CHRISTMAS LETTER 2020

Looking at a calendar a couple months ago I noticed that it was the year 2020, and that if my calculations are correct (and they pretty much always are), it is the 15th anniversary of our first Christmas letter we sent out. So we thought between that and all the insanity of this year, how fitting it would be to bring back our penned year review and update manuscript.

A crap ton of craziness has transpired this year, and it can be quite challenging to wade through the information overload and navigate these choppy waters. What can be especially maddening is running into those who want to talk about it nonstop, analyze it, study it, yell about it until my eyes are glazed over, my shirt’s drenched in drool, and I forget my own name for about six minutes. Sometimes worse than the 2020 tensions themselves is the constant notch-above-pointless reminding, rehashing, and debating that goes absolutely nowhere positive. So we Pallikans thought we would do you a solid and give a few helpful hints for maneuvering through this obstacle course of confusion we call 2020.

For sake of time and space, we’re gonna have to skip over what are probably the two biggest and hottest topics, and save them for another day. Those would be, obviously, Kanye’s conversion to Christ, and two astronauts being launched into space from American soil for the first time since the space shuttle program was retired in 2011 in the first ever commercially built and operated spacecraft. Sorry, we know you want to read our wisdom-filled musings on these historic happenings, but there’s just too much to say about them, and not enough ink in the printer.

On to less popular yet vitally important matters. So how to charge through some tricky situations, especially for us introverts (in my case recovering extrovert), when you’re about to get pulled in to a time-wasting, soul-sucking debate over some current issue.

Let’s say you’re out and about, maybe at the store, the laundromat, lunch, or even a dinner party, and someone asks you the terrifyingly divisive question,”How do you feel about the election?” Uhhgg. Don’t panic, all you have to do is go with the old classic of pretending you misheard the question, and answer immediately, “Oh I think erections feel really good, I’m a big fan, but that’s an extremely personal question don’t you think? I’m not very comfortable talking about this.” Even if they correct you and come back with, “No, I said ELECTION”, you just keep plowing forward with, “Yeah I’m really uncomfortable.” There should be enough ambiguity and, hopefully, discomfort on their part by now that they’ll probably let you off. Or you can storm off pretending to be upset.

What if someone tries to dive into the mask controversy? They work, they don’t work, they’re a violation of freedom, they show you care, blah blah blah. What I do in this precarious situation is respond with something along the lines of, “Well I’m glad these masks finally got mandated because my doctor has been after me for years to wear one, worried I’m gonna spread something awful ever since a little incident I had in a wildlife preserve five years ago. With everybody wearing one, I don’t feel so alone, you know?” This is usually enough to not only quiet people down, but help them forget what they even asked in the first place. If for some reason the person is annoyingly persistent, and the debate comes back around, just keep going on about how lonely you’ve been feeling for the past several years–people can’t handle that! Most want to blather on about things they can’t or won’t ever do anything about. Now they will be looking for a reason to get away from you.

Hope this is helpful!

In other news, Zayra is in her 10th and final year at The Oaks Academy. She’s been accepted to Cathedral HS class of 2025. I’m happy because it has the word CAT in it. Gaby is racing through her curriculum at her own pace in her first year at Purdue Polytechnic HS just three blocks down the street from our house. At this rate she might graduate before she turns sixteen. Next month will mark ten years for Ana working at Allison Transmission. She’s very much enjoyed working from home most of this year, being able to spend a lot more time with the girlies. And me, well, I set a personal record by going to the gym 53 days in a row, from Ukrainian Independence Day (August 24) through October 15. I was sore. On November 12 I wept joyously when our cat of six years, Dr. Bucko von Spankenfloppy, was returned to us after he’d been missing for seven months and nine days. We gave him a new birth/baptismal name of Denarius because he was our little coin who was lost but has been found (Luke 15:8-10).

I’m excitedly preparing for my 2021 “Year of Silence” which, I could say more about, but that would kind of defeat the purpose.

If you’ve received this letter, there is a very high probability that we love you and pray blessings all over you.

Always endeavoring to stay knowingly ignorant and wisely uneducated,
Rob…on behalf of Ana, Gabriela, & Zayra

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