means it’s time for my annual report on the state of the Brumbaugh family. This is the fourth year you’ve had the pleasure of hearing from me. My first letter spoke of Abi’s graduation from high school, now she is in her senior year of college. Four years ago I was in her same position; now I have graduated from a Masters program at George Washington University. Mom is well on her way to a MBA and Dad is valiantly attempting to balance fun and work. Actually, that is something we’re all trying to do… This wouldn’t be the normal Christmas letter if I continued giving such a detached accounting of our actions, so henceforth, everything will revolve around me.
Last spring, my final semester of school, found me spending hours researching and studying. My brain was close to melting out of my ears and then Abi would post pictures on Facebook or call home and rub in that she was in a Mediterranean country. She thought since she was spending a semester studying in Spain, she should call home occasionally and gloat. It was cruel and unusual punishment that she would go to festivals and then regale us with tales of her escapades.
The pinnacle of this injustice took the form of Mom and Dad packing their bags and going to visit Abi for a European adventure while I hid my nose in a book and pretended not to notice how empty the house was. To distract myself, I decided to learn to juggle because I figured I could fall back on a career in the circus if I failed my classes. I am still convinced this was a marvelous use of time. I also took a spur of the moment trip to New York with my best friend where we ate our way through Manhattan, saw the Newsies on Broadway, and enjoyed a mild spring day in Central Park. I got more than a little bit of satisfaction hearing about how mom, dad and Abi practically froze while visiting the Eiffel Tower. But then, they went to a beautiful old bookstore and took a food tour in Paris, explored Barcelona complete with eating Tapas, and generally had a grand time.
Sixteen days later, mom and dad returned home, only to leave for Florida a couple weeks after that. This is not the first time they’ve left me to gallivant around in the Sunshine State. Upon my graduation, I remedied the situation by inviting Abi and myself along on Mom’s business trip to Orlando, where the two of us frolicked around Disney World and spent a day swimming with dolphins, stingrays, and other tropical fish. Abi and I also spent several weekends in Delaware “camping” and going to the beach (I put quotes around camping because I am used to a certain level of comfort, and so insisted we take an air mattress and a fan, but we were in a tent, so it definitely counts…).
Mom and Dad went on a couple more journeys including a second trip to Florida and time spent in Dallas. In Texas, they went on yet another food tour and attended a celebration on the field of Cowboy’s Stadium that ended with a ZZ Top concert. In Florida, they enjoyed the beach with my aunts, uncles, and Grandmum. Mom and I also spent some mother daughter time on a spa trip to Berkley Springs, where we enjoyed soothing massages, facials, manicures, and pedicures.
As is customary, it is now time to discuss our cultural activities which this year included seeing many concerts – Train, Straight No Chaser, P!nk, Fun., and Coldplay. Mom and I also witnessed a fascinating half-marathon in DC starring none other than Kevin Brumbaugh. Unfortunately, scant months later, he injured himself and spent weeks in a boot, but he is now back to running. This sounds like a high point on which to end this year’s letter… Happy Christmas everyone!