It seems as if every year, I start receiving Christmas cards earlier and earlier. It’s as if people can’t seem to wait to get the task over and done with. I mean, last year, I received a Halloween card and a Christmas card on the same day.
Anyway, many of the Christmas cards I receive contain what’s become an annual ritual for some people…the Christmas newsletter. It’s not that I personally have anything against these newsletters – in fact, I truly have enjoyed some of them – but let’s face it, a lot of people use them as nothing more than a means in which to brag endlessly about their family’s accomplishments. The last one I received was so full of hot air, it’s a wonder it didn’t come floating out when I opened my mailbox.
What I’d love to receive is a Christmas newsletter that contains nothing but the truth, no matter how bad it makes a family look. With that in mind, I sat down the other night and reread some newsletters I’ve received over the years, and then tried to figure out, reading between the lines, what these people REALLY were saying. The following is an example of what I feel the authors of one of these “let’s-brag-and-lay-it-on-really-thick” newsletters actually should have written. My comments are in parenthesis!
(NOTE: I have changed the names to protect the innocent....and well...because I can't afford a lawyer).
MERRY CHRISTMAS 1999!
Dear Friends, (We’re using the word “friends” because we’re too lazy to write your names individually)
Well, here it is, another Christmas already, and time to look back at all of the events of the past year (and brag endlessly to make all of you feel inferior and depressed).
Herbert and I are really into physical fitness now and climbed Mount Washington three times last summer (in our car on the auto road). We really enjoyed ourselves, despite encountering torrential rains (drizzle) and dangerous rock slides (a really sharp pebble in my shoe). In fact, we enjoyed the experience so much, our goal is to gaze out over the land from the top of a different mountain every summer (preferably from our seats on an airplane as we fly over them).
Herbie, Jr. graduated from high school with honors in June (after being a member of the Class of 1996, 1997 and 1998) and has since been weighing his various college options (on the produce scale at the supermarket where he currently works). We have advised him to take his time deciding upon his future education (because we secretly spent all of his college fund when we took a luxury cruise a couple years ago).
After working for 24 years at the Schmidlap Corporation, Herbert finally decided that the time had come to break free and search for a more challenging career (he got fired).
Until Herbert decides on his new career (gets his lazy butt off the sofa and actually looks for another job) we plan to spend some time in our luxury motor home (a pick-up truck with a cooler and a mattress in the back) and tour as many states as possible (wherever we can freeload for a few days at friends’ and relatives’ houses). It will be just like a second honeymoon for us (Herbert will drink too much, pass out, and I’ll threaten to go back home to Mother).
Our sweet granddaughter, Penelope, is the smartest student in her fifth-grade class (and next week, she’ll be getting her driver’s license). The poor darling had a little mishap at school, however. She slipped on some crayons, fell flat on her face, and broke her finger (because it was up her nose at the time).
I’ve been following a new diet for the past two months, and am finding that it really works. The secret is to drink 10 full glasses of water per day. I’ve lost 12 pounds already (because my bladder fell out) and plan to lose 15 more (because I’ll be spending too much time in the bathroom to eat).
Our elder son, Bronson, has an excellent career in medicine (making drugs in his lab out back in the shed) and recently was featured on a local TV show (America’s Most Wanted).
Our dog, Rasputin, won recognition in his obedience class (for having the most fleas) and is so smart, he responds to 20 different commands (each one beginning with the words “play dead” because the dog is over 100 years old in dog years). Rasputin is such a sweetheart, he would never even think of biting anyone (because he has no teeth).
For our 35th wedding anniversary last month, Herbert surprised me with a beautiful two-carat anniversary ring. I was so overwhelmed, I cried for days (because I could tell it was a cheap cubic zirconia). I can’t wait to see what he’ll surprise me with this Christmas (probably some more fake jewelry, because the couch potato still hasn’t looked for a job). He can be such an impetuous fool (make that just a fool) at times! (I still regret not marrying Tony Rigatoni, the local pizza-parlor owner, when I had the chance).
Well, I guess that’s all the news for now (I’m too cheap to pay for the extra postage if this letter gets too thick), so I’ll sign off with all the best wishes for the New Year. Perhaps we can get together sometime in the near future (but not too near, because we never really liked you all that much).
Take good care, and keep in touch.
Love and kisses,
Herbert, Marge and the kids
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