Holiday Tidings from the Thomas family, 2013
Really the whole year is a blur. If we could just print this letter blurrily, I could get away with almost any version of the 2013 story. But Maria is so vigilant about Christmas letters, and the children so picky about the record of their lives, that only my section will benefit from some creative thinking.
So let’s do the fiction first. I published a lot of important and path-breaking scholarship, reclaimed the golf game of my youth, transformed the minds and lives of all my students, and toned my body into top-notch performance and strength. I brightened every day for my angel bride, inspired my children to legendary excellence and compassion, and cursed no cats. Also I stopped yelling at fallible athletes, exuded grace and charm in all social settings, and generally just made the world a beautiful place. On a lighter note, my doctor spent an hour cutting in my back, while we chatted about healthcare economics and other fun stuff.
Maria wishes she could live up to that standard, but seriously! She did take Santa Lucia to the next level, incorporating some Swedish lore into the ward Christmas celebration that she orchestrated with much assistance from neighborhood children and grown-ups. (I helped with ideas.) She tried to resign from the local education foundation, but they begged her to stay—so nice to be indispensable! I think she now does all the Christmas shopping, for herself as well as everyone else. You can often find her planning her Relief Society lesson a month ahead, and she did a bunch of other stuff, but modesty prevents her telling all. I’d like to add two magic words, however: Suprep and sedation. Enough said?
Hannah, a feminist of sorts, has just about proposed marriage to her man Riley—and they have a wedding date in the Salt Lake Temple next April. We wish them well. She had a short but intense study abroad in the British Isles, with a side trip to Rome and Florence. We remember the day she got lost in the Lake District and had a standoff with a sheep. At the request of management, she moved from a supervisory role in the Cougareat to a similar but mellower role at the Museum of Art Café. To me this seems like a great move, since she actually studies Art and such, but she finds it kind of boring after the frenzy she mastered. She has enjoyed her roommates (a first) in a nice location near campus; she still LOVES to write papers.
He’s not that happy about it, but Jordan’s year resembled the previous one. Here’s a cut and paste from 2012 with minimal editing: He “strove for marital bliss, driving back and forth across the [Colorado] border to woo a maiden. Sadly, his efforts ultimately went unrewarded, and now he is a bitter old[er] economist, or at least a heartsick student. Luckily he’ll be retaking a few classes next year so he can get more practice with his major. Meanwhile he continues to work at Porter’s Craft and Frame, which would seem like a good place to meet potential domestic goddesses. Time should heal his wounds, if a steady diet of Taco Bell, [muffins], and Mountain Dew doesn’t kill him first. The cats appreciate the time he spends in bed.” [I changed three things.] His latest aspiration is to own a toy store. He says video games are just as real as sports.
Brooke has a knack for winning hot tickets—she got two to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert with James Taylor in September, as well as their Christmas concert this month. After a winter job search, she was hired at Marketecture in Utah Valley to write content for business web pages, helping retailers sell everything from camping equipment to pet supplies to home brewing kits. She commutes in her “new” Hyundai, loves the pebble ice, navigates the corporate culture, and debates proper usage of exclamation points in commercial prose, a practical expression of her college training. At church she serves in the Relief Society of a young single adult congregation; Prince Charming has not yet whisked her away from modern life.
We traveled to Utah for a Thomas reunion to mark the parents’ golden wedding anniversary and to Oregon to visit some of the Morgans. Later we went to the Cardston Alberta temple on the 90th anniversary of its dedication and to Palmyra, NY on the 190th anniversary of the angel Moroni’s first appearance. We returned from both places with fond memories (and British chocolate from Canada). We close by echoing the ancient angels’ message: glory to God on high and peace to all on earth.