[Yes, I published this on December 1st.  That’s because I got my Christmas cards out early for the first time ever this year, and I referred to this letter in the text of the card.  *Don’t be a hater* :) ]

Some of us have called ourselves family longer than others.  Some used to call us family and now don’t.  But whatever, whenever, and whoever, we are us.  From all of us, at our house, Merry Christmas to you.

We are celebrating our 4th Christmas as a Hutchins-Jackson household.  Well, technically, it’s the 5th year, but we added 1 more Hutchins about a year into the timeline, so we’ll call the first year “Year Zero”.  Yeah, it’s confusing.  Deal with it.

Anyway, a five picture Holiday Card Retrospective.

2010 aka Year Four:

2010: L to R --Gigi, Aunt Elise, Uncle Bruce, Susanne, Mama Kitty, Poppy, the Bean, Clark, Pamela, and Eric


A Year of Adventure.


Looking festive.

2008 bonus video:  click here.  Our Family “Band” playing and singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”  Oh my.


It's all about football at our house.

2006 aka Zero Year:

Chattanooga with Uncle Bruce, Aunt Elise, Poppy and Gigi. And minus the Bean, who had not joined us yet.

Obviously, we were all alive before 2006.  We just hadn’t gelled as a family yet.  For more on this wacky transition, click here, here, here, and here.

So, the big question is, how did 2010 treat us?  What silliness will I now regale you with, pretending only the good stuff counts?


Poker with the kids in our matching Wutliss (Cruzan phonetic for "Worthless) t-shirts. This about sums us up.

All in all, I’d count it a success.  We started out and ended with five offspring.  One of them is mad at us, but that’s not unusual.  Usually, in fact, several are at a time.  One is heading back to graduate school, another graduated from college.  One earned the first F in the family and skipped class 23 times, and another followed up with a feathered flock of FFFFFs on his fall report cards.  One is about to graduate high school and another is about to graduate middle school.  One quit football but discovered debate.  Another scored a car and a boyfriend.  It’s been up down and all around.  Fun.  Crazy.  Sad.  Happy.  Awesome.

Eric and I continue our fiery “there are no words for it” wonderful marriage.  Seriously, pinch me.  It’s that good.  (A moment to reflect on everyone that said we would never last.  One word: wrong!)

His job is solid and he loves it.  We both wish he traveled less.  Someday.

My job is solid and I am grateful for it.  We both wish I could write as an occupation instead of an avocation.  Maybe someday.  :)

We acquired a little place we call Shangri-La in Nowheresville, Texas, where Eric discovered his inner Bubba-mon and we installed our Quacker travel trailer.  We visit as often as we can, and we have purchased our house plans.  Someday.

We still can’t sell all the property we own in Lancaster, SC.  Buyers, anyone?

Our athletic pursuits took a nose dive.  Me: plantar’s fasciitis.  Him: work travel and health issues.  We are determined to regain our triathlon mojo in 2011.

I rewrote my first two novels several times.  I wrote a third novel.  I have agents circling (pray).  I started a blog about utter nonsense that thousands of strangers read for God knows what reason.  *Nice to meet you*  I write for three other blogs, too.  Oh, my.

Liz signed a letter of intent to swim for Adams State in Alamosa, CO while juggling the demands of choir.  Clark has taken Cross X debate on the National Champion Bellaire High School debate team by storm and has his eyes on state, and he was the videographer for the varsity football team.  Suz plays flute in the honors symphonic band at her “magnet” Performing Arts Middle School, and she swims at a high level, too.  We’re very proud of them.  And, they’re teenagers.  So, we battle teenage girl mood swings, the “I want” syndrome, ADHD, getting a straight truthful answer, social media, and social lives.  I’d get in more trouble than I could get out of with the three of them if I gave you the details.

We are just like everybody else and nothing like any of them.  And we love it.  Feel free to read more sometimes-true tales of our adventures here on Road to Joy.  Or not and say you did.  Whatevs.  Just know that in our corner of the world, t’ings is good, mon, even when they’re not.

