We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.
Every Awesome Aspect
Those Holiday Letters
Some holiday traditions are great, you know, like a dry pine tree strung with a mile and a half of old, fraying electrical wire, a diabetic heaven of sugar cookies and of course a full month of alcohol abuse … who doesn’t love that? But there are some traditions that we could do without. And holiday letters may be one of them.
You’ve all gotten them; and some of you (you know who you are) have sent them. I’m referring to those six page, once a year, holiday letters from your Pentecostal 2nd cousin twice removed who fires off a holiday word bomb filled with accolades of their entire family concisely outlining every insignificant, but apparently awesome, aspect of their life over the last year. Somehow these folks find every numbing aspect of their lives to be worthy of detailing in print and then sent to all 4 corners of the earth. I could search through my entire life and not have enough of interest to fill a paragraph. Why is CindyLoo’s appointment to the orthodontist to get her braces adjusted and little Ralphy’s raging eczema anything that anybody, aside from a court appointed legal guardian, would give a shit about?
There are three basic prerequisites if you decide to write one of these things. They are:
- Have something of interest to say. Example: You discovered how to make cold fusion this year … see, that’s newsworthy. Your middle school kid’s “Most improved at hand washing award” is not.
- If you have nothing interesting to say, do a little lying, make something up. Such as, your neighbors have become backyard nudists. Sex and naked people are usually interesting, even when fictional.
- The ability to pass high school freshman English.
We’ve all waded through this type of correspondence; fighting off the waves of nausea … they all go something like this.
Dear family and friends,
This was a supersparkly-extrafabulous year. I know the recession was hard on most of you, but for us, it couldn’t have been any better. Roger was given a huge raise and was promoted to Dept. head at ScrewEm’All University. Bottom line, we are filthy rich. His raise also came with an honorary degree in a field he knows absolutely nothing about, but can talk endlessly as though he does. We have had loads of extra vacation time and we visited 112 countries in four days, Lapland was simply sublime. (See the enclosed blurry photos of everyone wearing Santa Claus hats at the Kremlin, simply precious) Oh, and Roger is having his graduate students paint our house while we’re away, for free of course! The kids have excelled beyond all expectations; Roger Jr. is graduating high school at age 12 and will be attending Harvard on full scholarship. Little Cecily attended Heart Surgery and Tennis Camp this summer and performed her first aortal valve-ectomy on a 42 year old who lived an additional 3 days, all while qualifying for the US Olympic Doubles team. She had a super-duper-great summer to say the least. Little Jimmy, turned 8 has been tested again and shows an IQ of 1400 (rather than the flawed first test indicating 14.) We expect to see great things from him as soon as he stops sucking his thumb. Even our cat, Frumpakins, has had a fantastic year, giving birth to 2 purebred wolfhound puppies and a very small pony, congratulations Frumakins! In ending, I can’t say enough about our blessed life. I just continue to thank god unceasingly for our amazing success and his personal focus on us and his constant attention to our winning football team, which I’m told he will personally coach to the state finals.
Love and hugs,
Just makes ya wanna puke don’t it?
Just once I would like to get an accurate summation of the year’s events from one of my friends or relatives, a year of circumstance I can relate to or am perhaps living … Goes something like this.
Dear friends, family and Warden Johnson,
The recession has been hard, but Roger, by stealing things from the neighbors garages and selling them down on State Street has managed to keep the house. I’m so lucky to have married such a resourceful husband. Roger has also earned his 3rd AA chip this month, but it was quite a trick hiding the rum balls from him this Christmas! Roger Jr. had to serve a little time in juvey this year for car theft where he also contracted a wicked STD, but on the other hand he has become quite the wily get-away driver. Cecily, turned 22 and is still working on her GED and has gotten her 14th tattoo. This one a beautiful lime green and purple python climbing up her calf, around her thigh, and into her Daisy Dukes. She is quite proud of it and has become very popular with the young men down at the Steinway lounge where she works the pole “shakin’ that snake” to help out with grocery money. Little Jimmy is enjoying foster care and if he ever stops lighting fires we would love to take him back – he’s the little “light” of our life you know! I’ve tried to keep the home fires burning bright and Roger finally forgave me for that little fling I had with carpet cleaning man, I’m so glad we patched things up, (but honey, I’m telling you my carpet was never cleaner!) Unfortunately our cat “Meatball” crawled into a natural gas line in June and was expelled rather violently when little Jimmy lit a match to go looking for him. … I’ve never seen a yowlin’ fireball quite like that before. But we are going to submit “Assless Cat” to America’s Funniest Home Video’s and hope for the win. I still keep faith in prayer and hope someday god will find the time to help us out rather than spend all his time trying to take that stupid fuckin’ football team to the state finals again.
Love to all,
I may write one of these holiday horrors next year, I’ve begun taking endless notes on what I, my kids, my wife and my cat are doing on an hourly basis … so far I’ve got nuthin’ but washing dishes, a lot of bitchin’ and moanin’ and occasionally someone (or the cat) breaks wind. But have faith, there is a whole year left to write about.
Ok, I need to point out that this has nothing to do with those of you who have sent me your holiday letters in the past, your letters are fantastic, keep ‘em coming. I’m talking about all those “other” people’s holiday letters.
Whew! A little holiday honesty goes a long way, don’t it? … Just say’n
- Image: Licensed by LikeTheDew.com at iStock.com.
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
That my first visit to the Lincoln memorial in 48 years would bring tears was unexpected. Yet on a sunny September Sunday in 2012, at the feet of his massive marble likeness, staring solemnly upon the chiseled words of President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, salty drops dot my face. There is poignancy simply in standing where I scampered a lifetime ago as an unknowing four-year-old. But, my tears this day are for something more immediate – at least for me. This moment, the text of our 16th President’s second inaugural speech, and especially his Gettysburg Address fall this day upon a heart Read on →
Does the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump serve any useful purpose? If your first reaction is to dismiss the question because the idea that such an absurd and repellant figure could be taken seriously, it is worth remembering that American voters have elected others just as unlikely to the White House. Ronald Reagan the movie actor and George W. Bush the old money underachiever whose daddy was president were no less improbable early in their political careers. To be sure, Trump’s candidacy might be nothing more than an example of the public attention seeking that afflicts the superrich. Rather like 1%ers p Read on →
"Ol' Obama knocked it outta the park yestiddy didn't he?" "Sumbitch always does. He always does." "Big O was fuckin' magnificent in Charleston. I can't believe he actually sang 'Amazing Grace.' I think he knew Clementha Pinckney…" The conversation was on-going at a table across from where I'm taking refuge from ominous weather. As near as I can tell, their names are Stan, Roy and Tommy. All three are African-American. They are gray-beards, firmly ensconced in the demographic labeled 'active seniors.' One of them, 'Stan', wears a yellow and black baseball cap that shouts 'STEELERS'. It's mid-afternoon last Saturday in one of those places o Read on →
“In this intimate body of work, she uses mixed media, collage and painting to explore the demands of motherhood, preservation of memory, and repetitious patterns of thought and behavior.” Huh? I recently received this invitation and quickly decided it was probably something I don’t want to even be seen near, let alone attend. Perhaps my reluctance to go has something to do with the description. I just have no idea what the promoters are talking about. Besides, when you use “intimate body of work” to put a fence around “thought and behavior,” I get a bit light headed. Perhaps my reaction was just a quirk Read on →