What’s up, dude? How’s life at the Pole? Did you get that email forward I sent with the 25 Funniest Autocorrects of the Year? I know, right! I, too, laugh every time I read the word “boobsicle.”
Anyway, I know we’re pretty close to Christmas and I’m a bit behind, but I’ve been holding off making my Naughty or Nice List recommendations for the kids until they finished their Christmas shopping and I was positive that they didn’t buy me a terrible gift, like necktie or framed photo of John Stamos. And, according to my wife, they didn’t: mostly because their “Gift For Dad” budget was $3.75. Also, I know our Elf on the Shelf, Snowflake, hasn’t made any trips back up North to report in on the Klems kids, but it’s for good reason—he’s kind of creepy. We’ll try again next year, I promise.
So I’d like to take a minute and tell you about their achievements this year in my annual Christmas Letter of Recommendation. Here it goes.
My oldest, Ella, has had a pretty good year. She graduated from preschool. She started kindergarten. She learned to read. She figured out how to tell time, thus pointing out each and every instance in which I was trying to sneak the girls to bed early so I could get back to playing on Facebook reading classic novels. She’s had her not-so-nice moments, where she takes 45 minutes to get ready for school in the morning (keep in mind she’s 5) and only finally puts on her uniform after I say, “For the ELEVENTH TIME, get ready for school!” I get frustrated but my wife says to calm down. After all, she says I’ll look back on this time fondly during her teenage years and say, “I remember when it took Ella only 45 minutes to get ready. Those were the days.”
My middle daughter, Anna, has probably had the most amazing year of all. She’s quietly adjusted to having an older sister who’s pretty loud and a younger sister who’s even louder. She started preschool. She learned how to write her own name, help me make pancakes, say the evening dinner prayer and sing every word to the Theme from Growing Pains. Mike Seaver would be proud. She’s also become my grocery store buddy. Every time we need something, she always offers to come along and we simply have the best time. Sometimes I think I intentionally forget the milk just so we can run out again.
My youngest daughter, Mia, has covered a lot of ground in the past 12 months. I’ll run through the list. Walking? Check! Talking? Check! Starting to use the potty? Check! Being able to get most of her dinner in her mouth instead of on the floor? Kind-of-check! She’s also learned to give some of the kindest hugs and sweetest kisses, even if they are with her mouth wide open and slobber dripping out the side.
And finally, no need to get my wife anything. She hasn’t used her gift from last year. It’s still sitting under a giant pile of sweatshirts and thermal wear, trapped inside the pristine Victoria’s Secret box it came in. In fact, if you want, you can take the giant pile of sweatshirts and thermal wear and distribute among the elves. Consider it my Christmas present to you.
As for me, 2012 was a pretty amazing year. I ran a half marathon. I lost some weight. I changed my haircut for the first time in years, shaving it really short, trying to mask my baldness with additional baldness. I cut back on the number of times in a day that I use the word “amazeballs.” And I made giant strides in reaching some of my dreams; so while 2012 was amazing, I expect 2013 to blow it out of the water.
I recommend that everyone in my family be treated with love and kindness this holiday season. You don’t have to reward them with lots of gifts, just take a minute to help them appreciate how lucky they are to be surrounded by folks who love them and look out for them 365 days a year. That’s the best gift anyone can ever receive—running slightly ahead of getting a pet elephant named Bruno, which would be amazeballs.
(Sorry Santa … some habits are hard to kick.)
Thank you and Merry Christmas, Brian A. Klems Founder, CEO and Potty Training Coach of Team Klems
P.S. - Say "hi" to Mrs. Claus for me. Also remind her that it’s her turn in Words With Friends. I’ve been waiting patiently.
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