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Please begin with an informative title:

We still send holiday cards. Most years we tuck in a quarter-page note to give a bullet-pointed version of our year to those we rarely see. A fourth of a piece of paper is barely enough to touch the high points, but it isn't enough to bore anyone.

Here's our version for this year. We might need to switch to half-page notes...

Dear Friends,

Recognizing that not everyone is Christian, we wish all of you Happy Holidays! This note is to touch base with you as the year comes to a close. It's been an interesting and busy year.

First, we are so happy that President Obama won re-election, despite what Republicans claim. We supported OFA all year. Though it was tiring and sometimes quite stressful, we believe it was essential to the country and the world. All three of our children voted for him. We take great pride in that. Obviously, we did something right in raising them.

A highlight of our year was traveling to New England in early June. We met many new friends there, some dirty fucking hippies, some who simply believe it's more important to lift others up than to push people down, and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. There was even a woman who wore cat ears! Our son asked if we were going to visit our imaginary gay weird friends on that trip. We said yes.

They are folks we'd met online, on the great liberal website called Daily Kos. If you haven't heard of it, its mission is to elect more and better Democrats. Check it out next time you'd like truth instead of lies about the state of the world. It's a great alternative to Fox. We don't use the word 'news' when we mention Fox for obvious reasons.

While in Maine we were delighted to spend time with Jim's brother and his partner. They are so excited to be engaged to marry after being together for more than 20 years. Hallelujah for the change in Maine's law that finally allows this. Now we just need to get federal law lined up to recognize equal rights in this arena.

Another great thing this year was implementation of much of Obamacare. Among other things, that law has allowed Son to stay on our health insurance, while previously he couldn't have. We are looking forward to other important and welcomed changes in the near future.

An invaluable addition to family this year was Facebook. Our extended family used it to plan a huge reunion down in the redneck riviera of the Florida panhandle. It was conveniently 1,000 miles from most of our homes. It took some of us two days of fun driving to get there. All 60 of us booked into the beach front hotel. It only rained half of the time. Fun was had the rest of the time.

After everyone got home, we used Facebook to share memories, pictures, and hopes for the future. Politics came up a couple of times. In the end, Melanie and both our daughters were un-friended. Account de-activation is a nice feature. There might be a new un-family button added in the future. Our nephew used the beta version of that one on us. Thanks, Facebook, for bringing us all so close together we found we couldn't stand each other.

All in all, 2012 was in many ways a steaming heap of bullshit mountain, paraphrasing Jon Stewart. We experienced a wide spectrum of life. As such, we also have much to be thankful for. We are hopeful for less bullshit and more reality in 2013.

Wishing you peace and prosperity in the new year,
Melanie and Jim

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