Friday, December 24, 2004

Dear Friends:

It’s been an EXPLOSIVE 2004 for the Jones family. You WON’T BELIEVE when you hear what’s been happening. First, in a SHOCKING TWIST in late March, a routine inspection of the septic tank reveals a COSTLY corrosion problem that brings the Jones family to the BRINK of financial DISASTER.

Then, in April, a series of FAMILY TRIUMPHS, as Timmy scores the winning goal in the EXCITING FINALE of his youth soccer league, and Caroline scores a SURPRISING acceptance to Dartmouth, her first choice.

TRAGEDY strikes the Joneses in July, as Great Aunt Edna passes away unexpectedly and the family STRUGGLES to cope with the LOSS of someone who had been around since the very beginning.

Then, in the HEAT of August, the annual family trip to Lake Pannewachuate in New Hampshire brings some ALL-NEW ADVENTURES, as a whitewater rafting trip goes OUT OF CONTROL, soaking the family and making MEMORIES and MUST-SEE pictures that will last a LIFETIME. Plus, Caroline brings boyfriend Teddy along for the first time. After a ROCKY start, Teddy begins to find a place as the NEWEST MEMBER of the family.

An UNBELIEVABLE opportunity in late August NARROWLY slips through Betty’s fingers as a Senior Account Executive position opens up at Insurtainty and Betty appears to get the job, only to have the original person return at that LAST POSSIBLE MOMENT to reclaim the position.

September starts off with a BANG as Caroline heads off to college and Timmy begins his sophomore year of high school with an UNEXPECTED selection to the varsity soccer team. Also, in a rerun of last year, Bob undergoes another MEDICAL PROCEDURE to repair torn cartilage in his left knee. (If you didn’t know about it before, it’s NEW to you!)

Finally, you WON’T BELIEVE what happens in November, as an e-mail from an OLD FRIEND brings a NEW FRIEND into the family, when Bob’s old college roommate gets in touch out of the blue about an unwanted Labradoodle puppy. Two weeks later, Scruff joins the Joneses in the MOST TOUCHING new entrance to the family since FAVORITE feline Snuggles became a member in ’97.

All in all, it’s been another ELECTRIFYING year for the Jones family.

But stay tuned for an even more EXPLOSIVE 2005, when at least one family member will leave the family FOREVER. Will it be crazy Uncle Eddie? Or perhaps Mr. Shnookums, the family guinea pig? Or, someone else … ? Plus—will being off at different colleges finally force Caroline to break up with her TRUE LOVE, Teddy? Will Timmy continue his soccer SUCCESS? And, will Betty finally get the CHANCE OF A LIFETIME at Insurtainty?

You’ll just have to wait and see in next holiday season’s annual “Keeping up with the Joneses” newsletter.

Happy Holidays,
The Jones Family

Michael Ward is a product of deepest, darkest suburban Boston and a smallish liberal arts college. Among other things, he has accidentally walked into a Backstreet Boys concert in Brazil, won an umbrella by besting the citizens of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in a battle of wits, and learned the hard way that ATA and AirTran Airways are not, in fact, the same airline. His garlic guacamole is divine. He is, above all else, a pragmatist.

Some Holiday Cards

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Letter of Rejection to Dr. Phil Dear Dr. Phil, Thank you for submitting your application for the director’s position at the National Institutes of Health. As the N.I.H. is the principal force guiding America’s efforts in medical research, we have strived to consider every candidate’s application...

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