Because everybody loves getting mail.
Dear Lily (aka Bobo! Gorgeous! Beautiful! Sweet Girl! My Favorite!)
Being your Auntie this year has been the purest experience of my life. You consistently surprise me with your daring, whip smart intelligence and curiosity for this dirty world we live in. Your Mama and Dada have shown me how to parent through the unknown and scary places and I will be a better Mama one day because of them and you. Your smile and lilting greeting, "HIIIiiIII Auntie Brooke!" when we see each other makes everything OK. Watching you charm roomfuls of people this Christmas was such a pleasure and when you went home we missed your little voice so very much. You're going to become a big sister so very soon. This is a very important responsibility. I'm sorry, but you will have to share. Auntie would love to tell you how that's done but she's never had to do it ever in her life. Having a brother insured none of my stuff would ever be touched by somebody else. Selfishness is NOT a good trait, Gorgeous, but it can sure be fun. Please know when everybody is contorting their faces and making silly noises at your new Sister, Auntie will always be there for a hug or to scoop you up for a dorky march around the kitchen. You were my first Niece and you opened hallways in my heart I didn't know were there and filled them with so much love. I promise you years of hand swinging walks, really good pushes on swings, a good ear for secrets that I will keep locked away and anything else you ever need. Auntie is here.
I love you sweetheart,
Auntie Brooke (aka Happy book)
Dear egg yolks,
HI!! I don't know if we've been previously acquainted but, boy, did you become my favorite this year. Specifically in an over easy way. Watching you puddle out onto the plate and dragging my butter toast through your warm musky yellow glop was a joy to chew and swallow. Let's never be apart for that long again.
the girl who sometimes thinks you taste like crayons but covers that up with enough butter and salt to forget
Nice comeback. Thanks for turning me into my Dad and letting something fluffy and white turn me into the grumpiest weather nerd on the road. I did some hard core driving through the thick of your belly and somehow managed to not hit or skid or derail anything. You can head back anytime to the other parts of Canada I don't live in for the very specific reason that YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE THERE AND NOT HERE.
Dear all the movies I didn't see,
Hi Milk. Hi Benjamin Button. Hi Slumdog Millionaire. Hi HSM3. Hi Changeling. Hi Man on Wire. Hi Rachel Getting Married. Hi DVD release of all of you, but goddamn, the popcorn at home just doesn't taste the same. (Nice try 'Marley & Me.' Being that I had to be resuscitated from drowning in my own tears after 'I Am Legend's' dog scene, there is NOFUCKINGWAY I'd survive your inevitable dog death scene.)
Dear all the songs I didn't hear,
As much as it got snobbed out by Facebook, all praise to myspace where I can go and hear what a band is doing and either fall in love or derisively snort and go back to listen to my most overlistened album of this year, Spank Rock's Bangers & Cash. Pretty much anything I put on my phone in September is now tattooed in my ears due to....uh, well, just laziness. Nuv is a human record store with new stuff for me to listen every week and I end up listening to G & R for the 700th time because, evidently, It's So Easy. (I'm awesome)
I also have a few issues with how much I love TI and the easy to swallow rap he consistently produces and I would sing all the words to 'Whatever You Like' in the shower and the car if I knew them.
the girl who overcompensates for her tonedeafness with gospel-choir-like intensity and passion
Hi girls! I love you SOSO much and you would not have known that at all the last months of this year. One of my favorite Jay Reatard songs has the line, "It's so easy when your friends are dead." True, yes, but who would have been so proud of me and bought me random presents and made me beautiful snacks and been in the wings so beautifully when I was ready to pull the curtains down on this year?
Remember the patience you had and get ready to pull it like taffy for this coming year. See you in April!
Edited because Mr. Swanson is a crackerjack-
Hi boys! When I married Nuv I received a beautiful bunch of gentleman to laugh with, make fun of, dance with, drink with, eat yummy food with and argue heatedly with about very important things like whether what I just said actually exists in the English language or whether I am "allowed" to like System of a Down. I think you're all the scoots and I miss your faces a lot.
You changed everything. I now know what I am capable of, how little sleep I can survive on, and how magically energizing the power of cafeteria purchased honey roasted peanuts are. It's baffling really. Also, fuck you for making me like, and admit to liking, Tim Hortons coffee. That makes me feel so ickily Canadian. I also would to say how much I adore those special people that I sit with, laugh with, stress with and sing to. Without you, I wouldn't get by. Thank you.
Dear assorted pop culture stuff and things,
Thank you Friday Night Lights for continuing to be great and funny and sad and not cancelled; thanks Justin Timberlake for nearly everything you do; thanks David Fincher for the best commercial I have and will ever see; thanks Chris Ware for the details; thanks McSweeneys for making your magazines things of art, beauty and exactly what I want to do too; and finally, thanks US Weekly for ensuring Nuv can refill his bucket of scorn for me every week.
You did it for me. You did so much. Never repayable. Know that every day I am in school, every time I check FB on my laptop, you're there with me. This year was your making and my love and gratefulness runs into the street.
After months with only a few guest appearances, I've been attached to you for the last few weeks full time and you haven't left me at the mall or suggested I go count all the grains of sand on the beach, so I think we're good. Thanks for the gorgeous Christmas you gave me, and every second of every day you're mine is the best time of my life.
Dear everybody who reads these,
Thanks so much guys. Really. Knowing these words amuse more than just me and my Dad is such a rich reward.
the girl who one day will be able to type without looking down
Most Honorable Mentions:
Koleman for finding me the fonts for the menu project I nearly jumped off the balcony over
Anami for putting on my favorite show of the year
Sister for always asking me if I'm OK
Mama Takhar for her grace and generosity
The Monkey Brothers who every year get more awesome and kind and funny
The NFL for being increasingly interesting to me
My much maligned new Mom friendly swear word I invented that I think is awesome but certain people hate so I ignore them and proudly present.................."DANGUR."
Pronounced 'dang-err,' this word will keep me from dropping putrid f-bombs all around town, in front of horrified Mama's and will one day, I predict, be included in the Merriam- Webster Dictionary under "The greatest word ever invented."
You. Are. WELCOME. World!
That amazing Mexican meal in Seattle, Jackie's coconut rice, making peace with my stovetop, Only Oats oatmeal allowing me to have oats for the first time in 17 years (Verdict? Oh yeah, oatmeal is kinda meh), watching a President I could get behind being elected in the Printing Room at school with the terribly incompetent Woman who works there for company-awe inspiring AND annoying at exactly the same time, the zerotwist towels from NOOD that were 70% off and feel like angel wings blended with cashmere and marshmallows.
It was a good year.