Tuesday, December 15, 2009

In Which We Keep It Real.

Receiving mail is the highlight of my day during the month of December. I know, it takes so little to keep me happy. Opening Christmas cards from friends near and far is like opening a tiny present from each family the card represents. 80% of the cards we receive are photos, and if we're super lucky, the card will contain a newsy "our year in review" letter.

I love these letters.

I especially love the letters from Perfect Families.* You know, the ones where we read that Bill received a substantial raise, Mary was named Hottest Housewife in the Tri-County Area, Billy was nominated for the Heisman, and Sally was not only valedictorian, but also prom queen, class president, and 1st runner up to Junior Miss North Carolina. (Hey, can't win 'em all, Sally.)

Every year I ponder sending out a "Litton Family Newsletter 2009" with our Christmas cards. I mean, I'd love to brag share our family's accomplishments:

*Litton Family Medicine was named local business of the year by the Chamber of Commerce, and continues to grow daily.
*Leigh Anne was invited to speak at a blog conference in Las Vegas.
*Libbey made the All-A Honor Roll for the second year in a row.
*Caroline memorized 20 Bible verses this Fall.

How boring! And really...who cares?
Maybe this family cares:
Who can attain such cheesy perfection?

Wouldn't it be far more intriguing if, unlike The Perfect Family, our "Litton Family Newsletter 2009" was brutally honest?

How would it be received if I were to mail the real dope deal to our family and friends? You know, stuff such as...

*Our town's beloved pediatrician relocated to another part of Virginia, hence the reason Litton Family Medicine continues to grow. ("Well, if my kid can't see Dr. Ahsan, might as well go to that Dr. Litton, since I don't wanna drive to Kingsport, TN.")

*Leigh Anne was invited to speak at the blog conference because said event was being run by two of her best friends. Nepotism at its finest, y'all!

*Libbey made her first "B" this year--on a Math test. We fully fussed at her, which, in turn, made her cry for an hour. We make "A's" in this family, ya hear? No "B's" shall be tolerated! (Parents of the year. Yep, that's us. She's 7, by the way. We've since asked her forgiveness.)

*Caroline will only say her Bible verses while in Awana. After being bribed with lollipops and juice boxes. And who can blame her? Reciting God's Word is hard work for a 4 year old.

This is real.
Libbey's 1st Christmas, 2002

I'd also love to include even more personal tidbits such as:

*Scott plays way too much Xbox Live with Robbie, our brother-in-law.

*Leigh Anne gained weight, despite having a home gym equipped with an elliptical machine, treadmill, and Bowflex. Apparently one has to use the gym in order to see results. Gotcha.

*Libbey's Obsessive Compulsive Disorder seems to grow stronger with each passing year. Any hope for her to inherit the laidback "Roth genes" is fading fast. She's pure Litton.

*Caroline's strong-willed nature continues to drive our family closer to Jesus. We pray a lot. So that we don't kill her.


*2009 found the Litton family journeying on fun and educational field trips, to places such as Mt. Airy, NC, (where "Mayberry" is brought to life, because The Andy Griffith Show is beloved by Scott and the girls), and Hilton Head Island, SC, where we taught our daughters to appreciate a sunny day and the She-Crab soup at Charley's Crab.


Even more highlights:

*Allowed the television to babysit our daughters while we cleaned (and by "we," I clearly mean Leigh Anne), or napped (Scott).

*Pawned our children off on Nanna & Poppy or "Papaw" Bill & "Memaw" Kim Cress so that we could have regular date nights. A meal, Starbucks, and frequent trips to Target our vital to our marriage.

*Fed our girls a nutritious supper of Honey Nut Cheerios more than once. Or Twice. A month.

*Took naps, drank peanut butter milkshakes, watched Andy Griffith 9342 times, baked cookies, and listened to Lady Gaga, all with our daughters, in the name of Litton Family Togetherness.

*Oh, and we also traveled to Austin and Las Vegas. Without our children. 'Cause it's not all about them.
I'll say it again...it's not all about our children.

Christmas 2006...we were all over the picture-taking by this point.

We may not be the perfect family, but we follow a perfect Savior. And, as Linus so succinctly put it, "That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown." Indeed. Now that's the real dope deal.

Merry Christmas from the imperfect Littons!!!

*If you've sent me a "newsletter" this Christmas, please know I am NOT referencing you with this post. The families of which I speak do not read my blog. And if they do...then...rock on! I'm just keeping it real.


Allyson said...

