Tis the season of Christmas letters. Doesn’t it feel good to read about everyone’s delightful year?!

In the spirit of transparency, here’s a real Christmas letter to go with the one family picture where everyone is fully clothed and pretending to like each other. But don’t worry, if you happen to be the perfect family on our list, we have something for you, too. We call it: Choose Your Own Perspective.*

(*Names have been removed in a feeble, half-hearted attempt at privacy.)

If your beautiful children bring you more joy and delight every day:

The kids have started their own “reading club” this year. They cuddle on Kid Three’s bunk, reading their library books in silent camaraderie. Sometimes they will quietly share some interesting bit of knowledge they’ve just learned.

If your beautiful children make you pull your hair out Every. Single. Day:

The kids have started their own reading club this year. They hang out on Kid Three’s bunk, allegedly reading, while raising a ruckus that’s heard across town and knocking the plaster off the ceiling. Sometimes they will quietly pinch each other or even get into a full-fledged fistfight.

Even though we can’t visit the Calgary Public Library during the shutdown, they are still doing curbside holds. Find something funny to get through the holidays.

If school is an ivory tower of  joy and every day the kids come home overflowing with the excitement of  newly-discovered knowledge:

The kids all love school and the wonderful opportunities in our fine public education system. Kid Two is now in junior high, happily engaged in extracurricular activities, while producing another stellar report card.

If education means your children come home overflowing with all the questionable texting acronyms that you need to google and newly-acquired bad words:

The kids all love recess and art. Kid Two is now in junior high and is learning to not swear where his mother can hear him.  Unlike other years, it’s been a quiet year; this child hasn’t instigated a fight, been trampled at recess, got punched, or scored a tough-looking patch of road rash on his face. Success.

Need a break? (LOL – of course, you do!) Read about our author’s relaxing weekend in Banff National Park last year.

If your kids are outstanding in their activities and your days are filled with the satisfaction of watching your angels excel at their passion:

Our days are busy and fulfilling as the kids enjoy their after-school activities. Kid Three wants to be a figure skater. Kid Two loves everything he tries but has discovered a passion with his new Air Cadet career. Kid One taught herself to crochet and has begun selling her creations.

If your children convinced you that they LOVE their activity, but it makes them tired and cranky and THEY keep telling YOU that they just need a break *eye roll*:

Our days are busy as we run frantically from one thing to another, grabbing large cups of coffee that get cold before we can drink them and eating food out of a can for supper. Kid Three wants to figure skate, but she keeps growing out of her way-too-expensive skates. Kid Two needs constant reminders to iron his uniform and polish his boots, not to mention the constant fundraising. Kid One floats around the house, dropping pieces of yarn everywhere, begging to be driven to Michaels to spend more money.

Check out our Classes for Kids Guide! You know, if you don’t have enough to do.

If you had an amazing vacation this year (#besttripever):

We had such a peaceful vacation this year, enjoying the natural wonders of Alberta while delighting in meaningful family moments. Being able to tent let us fully experience nature in all its glory. One night found us cuddled together on a dark hillside, exclaiming over an incredible meteor shower.

If you had no budget for vacations but didn’t care because you didn’t want to have to spend mind-numbing hours with the same people you live with anyway:

We had no budget to go anywhere this year and so were stuck tenting around Alberta. This brought lots of driving on busy highways, while Mom threw handfuls of candy out the window every time a fight erupted in the back seat. Being able to tent let us fully experience sleeping in the bracing cold, tripping over roots on midnight trips to the bathroom, and stepping in elk poop by the picnic table.

Seriously, though, some people love tenting. Find the Five Best Family Campgrounds in Southern Alberta or read about our trip to Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park. Or you could head to Waterton National Park . . . and stay in a hotel.

If your decorations match, your presents are perfectly wrapped, and Michael Buble is softly crooning in the background while you all enjoy a gentle family game night while snacking on your homemade Christmas cookies:

Nope, I’ve got nothing. Except Michael Bublé softly crooning in the background. I need to go turn him up – I can’t hear anything over the ruckus in my house.

If a child smashed an ornament while decorating, you ran out of tape to wrap presents so you pulled out the hot glue gun, someone is butchering Joy to the World on the saxophone, and all your Christmas baking is done by Mrs. Kirkland:

Christmas is happening in the midst of a chaotic life, which somehow seems appropriate, to be honest. We’re together, we’re healthy (cover your mouth!), and that goofy middle child still makes us laugh. Plus, I found a perfect gift for Kid Three (for cheap!) on Kijiji this year. Perfect is boring, anyway.

For better or worse, Merry Christmas. We’ve compiled all the Christmas events we could find here. Or drive by some beautiful Christmas lights on your way to the grocery store and call it Christmas fun.

And so, from our family to yours, may the peace and blessings of the season be upon you. (And with any luck, your tree won’t fall down, someone else will organize the teacher’s group gift, and the kids will sleep in Christmas morning. But don’t count on it.)

From one crazy house to another, all our love.

Christmas Letter (Family Fun Calgary)

They’re mostly spicy, but this is proof they are sometimes sweet. Perfect is boring, anyway.