It is a few short weeks until Christmas and I know that many of you are looking for some help on crafting that ultimate Christmas letter.
We have all received those 'form letter' Christmas cards/mailings. They brag about 'Bill's promotion to Vice-President' and the news that 'Ashley was the Lead in the school play' and 'Joshua was appointed to the Naval Academy while placing on the First-Team All-State football team. We are so proud!!' News about pets and trips and parties and victories and celebrations and 'Grams and Grampa' and cars and new jobs and crafty investments and . . .arrggghhhh!!
It all teams together to make you wonder if your family was the only one to have even a smidgen of bad luck, failure, or disappointment in the year drawing to a close.
With that frame of mind, my wife drafted our own family Christmas Letter in 1997. Yes, that cheap, computer-printed, glob of ersatz 'holiday cheer' had finally wormed its way into our family Christmas routine. Well . . .at least the way my darling wife envisioned it.
Me..?? I was set to do battle. To parody the puffy and putrid prose that permeated our personal piece and all that we received.
I composed an 'anti-Christmas letter' that we copied onto the back of my wife's pitiful (sorry dear!) summary of our year.
I can say without crossing my fingers that peeps much preferred my 'getting real' version to the prettied-up, 'life is sooo good..!!' letter composed by my wife. ( At least they admitted to that after a few drinks on New Years Eve.)
That letter I offer now as an example of one 'irregular tradition' that our family suffers each year. ( The briefest of background: Our oldest daughter, Kate, was then in the 7th grade; our twins, daughter Karen and son John, were then in the 4th grade. Names changed to protect the not-so-innocent. )
Without further delay: The 1997 sleeper's family Christmas letter:
Image source: hopenharmony via flickr dot com
The really real Christmas letter
Welcome to the Smith Family 1997 interactive Christmas letter, ver. 3.01.1 Your earnest participation will give you the feeling that "you were there" as you spend 1997 with our family.
Please select one answer at each multiple-choice question.
(If you need to "download" something to view this interactive letter, please remember to wash your hands thoroughly afterward!)
Correct answers are given below. Good Luck!!
January was a well-remembered month as on the 28th we finally:
a) took down the Christmas tree,
b) realized we had blown our retirement fund buying all these presents,
c) dug the car out of that da** snowdrift.
February was a month well-remembered as:
"..uhhh,.......ahhhh, who the heck remembers February!"
March was the month that we had:
a) green eggs and ham to celebrate the holiday (Karen's idea),
b) green kool-aid to celebrate the holiday (Kate's idea),
c) green left-overs that were celebrating taking over the refrigerator (no one had any idea!)
April was that memorable month that John:
a) wanted to play baseball on the 5th,
b) did not want to play baseball on the 10th,
c) denied he had ever known what "baseball" was on the 15th.
Ahh, dear, sweet May........unfortunately, our lawyers say we are not to discuss May until the grand jury inquiry is concluded........(You know how slow the legal system can be.)
June, July, August were all really:
a) hot, hot, hot..,
b) full of idiots saying "it's the humidity not the temperature",
c) typical for this latitude and longitude.
September is fondly remembered because:
a) the kids all went back to school,
b) we forgot to pick up the kids from camp until after school had begun,
c) all the kids' grade-point averages were 4.0 for at least one day.
October this year, for Halloween, we began working on their costumes:
a) at the beginning of the month,
b) that Monday evening just before the big day,
c) oh heck, we smeared some burnt cork under their eyes and told 'em they were 'ath-a-letes'......(I am not sure they bought it.)
November found Dad left at home for Thanksgiving while the rest of the family traveled out of town because:
a) the in-laws had warned "that bastard better not come around again!"
b) he had to work that weekend ...always, a great excuse for a road trip,
c) the electronic bracelet goes off whenever he is more than 100 feet from the transmitter. (See May above.)
December was memorable for everyone pitching in to:
a) get all those little things done in time for the 'holidays' (like this letter!)
b) get Mom that "Merry Maid" as a Christmas present,
c) help Dad find that list of projects to complete in 1997 . . .(he lost it in, ...oh...maybe mid-January.)
in good health and best spirits!!!
Correct answers (in no particular order): c, a, a, b, a, b, c, a.
(...We are sure you, and we, will like your answers better than ours anyway!)