Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Yearly Christmas Letter

I propose that we have a law that mandates separating Yearly Christmas Letters into two batches.

I'm serious.

One set should be sent to people who know you well (like family and close friends), and the other set should be sent to people you keep in touch with infrequently or only once a year, mostly via Yearly Christmas Letters.

Because after reading some of these letters, those of us who know what fantastic people you are are often left scratching our heads and wondering if you had some kind of momentary eggnog-induced artery-clogging fat bubble in your brain that caused you to manifest an episode of Scary Orange Hair and Pompous Fart Disorder (it's listed under Donald Trump in the DSM-IV).

Since the early stages of our relationship, Hubby and I would save the Yearly Christmas Letters we received for a special night. We'd put the kids to bed, get out the snifters, have some Brandy or Grand Marnier (or more than some) and read them aloud to each other.

And laugh our damn fool heads off.

Maybe it sounds a bit unkind. But it's not.

We love hearing news from people we don't keep in frequent touch with.

But some letters from family and friends we are close to kind of freaked us out. Since as Paul Harvey used to say, we know "the rest of the story".

And since you know we know "the rest of the story", why in the world would you send us these silly letters? Alternative reality?

An example are the ones I like to call the "Who Are You Trying to Impress?" letters.

"Snotleigh was accepted at the very exclusive private Snerdsville Academy this year! Bratleigh has decided to stay in public school because he embraces all challenges!"

[Snotleigh threw his steel-toed boot at another kid on the bus but missed and hit the driver on the back of the head, causing him to momentarily lose consciousness and run into a telephone pole, so the kid has been banned from all public school buses for a year. Tuition at the Snerdsville Acadamy is an astronomical 25K per kid, so Bratleigh is just going to have make do like the little people!]

"This year, I did what I always dreamed of doing, and took a 60-day European tour (insert fabulous locations, shopping, food and details here)! Although Hubby missed me terribly, he graciously supported me in this opportunity to explore the world."

[I caught Hubby humping the housekeeper and convinced him that springing for this luxury tour would put a smaller hurt on his wallet than my divorcing his skanky cheating ass!]

Then there are the letters that seem to come from royalty, because the entire thing is written in third person with a royal "we".

Then there are the really weird ones.

One very lovely, gracious, successful, intelligent and usually "normal" friend sends out weird letters and writes about herself in third person. Apparently she had a bit of a weight problem as a teen (she's been thin as long as we've known her), because almost every year she references this in her Yearly Christmas Letter.

1995: "Sharon continues to keep her figure trim with yoga and swimming after losing 40 pounds in 1984."

1998: "Sharon is still slender after 14 years of weight loss and enjoys showing off her svelte silhouette in the slinky fall fashions. Vavavoom!"

2004: "Skiing is Sharon's new passion to maintain fitness (after losing over 40 pounds in 1984!). She could be a fashion model in her racy snow gear. Move over, Tyra Banks!!"


So hubby and I would get a little sauced and snicker over some of these letters and compose our own...

"After hitting the pinnacle of smoking 3-packs a day, Attila has managed to cut that in half this year. Now she just smells like a slightly smaller ash tray!

Mr. Attila was able to kick that nasty nose candy habit, and saved the family $6000.00 this year. We're looking forward to finishing the rec room (complete with full wet bar!) sometime in the spring with these extra savings!

The Big Kid has decided that it was time to move on from his first love and find a new girlfriend. Of course the restraining order helped this along a little bit.

The Little Guy has graduated from man-handling his janglies every time someone talks to him to the slightly less embarrassing action of sticking his finger up his nose like he is mining for treasure. We're so proud of him!"

Ok, I know we're a little demented. Maybe a lot demented.

But this is what passes for entertainment in the Atilla House!

Happy Holidays everyone! Stay safe and warm!


michele said...

I love it. This year, so many bad things happened that I didn't do the newsletter. I tried. But what could I do? Joseph beat up his principal? This and this and this and this person died. Joseph continues to hone his fighting skills by taking on THREE boys at once!! It just didn't work for me and I got a headache. I sent a photo card.

Rootietoot said...

We must have the same friends...except that all mine homeschool while I continue to send mine to pubic school. OH well.

Anonymous said...

An excerpt from a Yearly Christmas letter we received this year:

"Significant milestones this year...Aunt A. and Uncle B. - 60th anniversary, R. and E. ??? (I can't make out their surname)- 50th anniversary and Uncle B. is 90 years young."

I don't know who the hell these people are. Guess I'm happy for them (in a general humane kind of way) but in all honesty, I don't give a rip.
And this letter came with a card from people I haven't sent a card to (or seen) in years.
What makes some people tick?
Oh, and BTW, Merry Christmas - from someone you don't really know!

Anonymous said...

