Christmastime 1987

Dear Fellow Travellers,

That time again. This year, after being reminded by Ann Landers for the fourteenth time how these Christmas missives are in such bad taste, we’ve decided to call this one a “Christmas gift.” That should appease fair Ann — and spare our overtaxed husehold budget to boot. In case you’re wondering what kind of gift this might be, we’ve found that these missives make grate woodstove prompters. (Actually, we understand that our former epistles have been serving similar purposes all along. Now that, Ann, is bad taste.)

Oh well, what can we say? This has been quite a year. What with everything that’s happened in 1987, it should qualify for its own place next to the other 5,991 that have preceeded it (give or take a few billion years, depending on your world view). The Craton household still clings to life on the stormy precipice of Bedrock, Indiana, in spite of all the rumors to the contrary.

Both young’uns are progressing nicely, thank you, though along what path is yet to be ascertained. Young Jon (now 15 months old) is nearly three feet tall, and while he has not yet entered the world of the conversants he has at least established his own moniker. Because of his exemplary behavior during church services and the saying of grace before meals, he has become widely known as “Pagan Jon” within the community. Although he has at last begun to sleep through the night (a scant six months ago, we might add, in case you are wondering why we’ve not written), he nevertheless spends most of his waking hours crying, running away from authority figures, destroying nursery furniture, and eating carpet fabric. (We theorize that his father’s brief plunge into the cleanig business must have affected his genetic code in some perverse manner.)

Ben (nearly four) has made noble strides in articulation this year. He doesn’t embarrass us much anymore with that nasty f for ch substitution when talking about our former youth minister, Chuck. He has, however, discovered Saturday morning cartoons and continues to idolize Mr. Rogers as the epitome of machismo. Following Fred’s lead, Ben enjoys playing “good neighbor” to Jon and delights in explaining the world to the lad. The other day he was overheard describing the virtues of supply-side economics to little Jonathan.

Dr. Debbie has continued healing the halt and lame. We have chosen a good area for that endeavor, it would appear, as there are so many sick people living in southern Indiana. Debbie has had to move her office now to accommodate the hordes who flock to her door. She has ended up making so much money this year that we almost have last year’s malpractice insurance paid up.

J.D. (otherwise known as John, Douglas, or “Old Toilet Face”) has returned to school this year and has thoroughly enjoyed the change. His professors seem to have received his move into the world of academia with somewhat less enthusiasm and are often overheard muttering something about “old dogs” from time to time. Undaunted, J.D. is pursuing his Master’s degree in audiology, having been inspired to follow this discipline after numerous acquaintances advised him to “stick it in your ear.” He’s also managed a unique synthesis between school and his former church work. Taking inspiration from a project reported in The Wittenburg Door, he is expanding on studies done with sign language and chimpanzees by endeavoring to start a program of gorilla evangelism. As always, it seems the materialists are way ahead of the church in this outreach, as Marxism has already been taught to a significant percentage of the simian population (witness the large number of Communist gorillas in Central America). J.D. is hoping to combat the onslaught of secular simianism throughout the world.

But, till these things transpire, we have but to wish you all a happy holiday season and hope that you’ll enjoy this gift that comes from the heart — or at least from some part of the human anatomy.

Seasonally yours, John Douglas, Debbie, Ben & Jon Craton





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