Our 2007 Christmas Letter...

our Christmas letter...

A Holdridge Christmas Chronicle

I hope this letter finds your mailbox cozy and free from icy build up. It’s traveled a great distance to get to you enduring many hazardous weather conditions, vicious manhandling, and claustrophobic conditions that would make even sardines second guess their often loathed plight and wise up to the fact that it could be much worse. This winter-cooled letter you are holding in your hands is an uproarious attempt to condense a years worth of life onto an 8½ by 11 piece of parchment. Since I’ve already used more than an inch of that space, I best move on to the actual grounds for this letter.

Kami Rose is now 8 and is currently sitting across from me at the dinner table eating a bowl of cereal with her mouth open…this is something Heidi has been trying to break her of from the beginning, but she is our incorrigible barbarian who refuses to be tamed into a prissy little American doll. She is in 3rd grade and loves to dance. When I say dance, I’m not talking about ballet or the waltz, I’m talking about hip-hop-shaking-your-booty-thrashing-your-head-flipping-around-like-a-hit-squirrel type of dancing. She came out of the closet with this gifting during church one weekend when the children’s ministry performed a couple numbers, one of which was a borderline rap of “To God be the Glory”. She was bustin’ moves like M.C. Hammer on steroids and throwing down her hand like a rapper when he exclaims, “Throw your hands in the aiya like ya’ really don’t caya. From the front to the back and the back to the front. Like this y’all, like that y’all.” You get the picture. She was in her glory; front and center leading the kids in a hip-hop hymn that would make my mother roll over into her grave. Not bad for a little Caucasian kid from the ‘burbs of Lowell, M.I. I was just reading a letter she wrote to Santa at school about what she wanted for Christmas and it reads like this: “Dear Santa Claus, What I want for Christmas is for my mom to be pregnant. If she says no, I will take a dog. Love, Kami”. This is literary genius! For the record, neither of those requests is an option due to the fact that, first, I closed the fertility shop this past summer; and second, because Heidi doesn’t want to add dog hair to the list of things that she already is neck deep in cleaning around the house. Kami will once again be disappointed for Christmas…at least for 15 minutes until she forgets about it and goes and makes a new friend in two seconds at McDonald’s Playland.

Aly Grace is now 6 and is currently playing Barbie’s upstairs in her room. She is our artisan spirit in the household, always detecting subtle shifts in someone’s emotional climate or pointing out historical discrepancies with our stories or bringing to our attention every “bad thought” she has had in her mind that is torturing her sensitive little heart. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that she confesses her every little immoral/amoral secret to her mother/priestess, Heidi, each and every night before drifting into R.E.M. sleep. She confesses everything from thinking someone is ugly at school to making her Barbie’s kiss each other for “a long time” to admitting that she sometimes says in her mind, “I hate my parents!” when we discipline her for some tiny transgression. She bursts into tears in movie theaters when characters are lonely, sad, or lost. This is how touched and touchy her little heart is at the sights and sounds of human emotion. She is in first grade learning to read all by herself, something she has been dying to do since she saw her big sister bringing home books and polishing them off. She still has some trouble with the pesky “R” sound. She was singing the song, “Whoodolf the Whednosed Whaindeewh” in the car this last week and one of her favorite books is about a character named “Baby Beawh (Bear)”. It’s the kind of book that says the word “Beawh” a thousand times just to help them learn to read. Sometimes I just hide behind a wall in another room and close my eyes smiling with God at the beauty and splendor of the child-heart. She needs to be kissed systematically every night by her mom, “I (kiss) love (kiss) you (kiss) because (kiss) you (kiss) are (kiss) lovely (kiss).” It’s impossible for her to function unless these unwritten rules are adhered to and carried out with unadulterated precision. This is our second born, and we love it. (most days)

Taylor Hope Lena’ is now 4 and is currently watching Santa Claus 3 in her sister’s bedroom. We spent the day together playing domino’s at the coffee shop, navigating our way around PBSkids.org, and then coming home and building a campfire out in the snow. She helped me collect sticks in the woods and we had a blast throwing snow in the fire and watching it sizzle and melt away. She has her mother’s captivating smile and is always making us laugh with her over-the-top personality. (I don’t know where she got that!) She is in pre-school and hasn’t met anyone that doesn’t become her best friend in less than 5 seconds. She loves to make up songs and sing them to our family. We literally cram our family onto the couch and let her entertain us with song and dance for as long as her little heart desires. She coined the phrase, “I la’ you” several months back before bed one night as we were tucking her in and it’s become a regular part of our vocabulary. She has been brainwashed by her mother into being absolutely deathly afraid of bugs and harmless vermin called mice that peacefully cohabitate our house with us. She is paralyzed by the sighting of a ladybug and will literally sit on the toilet trembling until I slay it with my bare hands. She brings a joy to our home that is rivaled only by the presence of God himself. There are times when I wonder if there is any difference to begin with. A night with Taylor around our house would make you wonder the same.

(I left this letter for three days and am now just returning to finish it…)

Heidi and I have just celebrated 11 years of marriage on Nov. 30th and 15 years of knowing of each other’s existence on Oct. 20th. Heidi invests massive amounts of energy into our three girls, the kind of energy that reduces your life expectancy by 5 years at least. Because there are no boys in our house other than myself, it increases the responsibility for Heidi to disciple, model, and bestow femininity. I’ve tried to bestow femininity over the years, and always hit an invisible wall for some reason I’ve yet to unearth. In fact, just today Heidi had to take Kami out to answer some of her persistent questions regarding males and females, and the variety of things that make them so very different and yet so drawn to each other. Heidi went to our local shopping mart last night to pick up a book on how to explain all of these profound mysteries to an over-zealous eight year old. I’ve yet to see my daughter since that conversation…I’m not sure that I’ll be able to make eye contact for at least the first few minutes of our reunion. These are the days I’m glad that we have 3 daughters, ‘cause Heidi’s the one that gets thrown under the bus and I can sit on the sidewalk and watch her get run over. Ok, so maybe that wasn’t the best word picture.

All in all…family is really good. Ministry is very good. Life is wicked (meaning unbelievably) good. God has brought us through another year and I’m stoked about the one that is to come. I’ve never been more in love with the life I live and the family I get to live it with. I hope this letter gives you a small sense of that reality.

Merry Christmas y’all…

Jason, Heidi, Kami, Aly and Taylor


aim said…
jake made me read "just the 1st paragraph" of your christmas letter... i read the whole thing, & now i'm here on your blogspot?!!? i love reading EVERYBODY'S christmas letters, & yours was fantastic! can't wait for next year's!
--jake's friend amy
Thanks for sharing your letter. Aly's tenderness toward sin is an attitude I'd like God to instill in my own girls.
dawn said…
Thank you for sharing the blessings of your life and heart.

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