Oh. My. Goodness. That was HYSTERICAL! We just received one of those letters from my husband's uncle...detailing their lives - which was EXACTLY the same as the last 4 years. Why, people, why?? Thanks for keepin' it real. Who would want it any other way??

Bekah Buttons said...

um you said "She-Crab soup at Charley's Crab." did you say anything else?

love this post. wish you sent a newsletter like this. I'd laminate it

Janet said...

Seriously...love this. I hate those cards and letters, especially since my "family" ended in my triumphrent divorce.

PS I like your pics of crazy faces way better than most others I've seen.

JulieBouf said...

Ha! I didn't even realize that people still wrote "Christmas Letters" anymore until my in-laws where at my house over the holidays last year and I saw a copy of their laying around. In reference to my family.."and Julie is enjoying being home with the kids." ... because I had just gotten laid off... at 7 months preggo.

marfmom said...

I think keeping it real is the way to go! We always tried to do that with our family letter growing up, tried to make it as funny as possible. This year it's a little more blah. I love reading my friends' though, and I wish more of them wrote them!

Marta said...

This was awesome. I've actually received 1 of those newsletters from an old high school friend and was thoroughly confuzzled as to what I was receiving. It was...sweet.

Lula is hilar. That is all.

S Club Mama said...

Amen, sister Lula! :) Merry Christmas

Em said...

I kind of miss the letters, honestly.

Especially when they're as funny and real as yours, but most of the time it's unintentional laughter.

I'm so on the A Train to Hell making fun of others during Advent.

Jenny and the Princess Peonies said...

I always wondered why people wrote those. Yours I would read and keep...the others end up in the garbage.

As for me, I didn't even send cards this year because Christmas and I aren't getting along,If I didn't have kids I just wouldn't do it at all. I guess it's because my brain can't grasp a Christmas without my Dad...Just keepin it real.

Vicki said...

You hussy! Sally was only first runner up because the "girl" crowned Miss North Carolina because she "called in some favors". No one will ever admit that, but I, being the doting stage mom, hear the inside scoop. You can consider yourself stricken from our Christmas letter list. And it was the Quad-County Area. Get your facts straight!

Vicki said...


Katie said...

Merry Christmas Lula! Your imperfection makes me smile and love you all the more. Because it adds that relatablity factor, ya know? ;)

Summer said...


Favorite post ever!

Can I just say, the first year Jimmy and I were married, I sent out a Christmas letter much like this about the joys (sarcasm) of the first year of marriage....and woah to the judgement I received from that baby.

Haven't sent out another one since.

But, I'm feeling inspired.

You, my love, have inspired me!

Karen said...

I wrote about the Christmas Letter a couple of weeks ago. I don't know why people feel the need to sugar coat their year...Other than the fact that the truth is usually a lot less interesting!

Sounds like you've had a fun year. And those flashback photos were cute!

Kristen said...

Laughed so hard my brain is now bleeding. Hilarious. As usual.

Angie's Spot said...

Oh my head, I'm sending out a revised letter! LOL! This is the kind of update that I need to send out one year and see what kind of response I get. :-)

Melissa said...

You are my kind of people. I don't even send out the year in review anymore because having 3 kids and working makes it pretty much impossible. I was fortunate to have my hubby help me with the cards this year. Otherwise, that may not have even happened. A family signatures was all I could do this year.
By the way, my name is Melissa and I miss you....:) Where have you gone?

Heather said...

I knew this would be brilliant when you mentioned it. You have not failed me. Really, you should've put a Mr. Linky up and recommended we all write our own "Lulaville's Keeping It Real Christmas Letters".

Live.Love.Eat said...

Oh my. You have outdone yourself. This was beyond brilliant!!!!!!!

I love you and your perfectly imperfect ways!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, and Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!

Elena said...

LOL! Oh Lula....always good for a laugh you are. I love newsletters and pictures at Christmas. Even the sugar coated ones. Jarom's family does a "newspaper" quarterly and he has a cousin that is hilarious. I read his letter every time. Funny is best, but those of us that sugar coat are just calling the rest of you dorks names to make ourselves feel better on the playground. ;) Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

Busy Bee Lauren said...

"We pray a lot. So that we don't kill her."

I love you so bad. And I love when you keep it real.

PS...trips to Target is totes the best date.

Sun said...

Girl. . this is why we love you. . I have been looking forward to this post. . hilarious.

Sun said...