Hi Attila,
LOL! The yearly Christmas letters can provide hours of entertainment, though I doubt that’s the purpose for being written. I received a “Happy Holidays” epistle yesterday from an old acquaintance that was so chock full of psychobabble about her mental development over the past year that Sigmund Freud would’ve barfed trying to wade through the muck. Like you, I wonder what inspires people to write this crap in the first place and then have the cajones to send them out….

Merry Christmas to you and your entire family!

elizabeth said...

ROFL! Thanks for the chuckle.

brenda said...

I'll send you my address if you'll send me a few of your kind of newsletters. I truly believe they'd keep me depression free and smiling for the rest of the year.

We've got a bugger diviner too, she (the 17th month old one)does it when someone she doesn't know, or like, talks to her.

brenda said...

If I could spell I'd be dangerous!

Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

roflmao this was hilarious!! I remember some of those yearly synopsis type letters my parents used to mom tried them herself once in a while...eeeegads!! They are curious lil epistles eh?? You wonder sometimes what makes people think that you even have the time or the inclination to read them!!!

Happy holidays to you and yours Atilla.....:)

Anonymous said...

My sister used to send out, every year, a poem highlighting the year's events. You knew you were in for a migraine when you'd read the title: "The Annual 'POME'" Cutesy misspelling aside, the "pome" was always a horrifying adventure in meter--another of my sisters and I discovered that the poem could always be sung to the tune of "The Yellow Rose of Texas." One year, she even managed to fit into the rhyme how they passed the smoldering ruins of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas on a family vacation.

Girl In Her Underwear said...


I HATE Christmas letters! I think we're related to those people who wrote about their brilliant kids and expensive vacations. What the heck!?!

We didn't get a letter from them this year, but I fully expected them to put some kind of a great spin on the fact that their socio-path older brother finally died this year...leaving more money in the family treasury for the rest of us. What the heck!

Anonymous said...

Demented is good... goooooood!

Happy Holidays to you and the family!!!

Samantha said...

We don't generally deal with Round Robins as our family knows exactly what would happe if we got one of those in the post!

Kim Ayres said...

I used to send out those long Xmas letters, but now I just refer them to the blog as an option if they are actually interested.

Hope you and yours have a great festive season :)

Anonymous said...

laughter is good for the holidays. thank you for the chuckles.

merry christmas eve!

Pendullum said...

That was brilliant....

And to yuou and yours Ms. Attila...
Merry Merry Chistmasto you and yours!

carmachu said...

You do what we do....except we make shit up and send it back. Cuts donw on those obnoxious letters....or course we dont get ivited to christmas parties(or family gatherings) andymore....but we enjoy the peace and quiet....

Anonymous said...

So wonderful and funny as hell, as usual! Thanks for a whole year of grins, my friend! I hope you and yours have yourself a merry little and a happy New too! Hugs...

Anonymous said...

ha ha ha.
I know, I seriously hate those things. Especially when my mom goes.. "Oh, well look! So-and-so who is your age, is engaged! And they graduated college this June! You're still single, and you are going back to school finally!"

@@. Thanks mom. ha ha.
Merry Christmas to you & your family! ♥

Mr. Fabulous said...

On the rare Christmas where I have done a letter it has been a totally fake one full of LIES!

Merry Christmas, my friend!

shirley said...

Hee! I'd looove to get an Attila holiday letter!

Anonymous said...

very funny love your made up snickered (or was that snookered) version, I am voting for an entire letter next post...

Anonymous said...

I would just love to read a TRUE letter, not an advertising flyer about a wannabe family!

Love your homor!

I wish you and the demented Attila family a very merry Holiday Season & may the joys of Christmas be yours all year!

Anonymous said...

It's amazing what happens when you become a subsistence liver.

You realize the letters are horseshit and stop sending them.

Happy Holidays all

Annie Drogynous said...

Love it! Absolutely love it!

I got one this year where one part read "As you know, J was in a very bad biking accident a few months ago where he hurt his back, broke his jaw and broke some of his teeth but he's healing well and is now in the process of laying our wood floor."

So while you're husband is trying to heal from a back injury, you're making him put down a new floor?! What a freakin' cow!

Miss Keeks said...

I must confess that I love these letters. Tragically, we only received one this year. From someone I can't stand. I don't know why she sends cards in the first place. Creepy.

Last year I had the best helliday group letter. It was from my stepsister speaking of the joys of her genius spawn and discussing the delights and advantages of home-schooling. I was tempted to copy edit the letter and send it back, suggesting she send the spawn out. But I didn't. I will always regret it too.

Happy hellidays!!


phlegmfatale said...

I LOVE your tradition of laughing at the year-end round-up newsletters from kin. It's amazing how they come up with that stuff. I love your alternate suggestions for a letter - very clever. I hope y'all had a happy holiday!