How Not to Write a Holiday Newsletter

Posted on November 30th, 2009

Dear Friends and Family,

Festivus Greetings from our family! Another year has flown by and the holidays are upon us. And no matter what holiday you celebrate, we’re sure that you are surprised to get this newsletter from us. Oh, I know I said I’d never do one—but we’ve gotten so much joy from reading all of yours that we really felt that this year, we’d return the joy to all of you.

Let me start this—our very first newsletter EVER—by saying thank you. Through the years, your pages and pages of anecdotes and updates as to your monetary status have never failed to elicit chuckles—and sometimes outright guffaws—from us. Sure, there are days when we wonder why we only hear from you once a year—but then we get your newsletters and we realize that you are too busy visiting tropical isles, collapsing the worldwide economy or buying your child into an Ivy League school to return a phone call to us. So truly, we don’t mind.

And of course, we are thrilled—just THRILLED—that you moved into your dream home. No, 32 rooms doesn’t sound too large—it sounds just right. You deserve this house. And the daily housekeeper you hired sounds like an absolute treasure. I, myself, spend my days wondering where the heck my daily housekeeper is. Then I remember that I am the daily housekeeper and I go back to my life of cleaning the toilets and making sure the shower scum doesn’t get so bad it turns into a large, hairy monster that attacks one day while I’m shampooing.

Of course, Hubby and I have considered selling this house and moving into our very own dream house—but the only dream house in our price range comes with a Barbie. And anyway, there are too many memories in this house to leave it. Every time I walk down the hallway, I step over the carpet stains and I remember all the times that Junior came down with the flu. And the exciting times we had housebreaking the dog. Oh, and Junior’s Jackson Pollack art stage was fun too! I still have the paintings all over the living room walls. It’s hard to cover them up when your little Picasso uses permanent markers.

And I’m sure your new luxury car is just lovely. Really. I’m enjoying driving the same exact truck I drove last year. And the year before. And frankly, for several years before that. But I wouldn’t trade it for any car on earth because it has memories. Precious ones. I know because each time I get into the car I can smell them. Mostly they are memories of smelly feet, but every once in a while an old french fry gets pretty stinky there under the backseat and I get to re-live a precious memory of Junior sitting in the back, teasing the dog with deep fried potato products.

It just doesn’t get much better than that—unless you count the time that Hubby was eating a gulf shrimp po-boy and a shrimp fell out and wasn’t seen again until it had morphed into a large, green, slimy shrimp. Good times, I’m telling you. Good times and way, way too many precious memories for me to just up and sell it and get a luxury car.

Your children sound so charming. I’m keeping your address around for sure because once little Timmy graduates law school we will be looking to him to get us out of a small accounting mess we may have gotten ourselves into. I’m not sure about the legalities of it, but the nice lady from the IRS says that if we just confess to our “tiny mistake” we should only get a few years of house arrest—unless they take the house. Of course, we’ll keep you updated on that.

And your summer in Europe sounds like the perfect vacation. What bliss to have all that good food, sunshine and beaches! We of course, summered in Italy as well—if you count sitting by the blow-up pool and ordering pizza from June to August as summering in Italy. Next summer, we plan to “visit” China, as there is a new Chinese food delivery service here in town.

Well, that about sums up our exciting year. And as our family gathers round the Festivus aluminum pole and dines on the traditional Festivus meatloaf, we’ll be sure to remember our dear, dear friends, whom we hear from at least once a year.

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11 Responses to “How Not to Write a Holiday Newsletter”

  1. pixielation Says:

    Priceless! Well done.

    The only ones I get like this are from uber religious friends of my mother, so they are always about the family and loving God. Not that I don’t – just that I don’t want to make everyone else live through my loving.

  2. barbara Says:

    I think you set just the right tone for this festive season. But you obviously have many more wealthy “friends” than I. I tend to get letters from home-school families with ten kids that want to tell me everything they did for the year, from potty-training to the national spelling bee, how much each child weighs, eats, and reads and how many trophies they received for good penmanship. It’s awe inspiring, to say the least. I almost feel compelled to pull my children out of school and teach them myself…but then sanity hits and reminds me how much I like my alone time and how little I remember algebra or world history. So instead, I write my own Christmas letter just to get back at them. Works everytime:)

  3. Laurie Says:

    The thing is, I do get newsletters I genuinely look forward to and enjoy. But some of them, it’s like “whoa, brag much?”

  4. Lisa Says:

    While your “Holiday Newsletter” made me laugh out loud, it also made me grateful that I don’t have any friends or family that send out “Bragging Letters”:)

  5. Kimberly Hosey (AZ Writer) Says:

    Ha; good one! I think we can all identify.

  6. Laurie Says:

    thanks, Kimberly!

  7. pixielation Says:

    I just laughed reading this, because we were joking about this the other day, and then I got one in the mail. Generally, it’s the parent’s of my friends who send them.

    And then I arrived here in Australia, and there is my mother and her friends talking about how they love them.

    But according to them, they need to be short and sweet. Then one lady mentioned a friend who sends her several pages – she just tosses it out! Savage they were! So it’s obviously an art form to balance just the right amount of information, with the right level of motherly pride and humility. Cross the line and you’re history!

  8. Laurie Says:

    It’s so funny, I really do look forward to some of them–but there are others that I just open the card, skim through and then toss. Not quite as savage as your mom, tho ;)

    Have fun in Australia and Happy Holidays to everyone.

  9. Barry Ballreich Says:

    i’m speechless, you fool. thanks. ;)

  10. Shelly Says:


  11. product reviews Says:

    Huh? What is going on here? Is this real life?? No, but seriously, what’s up with this post and it’s comments?

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