Merry Christmas from the Highlands Ranch Fergusons- Byron, Toni, Kyra, Penny Puppy, and (under duress) Nolan. This year’s newsletter (and accompanying website of all our old newsletters- http://mychristmasletters.com), nearly got bought by Elon Musk earlier this year. After Elon’s Twitter bid withdrawal, the SpaceX executive focused his attention on his second choice- social media darling, the Ferguson Christmas newsletter. Apparently, with ZERO bots, a huge social reach (OVER one hundred homes reached), and a clear brand image, Elon planned to leverage the platform to make freedom of Christmas newsletter speech open to everyone. Extremely humbled, but still motivated by getting the maximum possible payday, we held out for a fully loaded Tesla, $37, and a pack of Juicy Fruit. Apparently the Juicy Fruit was one demand too many. Elon broke off talks with us. You’re welcome, Twitter.
With our new board positions canceled, Byron and Toni began a search for something else to fill their endless free time. Last year, the two rented some zippy e-bikes while in Madison, WI for the weekend. Toni immediately made up her mind to purchase her very own. Byron, who left to his own devices, would research the perfect ebike for 6 months to a year, suddenly found himself putting together Toni’s Amazon order of her very own cruiser. Byron, not particularly impressed with Toni’s Nakto Camel, decided his purchase could wait- he’d have no problem keeping up with Toni’s hunk o’ junk using his non-electric, dusty, and neglected mountain bike that’d been collecting dust while hanging from the rafters of the garage for at least the last two Ferguson moves.
Their first ride together humbled Byron greatly. Byron managed to stay close on the flats, but Toni quickly figured out how to open up the throttle. Byron, panting, dropped behind on the hills. Byron took out his phone and ordered his e-bike before the second hill. Now, with two e-bikes, the rides are a bit closer together, though Toni still manages to take the lead for most of the rides.
Byron and Toni have enjoyed riding in and around Denver and the mountains with their new e-bikes. Nothing delights more than passing one of those “analog” bikes driven by some spandex wearing “racer.” A quick flick on the bell, or a toot of the horn as we pass will usually get us cursed for “cheating.” Byron and Toni just cackle like the Wicked Witch of the West. Now if we could just figure out how to get Penny in our handlebar basket, our costuming would be complete.
Toni and Kyra continue to work from their respective offices while Byron, working mostly from home, hangs out with the increasingly demanding, but equally talented, Penny the Wonder Puppy. We bought talking buttons for her this year, so she spends her time stomping out “play”, “outside”, “i love you”, and “walk” on the appropriate buttons. Penny is, for a dog that’s so smart, woefully underemployed. Byron hopes to find her a job, preferably in-office; she’s a terrible cube mate.
Kyra, who would gladly take Penny to work if she could, continues to live at home, stashing cash for (in order of least to most expensive): medieval art, new yacht, hostile corporate takeover, or mid-priced Colorado starter home. Helping her along, hopefully, is Kyra’s recent promotion to team lead. Kyra, whose job we previously described as “telling people they are wrong” much to her chagrin, is now in charge of making sure other employees are properly telling people they are wrong. We call them how we see them.
Kyra, armed with an abundant knowledge of Colorado code and statute, filed an official injunction and petition to remove Nolan from the Newsletter this year. Arguing in front of the Ferguson food court, Kyra carefully declared that Nolan moved to Colorado Springs last year and therefore “does not officially qualify for mention in this newsletter.” While Kyra’s arguments were sound, the court found on behalf of Nolan mostly because he somehow manages to keep entertaining us with his outrageous and often humorous endeavors.
With the court’s blessing, we can report that Nolan accepted a job with Boeing this year, and has now moved to West Chesterfield, PA to a) make slightly more money, b) to work on the Chinook Helicopter, and to c) be with his girlfriend Alexis who had previously taken a job in Philadelphia.
Nolan’s impressed his team mates, and more importantly “newsletter court” with some of his work antics already. Left to familiarize himself with a Chinook simulator, Nolan gamely started “flying.” On his return, a coworker watched Nolan land the Chinook “military style” aka maintaining forward speed while landing on a runway. “Wow. Have you flown before? I’ve never seen anyone land like that,” said Nolan’s coworker. Nolan’s impressive simulator run was mentioned in many subsequent introductions. Byron and Toni are very happy all those hours of video gaming paid off. Now that Nolan lives even further away from Highlands Ranch, however, we fully expect another Kyra petition for newsletter removal next year.
In October, Byron and Toni, in response to a generous invitation, visited friends “The Mustillos” in North Carolina. The Mustillos greeted the Fergusons in high fashion, with elaborate airport signage, arrival charcuterie, guest room, deck drinks, shopping, barbeque, and an assortment of historical tours. All of the Mustillo hospitality was lovely, but best of all was simply hanging out with good friends we hadn’t seen in a while. Ok, Barbeque was a really close second.
Byron and Toni, always up to see how much fun they can pack into one weekend, decided to also swing by Philadelphia to visit–as Kyra would like us to remind you–the now-moved Nolan. Nolan, unlike the Mustillos, mostly left his parents to fend for themselves. Byron and Toni collected their own bags, rented a car, and stayed at a moderately priced Hyatt where we were neither greeted by charcuterie or deck drinks. Nolan’s girlfriend Alexis, however, helped pick up the slack, giving us a tour at her work that included free company lunch, and if we had brought our suitcase–free laundry. Alexis’s coworkers were a delight, and everyone we met, in addition to bragging about Alexis, also claimed they loved Nolan. Apparently he’s filled in for after-work-trivia where his extensive knowledge of WWII German china patterns and 2000’s era YouTube videos has made him a corporate darling.
Nolan, seeing that Alexis was clearly edging him out as our favorite, stepped it up last-minute. Nolan gave us the apartment tour, bought dinner for Alexis, roommates, and parents, and treated us to a historic Halloween ghost tour. While both Byron and Toni were hoping also for a quick Chinook ride at Nolan’s work, overall Nolan did enough to buy himself another year of mention in the Ferguson Christmas newsletter–the last bastion of free speech.
Finally, for those of you without Facebook- we must mention that after 30+ Christmases together, the Ferguson Christmas tree FINALLY features a cool Star Trek Enterprise tree topper, and all Star Trek ornaments this year. Toni, who is just a really nice wife (or really wanted her husband to completely reorganize the living room), allowed Byron to put the display together after his sister gifted him the elaborate talking topper and ornaments. Byron gleefully sits in front of the tree each morning in his Star Trek pajamas, surrounded by stuffed tribbles, and murmuring gleefully as each ornament says it’s bit. Truly, he says, this is Christmas- beam us up.
The Fergusons are, with a visit from Nolan and Alexis, having the whole clan together for festivities in front of the Star Trek tree. We can only hope that your Christmas is equally Treky delightful.
Live Long and Prosper,
Byron, Toni, Kyra, Penny the Wonder Puppy, and Nolan** Official petition 2022-01\ChristmasLetterRules\01 filed but overruled to include Nolan A. Ferguson by exception