Merry Christmas and Happy 2011.


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22 Responses to Merry Christmas from the (slightly off kilter and off key) family.

  1. Oh how do I love thee, Pamelot? Let me count the ways.
    This letter? Is why I love you.
    You guys are the all-American family, but w/ twists and turns just like we all have.
    You should see a photo of my family (we probably don’t even have one, at least a recent one, and someone is always missing from the photo b/c someone has to take it)…

    I need to go watch that caroling video now!!

    • Pamela says:

      Exactly! We put the function in dysfunctional, because it is all about adapting and making the most of the blessings you have left at the end of each day. I love our wacky family :)

  2. Great update…and thanks for sharing the pictures. What a good looking bunch. You guys are one fun loving family and I’m looking forward to more good times with you in 2011.


  3. Grace says:

    Ha! I love your line about one being mad at you. I seem to always have one of my three mad at me at any given time.

    • Pamela says:

      We call it the 2/5 rule. Never are all 5 happy and happy WITH US at the same time, and usually the balance is 2 unhappy, 3 ok. We measure our relative peacefulness based on whether it becomes 3/5 or 4/5 unhappy. Never to our knowledge have we had a 5/5…but, it’s coming some day…we know it. DUCK!!! :)

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by PamelaFaganHutchins, PamelaFaganHutchins. PamelaFaganHutchins said: Merry Christmas from the (slightly off kilter) family. http://f.ast.ly/57EqS […]

  5. Hi Pamela;
    Love your online Christmas card. Beautiful family! Your happiness shows through your blog. When you’re happy, you can’t help but share it. And that’s so cool! Many wishes for a wonderful holiday, and many more to come.


  6. Heidi Milton says:

    What can I say? Another great year, right? Love the part about those who thought you’d never last– parallel universe, baby!! THanks for sharing :)

  7. Irene says:

    “off kilter”? Nah, you’re about as normal as normal gets! At least you’re a functioning family. Lots of love and happiness. That’s all that matters. Of course there will be the frustrations, arguements, mood swings of girls, and so on. Every family has that. But you’re happy as is the family. Soldier on dear, soldier on.

  8. LBDDiaries says:

    Hey, me too!! I “got my Christmas cards out early for the first time ever this year” too! I got them out of the container they were in. They are now sitting on top of the container. I may or may not do something with them this year, but I’m closer than I usually am. My decorations are sitting in the living room chatting to me. I am so used to decorating my other house, I am totally discombobulated! You know – CONFUSED. Wandering from room to room thinking, “What would go here?” And here you are, totally organized and ahead of the game. I am so haunt!

  9. Eric Hutchins says:

    What a gift/blessing to be a part of this family. It is amazing to look at the progression, and the graying of my hair (ugh). There are so many amazing memories wrapped up in just these pictures. My absolute favorite thing about the holidays is not the gifts or vacation but that it makes me realize just how good I have it. How lucky I am.

    And yes I know this is sappy, and yes our life is insane and goes buy in a flash, and YES some of the kids are usually mad. BUT, Life is GOOD.

    • Pamela says:

      Yep, sappy. But I forgive you. And your hair wouldn’t be turning gray if you’d let me put that Just for Men shtuff on it. (All of it, not just the thinner liquid ha ha)

  10. Rebecca Nolen says:

    Thank you for sharing in a short way. I understand about the teenage thing. I think it lasts into their twenties, but maybe that’s just us. Wow. Three novels.

  11. Layla says:

    Cute Christmas “card”! I might have to steal the idea of posting a holiday card online, since I had already decided I wasn’t sending out cards this year. Your year sounds like it was great!

    • Pamela says:

      It also allows people the option of going to read your Card. Some people just don’t really care, ya know? Save paper, save time, save someone’s brain cell 😉

  12. […] If you are still sick enough to keep reading after that intro, I can’t save you from the pain of the “Most Boring and Pathetic Holiday Letter ever.”  If you’d prefer to relive Christmases past, try this one:  2010. […]

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