Monday, December 24, 2012

The Art of the Obnoxious Christmas Letter

Over the years, I've sent a Christmas Letter or two, but keeping in mind how obnoxious such things can be, I've tried to keep it short and sweet.  If we moved, had a baby, or both, I sent out a letter.  The one year I didn't, the year my ex left, ~ because quite frankly, I thought that not the stuff one should put in a Christmas Letter ~ the absence of his name on the card with no explanation sparked a few awkward phone calls from friends who hadn't heard the news yet.

My parents had a friend who in an homage to Obnoxious Christmas Letters everywhere, would send a letter that started on page 3 with something like, "so after Cindy was discharged from the ER..." or "we posted bail for Johnny.." with no explanation what-so-ever, leaving you looking for the other half of the letter, wondering what the flip had happened!

I'm sure, if you've been reading for awhile, it will come as no surprise that the biggest Obnoxious Christmas Letter offender in my life is my mother.  She's mailed out some doozies over the years.  Hers are usually 2+ pages and cover the ENTIRE family. If she was the mother of 10 or had 20 grandchildren or something, the length might be justified, but her is only about us; Evie and me and my two children.... and every other member of our extended family.

Three years after my divorce, I finally had to put the kibosh on her mentioning my ex in her letter.  He wasn't part of the family any more and certainly didn't warrant his own paragraph ~ or three! Her response, "Well I wanted people to know what a jerk he is!"  Oh mom, people know without you writing things like, "The Ex lives in Timbucktoo, he sees the children for a week or two each year." *SMH*

Then there was the year she inadvertently made my sister sound like a lesbian, which would have been fine if she actually was one, "Evie lives with two women in a house in _______ . They enjoy *break to page two* taking long hikes with their two dogs...."

Or the year Evie turned 30 and she put her front and center on the photo card a bikini. Poor Evie was clueless until we showed up at my cousin's for Christmas Eve and their 10-year-old outed my mom!

These days she makes two different letters; The Condensed Version and The Unabridged Version, for the people she feels really want to know it all. *sighs* She has taken to not sending us copies because she does not like our ridicule.  With the children and I heading north, she'll try to hide it in a drawer, but I will find it. LawnBoy is the first guy I've brought home for Christmas since my divorce, I can only imagine...

Do you send a holiday letter each year?


Leigh Powell Hines said...

Merry, Merry Christmas, and may you find that letter, and not be too embarrassed.

Aleta said...

This year, I received 3 christmas letters. All of which were a minimum of 3 pages each. Crazy. But here's some hope for you.... I barely glossed through the letters.. barely. And that's what I understand a lot of people do. Eyes tend to glaze over, because the letters are either - gossip city or the individual is "throwing bouquets" at themselves.

I say this, but have to add that once our baby is born, I do plan on sending out an announcement - but it will be on a postcard with a picture of the baby - date born and weight - very simple :)

Tracy Wilson said...

Thank goodness no one does them in my family:)

Merry Christmas to you and the children, I hope your trip North is...quiet:)


Mrs4444 said...

That lesbian part made me LOL! I love this post and can't wait to hear the follow-up re this year's letter :)

Merry Christmas, Friend! I hope you had a wonderful day and week off :)

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I'm cracking up! Idk what's funnier, the lesbian part or the bikini part.
I've never done a newsletter and doubt I ever will. Nobody needs to know all my drama. lol

Charlotte Klein said...

Hey, my sweetpea! I've missed you! Hope you and LB had a very merry Christmas!

I think it's kind of hysterical that your mom may have insinuated that your sister is a lesbian. Moms. Gotta love them. I have to say I got a few Christmas cards this year and it warmed my house. Not the "here's our family in 2012" cards (which are nice, too) but the handwritten cards I love to receive this time of year.

Things like that really cheer me up :)

Andrea B. said...

Oh G-d. Did you find it? And we have to talk! I must hear everything!!!

And also? I miss you!

Babes Mami said...

You took him home for Christmas!!!

Mimi B said...

I didn't do a letter last year, but I did a Christmas card this year with about 20 pictures and a VERY condensed version of our lives on the back. My letters are usually one or two pages about each of the kids and they each get their own fonts and colors! Yep, I'm that mom! =)

Slamdunk said...

We are anti-letter folks here. They can good for entertainment value though.

I hope you and the family have a super New Year.