The Twelve Years of Christmas: 1984-1995: The Hotly Contested Memoirs of a Slightly Sub-Normal, Rural Family Through the Use and Abuse of Those Dread by Rochelle Doan Craig (Paperback / softback, 2011)
The Twelve Years of Christmas is t just a Christmas story. It's a journal of the first twelve years of one family's past events, happily recounted to all in those dreaded, ghastly annual Christmas form letters. Newlyweds Rochelle and Tom Craig moved to a farm in a friendly rural community to raise a crop of children. The family traveled and camped as often as Tom could be dragged away for it. After seventeen years of child-rearing, Rochelle returned to part-time elementary school teaching. She soon switched to full-time teaching with numerous grades and totally new subjects. Shortly thereafter, she began the dreaded Christmas card form letters, a practice that she mocks in The Twelve Years of Christmas. The letters cover the years between 1984 and 1995, explaining the changes in the lives of the Craig family and their pets. Rochelle also discusses the family's love of travel and the ever present threat of marital collapse, mostly due to the annual family practice of putting up the winter window-insulating film, the Christmas tree, and the sw fence together. This version of rural family life describes the fortunes (few), misfortunes (many), ups, downs, and in-betweens of each year-all tied up with lots of love and good humor.