Oh and BTW, we received a Christmas letter that beats all Christmas letters... CAll me we'll talk about it. You will die. . of laughter that is.

amanda leeann said...

can we be friends? because i think you are my kind of people.

i hate those letters. so foolish. & i totes worked in awana...i promise the candy comes first and any lasting benefits will not be recognized by these children for a decade, at least.

merry christmas! & linus has got it right. fo' sho'.

Kat said...

Oh, I put something similar in my Christmas letter this year - that Madalyn goes to the public school so that we don't kill her :-)

I love your "real" Christmas letter...and you should so send out a letter like that!

Alexandria said...

This is why I adore you. You are real.

I would love to receive that in my mailbox I would hard coat Mod Podge it and keep it forever.

Sara said...

Real, indeed. <3 this!

Kelly said...

i love those letters, too. like i love watching train wrecks and hoarders. guilty pleasures, i guess. this was my favorite post of yours ever. EVAR. TOTES. p.s. i'm stealing totes for my own use, at least until joey threatens divorce.

Michelle said...

This is great!

And... it makes me breath a sigh of relief. I'm going to put you in the normal box (all though that may not apply) to say it's normal to feed your kids cheerios for dinner, it's OK for the TV to babysit while I clean, and it's OK my pre-baby bod hasn't arrived even though I, too, have a gym in my home. :) As long as someone else is doing it, I guess it's OK.

(All of this typed while a baby is dumping something on his head and screaming so Momma can read blogs!)

Tony C said...

Amen! Nice wrap up Lula!

You guys are still my favorite family in Pennington Gap!

What's wrong with Honey Nut Cheerios for supper? I do that all the time.

Gina said...

Oh. My. Holy. Heck!
Girl, you struck my NERVE- and that is why I do not send those cheesey letters.
Besides, I air almost all my dirty laundry on my blog and if people really cared to know what we are up to, they would read- I mean, I shamelesly plug the bog at every turn....
I'm totally kissing you right now for keeping it real!

CaraBee said...

I didn't get one single year in review in the Christmas card this year. In fact, I didn't get one last year either. Maybe this trend is dying out. And I'm totally okay with that.

Unless they're like yours. In which case, MORE!

Caroline said...

That was so funny - I read some of it out loud to Adam. My favorite is how Caroline drives you closer to Jesus. We are so there with Wesley. Tonight we tried to play "the quiet game". Yeah, it lasted all of about 4.25 seconds.

Loved it! And that's keepin' it real.

Merry Christmas!

FROGGITY! said...

hey, it's been awhile since i stopped by, but am so glad i did... this stuff is HI la ri ous!
man, if people really sent out cards like that... good times.

love the pics!! ha!

merry christmas charlie brown!

Brandy said...

Okay but fess up, do you want a fake nicey-nice letter or a lame-o card with just a "Merry Christmas" scrawled at the bottom?

Cause that was totally my card this year. Oops. Sorry 'bout that.

Next year you're getting a "keeping it real" letter. Promise.

Jen said...

Real is SOOOOO much better!

Love to you.

Merry Christmas!

Swirl Girl said...

How could I not have read this??

I love your honesty - and would rather get this kind of 'family letter' than the kind most people send!

I don't do the year end letter - if you didn't know stuff about us as it happened...you probably don't care (or read my blog)

Happy Everything Lula!


Queenie Jeannie said...

Merry Christmas!!

InspiredDreamer said...

I think everyone should keep it real with their Christmas letters. The holidays, (besides being the time to celebrate the birth of Jesus) are one of the most stressful times for every single person in the world. Seriously. So we should make our letters a gift to others. We totally should tell people about the mistakes we've made, the promotion opportunities we lost because of stupid behavior at the holiday party, stuff like that. Because when it all comes down to it, that's the kind of stuff that makes other people happy. And it is the season of giving, isn't it? :)

Loving you still... need to see you writing more though, lady!

Mama Belle said...

Ah ... a breath of fresh air. Glad I stopped by. I miss you.

Hope your totally normal family had a wonderful, blessed Christmas!

Ashton Dene' said...

We may not be the perfect family, but we follow a perfect savior. precious. and truth.

Great post, I laughed out loud, per the norm when I visit your blog.

x, ash

~kiMbeRLy~ said...

Oh em Gee...I am sending out a news letter like this new year!!

PeepToesAndPearls said...

Omg...I love it! I almost peed my pants laughing!!! Cute family...looks like you guys know how to have fun.

Btw,do people really send newsletters in Christmas cards? I've never heard of such a thing in my life.

Kelley said...

Loved this entry!

Adrian's Crazy Life said...

That's exactly the type of Christmas letter I'd like to get. Word must be getting around because I think I only got 1 of those letters this year.