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Selections from the S~ Family Christmas Card

November 28, 2010

continuous computer papereFor a time, my family was stationed in Korea. It was pretty fun. My family was friends with the S~ family, and like good friends, we would spend a lot of time with the S~ family…my brother and I would go over for play dates and do all kinds of things. We played School with the daughter and her friend acting as the teachers and the rest of us being unruly students. We played Publisher with special continuous computer paper that had funny holed edges (whose name I never knew just now when I spent the last 30 minutes googling for it [dot matrix paper, for whoever was wondering]).

Of course, playing Publisher also required that we play Writer. We Mary Sue’d an Marty Stu’d ourselves in everything. My first story series features us as the elementally-aligned super hero kids. Yeah, one of these days, I’m going to have it published. For real.

But notwithstanding all of those fun experiences, the unexpected reason why I’m most grateful for knowing Brother S — I hope you ascertained that of course such good friends of the family would also be good Mormons — is that he played (and inadvertently introduced me to) Sid Meier’s Civilization. I had no idea at the time what he was doing (it’s not like I was ever playing or even really paying attention), but eventually, I remembered a single screen — a city screen — and became intrigued to find out more. The rest is, as they say, history.

Of course, all good things must come to an end. Especially when you come from a military family…you just get used to moving in different paths. And so we did.

The S~ family has sent a Christmas card every year, though, exploring some of the highlights of their lives for the previous year. These Christmas cards have come a long way in the years — now they are thoughtfully designed tabular emails.

…I must admit being a poor friend. I haven’t paid so much attention to the annual Christmas card. In the times that I have, I have felt a silent twinge of…I don’t know what, exactly. I’m not sure how often my parents talk to the S~ family in response (because I don’t…I am friends with the daughter on facebook, but…what does this mean?)

So, I wonder…do they know, for example, that I never became an Eagle Scout? If not, why do I feel that whenever they mention how their sons both became Eagle Scouts that this is meant as a contrast of parental success?

And when they talk about how the daughter, K, plans either to go to medical school, nursing school, or a church mission, do they know that our family is likely to be 0 for 2 as far as missions go? (Never mind that I’m pretty sure that in the past, they wrote that nursing school just wasn’t right for daughter K. I guess now, the $220k estimated cost of medical school is making nursing school a touch more attractive.)

I guess I’m paranoid. Nevertheless, from reading the latest email, there were a few lines that irked me. In some ways, the card itself seems to be a borne testimony…in other ways, it seems to be propaganda.

So, without further adieu (and not caring about the legal ramifications), here are selections from the S~ Family Christmas Card:

The Most Liberating Thing in the World
One evening this summer my neighbor and I were discussing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We talked about how it is the most profound, enlightening, liberating, and transformational thing in the world; how it brings us peace with ourselves, God, and usually others when we live according to its precepts; how it’s the only thing in this world that is always true and always delivers on its promises. We agreed that we wouldn’t want to even try to raise children in this increasingly troubled world without it, and that consciously choosing to go through life without our faith in Christ would be like consciously choosing to go through life blind, crippled, or in some other way willingly self-limited relative to our happiness and potential.

And what is the “good news” of the Gospel? That Christ came into the world to overcome death and sin. That He lives and loves every one of us. That through Him, we, too, will overcome death and can overcome sin. ~R

Deep Thoughts From America’s Leading Cultural & Political Minds
We’re pretty sure there haven’t been any of either for quite some time — at least none that we’re aware of — so sorry, no entries this year…

Well okay, if you insist, here’s one: Government is like a baby’s alimentary canal, with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other. — Ronald Reagan

I don’t know whether the S~ family knows that we are not conservative. I don’t know whether the S~ family knows that I am not a believer anymore. Or maybe they don’t care? Or maybe they are trying to make a point?


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  1. Mike S permalink

    It is what it is. I assume it’s a generic letter they sent to everyone that got a card. The comments are also at least somewhat related to the holiday, which celebrates the birth of Christ.

    Many people want to share what’s important to them. In this case, it is a testimony. But someone else might send a Kwanzaa card extolling the virtues of that holiday. A Muslim might send a card praising the virtues of Allah and the role He played in their life (though obviously not for Christmas). I just accept these as expressions of people finding joy and guidance through something in their life.

    You can’t change the card. You can only change your reaction to the card.

  2. Yeah, that is ultimately how I’m looking at it. Still, how inconsiderate.

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