The Family Holiday Letter*

 *Fact-checked to protect you from inaccuracy and spin

In honor of 2016’s fake news epidemic, we decided to run our holiday update through Politifact’s Truth-o-meter™. COPY AND PASTE AS YOUR PROFILE; DON’T CLICK SHARE.  PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW THE TRUTH!

FALSE. Politifact’s Truth-o-meter™ is trademarked and not available for private use. Also, most people don’t need to know the truth about our family; they don’t really care.

Retta celebrated her spring by graduating from eighth grade and earning rave reviews as the Scarecrow in Wizard of Oz. She took up piano in August and has already been designated a prodigy, very similar to her experience last year when she took up ballet and was immediately handed a large role in The Nutcracker. She joined the high school tennis team and won a trophy for the most total wins on the JV team; not bad for a girl whose mom had never seen her play tennis before trying out. So far, high school is exactly what she had hoped for: a large group of snappy-dressing non-conformists interested in deep, meaningful conversations and expressing their intellectual curiosity.

PARTLY TRUE.  The tennis part is true, as well as her floppily charming portrayal of the Scarecrow, although we found no evidence of “rave reviews” in any reputable arts publication. “Prodigy” is also a stretch, using the common definition, as is “large role,” but her mom is pretty impressed. The description of the social environment of high school is obviously complete bulls–t.

Jack moved to the middle school side of his K-8 campus, and can’t believe he was ever as tiny as the incoming kindergartners. He still plays soccer and the flute and his new passion is the maker’s lab he created in his bedroom. Equipped with a soldering iron, various small screwdrivers and innumerable plastic containers, he spends his time deconstructing his old toys and any electronic equipment lying around, postulating what he could build with the parts strewn across the floor. He regularly sits calmly through entire meals, challenging himself to try ever more adventurous foods.  

MOSTLY TRUE. The (un-)maker’s lab part is so accurate that we urge you to keep an eye on your phone and/or iPad when visiting, if you appreciate its structural integrity. The sitting-through-adventurous-meals, however, is a shameless fiction.


Eric and Becca are thrilled with the election outcomes. After so many hours campaigning for Hillary, Eric got to celebrate her victory on election night in Ohio where the mood was jubilant. Becca is delighted to prepare for a massive influx in family planning funding, now that the public recognizes that the ability to control whether and when to have children is the foundation of the American Dream for 51% of the population. The whole family found it heartening to see Americans of all types come together and affirm the humanity of our fellow citizens who are immigrants, LGBT, from communities of color and/or have a uterus.

PANTS ON FIRE. Dude. Seriously. Check the news. (Yes, that photo shows the beautiful bubble we would like to retreat to…)

The true highlights of the year were our travels: a family camping trip to San Simeon in the spring, a summer visit to Kauai to celebrate Becca’s parents’ 50th anniversary and the Big Island to stand on a live lava flow, and a chilly Thanksgiving camp at the base of Mt. Whitney. Eric racked up thousands of Southwest Airlines miles bringing happiness trainings to companies in hot spots like Columbus, Raleigh and Indianapolis. Becca celebrated the publication of 14 of her writing pieces and only two rejections.

MOSTLY TRUE, although the Thanksgiving camping trip would be more accurately described as ‘frigid’ or perhaps ‘arctic’, and describing Columbus as a ‘hot spot’ is an embellishment. The swapping of rejections (actually 14) and publications (2 in reality) was certainly a simple typographical error.

We are grateful for so many things: our friends who keep us sane in insane times, our supportive and loving families, Trader Joe’s frozen food section, sunsets on the beach, social activism, our carpool partners, the Hamilton soundtrack, Amazon Prime, our health, our beautiful and hilarious children, sarcasm, iPhones, morally satisfying employment, all the creative people out there making books and videos and photographs and theater and art, Costco’s wine section and Rubio’s fish tacos. And we wish each of you a 2017 full of love, adventure and a lot less national/international drama than most of us are expecting.

TRUE.  We love you guys.

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