Be kind, dear groundhog

Have you ever been to Punxsutawney?

I have.

That’s how loyal I am to my fickle friend Phil. We share a fondness for random celebrations  and burrowing on chilly February mornings.

We’re also legendary procrastinators, which is how my family holiday card came to celebrate the groundhog. Our tradition started because I kept putting off the family Christmas card until eventually I hit on the tradition of annual Groundhog Day cards.

Phil’s tradition started because some genius marketer decided the very hard to pronounce and even harder to spell Pennsylvania town of Punxsutawney needed a little February pick-me-up.

Don’t we all?

For Punxsutawney, Groundhog Day means tetanus shots for all of Phil’s “inner circle”(because Jimmy the Groundhog, Phil’s surly Wisconsin cousin, bit the Sun Prairie Mayor’s ear in 2015 and reminded the world that groundhogs are hibernators who get a little cranky on an empty stomach).

Again, I can relate.

For my family, Groundhog Day means a year-long quest for the perfect family photo.


“But wait!” I’ll yell at family functions, and I’ll haul out the stuffed rodent I carry with me to all family functions, just in case. “We need to take a picture for the Groundhog Card.”

This year’s photo is not our best, but I chose it because I like the message it sends.

Be kind.

Be kind to us, dear groundhog, because right about now we’re ready for spring.

Be kind to yourselves, because winter is long and sometimes you need to find your own sunshine.

Be kind to each other, because it’s a lot easier than you think.

Happy Groundhog Day! Let’s celebrate like those crazy Punxsutawnians!

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The lighting is not great, the groundhog’s cut off and one of us may or may not be still recovering (or still celebrating) from the night before. But, I chose this picture for T-shirts. Be Kind.


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