The Mystery of the Season

One of the down sides to becoming a professional church person is that your opportunities for Saturday night parties become extremely limited. Last weekend I took advantage of one, while I still have the chance – my brother-in-law’s annual gathering of the younger generation of friends and family. It’s a gathering full of tradition and ritual – food, drink, and a Yankee Swap that can get downright vicious – and one of the more recent additions to the roster is the Reading of the Newsletters.

This year we had a new newsletter, in addition to the annual missive from the apocalyptically evangelical wing of the extended family exhorting us all to repent our sinful ways and praise the God of their preference. Chuck and Vicky wrote to Spouse’s brother at my parents-in-law’s address, a rambling newsy letter full of minor medical complaints and tales of their travels, ending with good wishes for the holidays and the new year.

None of us have any idea who Chuck and Vicky are.

I mean, no clue whatsoever.

If they’re part of the extended family, it’s the kind of extension that got lost in the back shed generations ago. We figure maybe they could be people who know Spouse or my brother-in-law through scouting: both of them meet lots of people and they are both lousy with remembering names. Or maybe these are folks who fished up an address on the internet and are trying to write to the other family in town that shares my in-laws’ last name.

We have no idea.

But it was a good party, and at the end of the Reading of the Newsletter, we raised a glass to Chuck and Vicky, whoever they are, wherever they are, and wished them the very best of holidays.

And so I wish for you, reader, whoever you are and wherever you are. Whatever you are celebrating this season, may it be warm and beautiful.

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