To Whom It May Concern:  Merry Christmas

David Chartrand

David Chartrand

Every Christmas the mail brings warm holiday greetings from old friends who publish annual news updates about their families. These highly informative reports often are designed to resemble miniature newspapers, featuring many correctly spelled words and a year’s supply of exclamation marks.

I’ll bet you receive these, too.  I’ll bet yours are a lot like mine.

To All Our Dear Friends:
Hello and MERRY CHRISTMAS to all!!

Please forgive this somewhat impersonal holiday letter. We have so many friends we want to say hello to this time of year and our lives are so hectic there’s never enough time to remember everyone’s names.

2012 was a MEMORABLE year for the Richolson family!!!

The highlight was the completion of our new home at Executive Manor Plantation Creek Estate Gardens-on-the-Green. I would have been happy with a modest ranch large enough to entertain friends and sponsor occasional symphony concerts. But once we got started WE COULDN’T STOP!! Some have commented that the house reminds them of Bill Gates’ home outside Seattle but we know they are exaggerating!!! It has 11 bathrooms (our home, not the Gates), nine bedrooms, a rooftop exercise pool, a working volcano, and LOTS of room for YOU to come visit us in the new year!

Brandon graduated in May from Harvard Medical School — summa cum laude!!!  The U.S. Surgeon General had to cancel his planned commencement address but graciously agreed to send autographed photos of himself to all the graduates. Brandon framed his copy the next day!!

Our little princess, Tiffany, has one year left at the Rainey Brooke Debutante Country Club Academy for Girls. We have no idea where she got all her brains!  She told her father that she plans to receive more scholarship offers from New England colleges than he did! HA! HA!  We are so proud of Tiff’s passion to serve others. She chaired Rainey Brooke’s “Stay Dry” campaign to purchase rain canopies for the team benches on the girls’ soccer field.

Roland — our baby! — turned 13 in May. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT??  He says his favorite memory of 2012 was the two-month summer camp in Minsk where he volunteered as a translator for Russian humanitarian assistance programs. The coaches at Rainey Brooke Prep begged Roland to return as captain of the eighth-grade basketball this year but Rollie insists he cannot play sports and devote the necessary time to his fledgling import-export business.

Are your lives as crazy as ours? Nathan is now SENIOR PARTNER at the brokerage firm. He loves the first-class intercontinental travel but complains that he rarely has time for his favorite hobby — helicopter snow skiing in Aspen. Somehow, Nathan found time to plant a half-acre rose garden for me. We hope you will come see it!  I PRACTICALLY FAINTED when I saw the waterfall that runs from the 18-foot gazebo, across our Italianate marble terraced steps and into a reflecting pool that the horses love to sip out of (see pictures enclosed).

The kids are after me to cut back my hectic schedule of civic activities. This year I co-chaired the Middleton Community Arts in the Park series. Our July 4 weekend featured a 24-piece orchestra and a book signing by— ARE YOU SITTING DOWN? — Kathie Lee Gifford!! The orchestra didn’t actually perform but Kathie Lee always insists that one be on hand in case someone asks her to sing. She is such an inspiration to us all! She gave me a big hug and said she loved my hair.

Can you BELIEVE this year is almost over??? We hope you’ll come visit us in 2014. After all, our new home has lots of room!

Have a great year, wherever you are!

— The Richolsons — Marci, Nathan, Tiffany, and Roland



© 2013, David Chartrand


David Chartrand writes humor and commentary from his home in Olathe. • • Twitter@DavidVChartrand


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