I posted this last year but thought some people might like to see it again —

I recently told some Russian friends about something I did before I moved to Russia, and they asked if I’d post it on the web:

Years ago, when I was an old bachelor, I had the idea that it would be funny to have a different family each Christmas on my Christmas card.  One year at a church cookout I decided to go ahead and do it.

A friend from church was my ‘wife’, and we had three children.  I can say that it was quite a surprise to people when they got my card that year.  Several people thought I’d gotten married and hadn’t told them. (If you look closely, you’ll see that I have half a mustache; that was my way of saying ‘this is a joke’.)

mike_christmas_cards_1995

The second year, I had a different wife and different children, a LOT of different children:

mike_christmas_cards_1996

When my cousin got married, her mother (my Aunt Rose) asked if she could be on my next card.  We took this picture immediately after the wedding; the bride and groom are our best man and maid of honor.

As you can see by the groom’s expression, he was a bit befuddled as to why we were taking this picture on his wedding day, using the official photographer.

mike_christmas_cards_1997

My church was located in an old movie theater in a strip shopping center.  One day after church, as I was walking to my car in the parking lot with many people going to and from the nearby shops, one of the ladies at church yells across the parking lot to me —

‘I want to be your wife this year!’  I yell back, ‘you’ll have to ask your husband!’  Later I thought about how very strange that must have sounded.

The next year, I was on hard times –

mike_christmas_cards_1998

But by the last year, I had a trophy wife and a nice house!

mike_christmas_cards_1999

And that was really my dog, Hank.

The story behind the last picture is fun.  I had scouted out this house to use for the card; it was on a large piece of property and quite imposing.  The day of the picture, we showed up and knocked on the door.  It took a little while for the owner of the house to understand exactly what we were asking, but once he got it he was pretty entertained and gave his permission.

I was soon to be married, and so the tradition ended.  Now I’m very happy to have the same wife each Christmas.

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