11.15.2005

Merry Christmas -- My Life is Better Than Yours! Happy Holidays -- Everyone I Know is Sick or Dying!

Couldn’t we all just write that and ditch the long form? The infamous HOLIDAY LETTER. The very first thing I’ll point out is that I am guilty of writing a holiday newsletter. It doesn’t make me better than anyone, but I did steer clear of tragedies and bragging rights. I’ll also point out that there are some holiday letters I ENJOY getting. My mother always writes a story of some kind. Another friend provides a one-sheet compilation of photos and captions. I like those. Some people have the gift of being entertaining and upbeat. Sometimes they make me feel warm and fuzzy. That is just fine by me.

It’s the OTHER letters to which I’m referring. The kind where people use the annual letter as their own personal reflecting pool of family trips and depressing obits. I have some tips for said people.

Dirty Laundry Is Better Washed and Worn at Home
Your perspective does not a Christmas letter make. Family business shouldn’t be displayed like a tacky, Christmas neon light. Telling everyone “sadly this year, my nephew came out of the closet and left his wife and three kids. We were devastated” only tells us you’re a gossip. I’m sure it wouldn’t occur to you to point out that the poor nephew’s family members are homophobes, the wife knew all along, and it was a horrible, grueling and personal process for said nephew. And far be it for you to include your personal laundry about how every Christmas Eve you like to tie your hubby up and make him wear your crotchless panties while singing Deck My Balls.

Oh My Aching.....
I don’t need a master list of ailments of every Tom, Dick, and Betty associated with your life. Cousin Lou's gout. Your aching back. Or that Aunt Junie Bug is having her eyes done. Stop. Please.

It Was A Balmy 78 Degrees on Our Fifteenth Day in Maui Accompanied By Our Genius Children
Tell me the last time someone said, “Oh, I went to Spokane Washington last week” and you stopped everything you were doing, sat down, and said, “Well, DO tell and don’t leave out a single detail”? Also, if Junior learned to walk when he was six weeks, keep it to yourself. You never know if Junior may end up armed in a clock tower in 15 years. Will that be in your letter? A holiday letter shouldn’t be your vacation itinerary or your kids’ IQ scores.

A Picture Paints A Thousand Words
Photos are great. A few words though. I miss you. As interesting as your kids may be, their growth progress over the years shouldn’t replace you. Send a family shot. Also, don’t send me one of your new house. Do you think people who live in small shacks are mass mailing pics of their humble abode? There is absolutely no other way to interpret a house shot other than you’re being an ass.

I'm not a Scroodge. It's just that if I want to be depressed or annoyed, I can always turn on the news. Believe me, a glittery card with smudgy ink and the imperfect holiday photo will make my day.