It’s been nine years since we sent out our last Christmas letter!
I’ve thought about several elaborate excuses I could give, but decided that the best policy is to be honest and come clean.
We have been in a federal witness protection program.
Unfortunately I cannot give you the reason we have been in hiding except to say we have finally been given clearance to send out this family update.
Merry Christmas from the McAllisters!
We are all safe and sound, but much has happened since you last heard from us.
Daphne is our youngest and is a real pill. When we came home from China with her 11 years ago we were convinced she would always be a demure little princess but I’m sorry to say that we’ve lost all control with her. She may still look innocent enough, but underneath that dark eye shadow and black beanie is a malevolent little terror who rides her skateboard in the house and regularly paints grafitti on her bedroom walls. Lately she’s been resisting my counsel and is insiting on getting some ink. I’m hoping she’ll at least wait till she’s 14.
Daphne is struggling with her grades because she insists there is no reason to try since her goal is to work in a local tattoo shop. I try to explain to her that the exercise of doing things she doesn’t want to do will serve her well in life, but she usually just slams her fist on the table and storms out.
Heath is our only son. He’s currently a junior in high school and is excelling in academics. He is earning a 1.65 GPA and his mother and I couldn’t be more proud. He is also a second-stringer on the junior varsity soccer team, so I think it’s safe to say that colleges will be calling him soon to offer some kind of scholarship for either his academics or athletics...or maybe both.
One thing that Heath prides himself in (besides school and sports) is fashion which means he’s a real head-turner with the ladies (he reminds me of myself). He oftens says that if he doesn’t end up as a manager of an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant or playing professional soccer that he’ll fall back on modeling. Let’s just say his future is really bright!
Laurel is our dreamer and full-time romantic. She sees the good in everything and her favorite pastime is pressing flowers and video taping sunsets. She often posts her videos on the Instagram or the Snapchat and it’s paying off because she has 12 followers now! She also loves collecting Jane Austin books even though she’s never read any of them—mostly because she believes reading is inauthentic and for nerds.
Laurel graduated last year and was active as the president of the poetry club. Under her leadership the club grew to six people (mostly as a result of merging with the diary club). She is certainly an over-achiever and believes she will one day travel the world in a Volkswagen van with her butterfly habitat, have a book of her poems published and run a business on Etsy selling dried flowers and honey.
Hazel has been stuck in the “awkward stage” for the past seven years, but don’t let that fool you—she has a way of lighting up a room. Maybe it’s the way she walks but people can’t help but smile when they see her—it’s a real gift and we couldn’t be prouder. People sometimes remark that they think she’s a real comedian but we always tell them her ability to make people laugh is entirely natural.
We enrolled Hazel in yoga classes last spring and she has been working on strengthening her core with the hope that she will not fall down as much. Recently she starred in a local home-school production where she was a background interpretive dancer in a small play. I think she did sort of good for her first try. Her mother is good at pointing out what moves are intentional and which one’s aren’t.
Juniper is our oldest and is enrolled full-time in homeschool college. We often encourage her by saying that she is at the top of her class which gives her such pride. The transition into “college” was very smooth for her. She works part time at a local consignment shop and also babysits a lot. She doesn’t have any friends currently, but her goal for 2018 is to get one.
Some of Juniper’s interests involve collecting stuffed animals, petting her cat, creating hand-made flannel graphs and reading books about tigers. Her mother and I are convinced that she will always live at home, but that’s okay with us because she makes some really yummy homemade bread.
Kate is my smokin’ hot wife and I would be nothing without her. She is a whirlwind of energy and passion. Early in our marriage she seemed like she didn’t have purpose but when we went into the witness protection program she used it as an opportunity to pursue her passion for interpretive dancing. She performs regularly at the local VFW but also shares her knowledge and unique dance moves on her own YouTube channel.
One of her other passions is macrame and she especially excells in making dream catchers and owls. Often when we have company, they comment on how interesting her creations are which makes her smile from ear to ear. She also enjoys working in her small herb garden on the back step.
As for me, Walter, I invested every last penny of our witness protection start up money on two duplex houses here in Amish country with the hope of flipping them. I admit that I probably should’ve done more market research but who could’ve known that Amish folk aren’t looking to purchase duplex ranch style houses. Fortunately we have Kate’s income from her teaching which helps pay the bills and I’m occasionally able to make a little money by renting out the duplexes on Airbnb.
Because I’m an entrepreneur at heart, I have been taking online classes learning how to make jewelry for men. I’ve noticed that the Amish men don’t wear necklaces so there’re huge possibilities to open up a market here and start stacking loot.
I could go on and on about my amazing family but I feel like I’ve humble-bragged enough and don’t want to cause undue jealousy. Suffice it to say that we aren’t all that we could be but doggonit we’re pretty pleased with being the McAllisters.
From our family to yours we wish you a Merry Christmas!
Walter, Kate & Family