Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Please, somebody write one of these for real!

With Christmas just four weeks away, our mailbox will soon begin to spew forth Christmas cards. We're working on ours and I know you're working on yours. Therefore I think it's time we talk about the dreaded Christmas letter. We all know the type: One family's spin on just how perfect their house, kids, jobs, etc. are. Let's be honest. No one talks about the bad things in those letters and, on that rare occasion that someone does, it's usually inappropriate and possibly even painful.

Humor. That's what we want, people. Humor.

So, here is the Jenworld version of what the perfect Christmas letter SHOULD say:

Dear Family, Friends, and Probation Officers (Hey! They're like family to us!!!) -- Can you believe it? Christmas is almost here and 2008 is just around the corner. Where did the time go?

Court. That's where the time went. It seems that we spent a hell of a lot of time in court this year, what with Biff Jr.'s trial for those pesky drug charges we couldn't buy his way out of. And don't think Biff Sr. didn't try his damnedest to bribe some of his friends at the country club. Ha ha ha! Just kidding, of course.

But we didn't all spend all of our time trying to thwart the legal system. Mimsy also spent lots of wonderful mother/daughter bonding time with Molly while she recovered from that nasty staph infection she got after she got pierced in places we just won't mention in a family newsletter. But all that time in the hospital gave Molly a chance to think on the past and look toward the future. She is resolved that in 2008 she will go back and finish high school, which we are just so darn proud about. While we're not certain that Molly's past actions will allow her to be readmitted to the cheerleading squad, we're certain that our darling daughter will find her niche somewhere at Snotwad Country Day School.

Biff Sr. and Mimsy did manage a lovely getaway for our 20th wedding anniversary -- a romantic weekend in Las Vegas!!! That's right. We checked ourselves into the Bellagio and, while Mimsy worked on her tan by the pool, Biff Sr. decided to check out the blackjack tables. He was certain he had a system to beat the house and he was ready to give it a trial run. Unfortunately, Biff Sr. managed to lose all of our savings and max out our credit cards in a marathon 12-hour blackjack session. But that's okay, because we all learned a valuable lesson. And isn't that the most important thing?

When not bailing our son out of jail and helping our daughter recover from her inappropriate piercings, Mimsy did her best to make a difference in our community. Through her volunteer work, Mimsy was able to improve the lives of those less fortunate students at Snotwad C.D.S. That's right, Mimsy led the drive to raise funds so that ALL students could have an iPhone this year. Can you imagine a cold cruel world without an iPhone? Neither can we, which is why Mimsy worked so damn hard. Her reward was to be named Chair of next year's Peony Festival, narrowly beating out Bitsy Buckingham for the job. Suck it Bitsy! You can be Mimsy's Vice Chair.

As we approach the holiday season, our hearts are full of gratitude for all that we have. A lovely 6,000 s.f. house with golf course access. A new Hummer for Mimsy so that she'll have enough room to haul her shopping bags. A new green card for Esmeralda, our housekeeper, who is like family to us -- family that lives in a tiny room above the garage, that is. And, above all, a good lawyer and a doctor who writes unlimited prescriptions for Mimsy's "happy pills."

Peace on Earth everyone!

The Biffington Family


Family Adventure said...

A classic, Jen. Well done.


Happy Working Mom said...

Freaking hilarious!

Flutterby said...

LMAO and OMG!!! I HATE THOSE THINGS. Hub has an Uncle who sends one out every freaking year like we GIVE a rats hairy hootie about people we barely even know and never ever even talk to. Hub didn't even know them much while growing up. You're right... no one with a NORMAL family ever sends those things out.

Melissa said...

Too funny! Last year I wrote a list of family fun facts, like how many gallons of chocolate milk the boys drank in the past year, how many teeth Mr. T lost, etc. It got the point across without being boring or long-winded and we had fun with it. Good luck writing yours!

The Guider said...

Love it - but they really need to be the Biffington-Fortherington-Smythes.

Bravo Jen!

alison said...

Very funny Jen!!!

Yah, I'm trying to write one this year. Seriously. I get one or two from friends, and I love them, they're usually funny and well-written. And I'm lazy, and the thought of writing a personal message to each and every person is giving me pre-emptive hand cramps, cause I'm a long-winded kind of person.

I'll try to keep your example in mind as I write mine. :-)

Jennifer (Jen on the Edge) said...

Full disclosure: We DO send a newsletter out to a limited number of people BUT it's in a newspaper format and we talk about odd stuff not how perfect our children are. One year, Pete included his "report" on all the roller coasters he'd ridden that year.

We're working on one for this year, but if we can't get the humor just right, it's not getting printed.

Last year, so help me, we received a newsletter that was one page double-sided in rather small print. It included everything the family had done all year, some seriously narcisstic musings, and even a detailed paragraph about something sad that had happened to them. It was truly painful to read.

Badness Jones said...

LOL! I would love to get Christmas letters like that from everyone. Good job!

Josie said...

As I am not a big fan of the Holidays, I loved this letter.

Thanks for the laugh :)

Peggy Sez.. said...

I love it! Will there be a sequel?..LOL!

Mrs. G. said...

I have always wanted to send out a "keeping it real Christmas letter". I think I could curl some toes. This cracked me up, Jen. Thanks for the laugh.

Flutterby said...

Oh... and you got the point of view wrong in your letter. The truly snottyass ALWAYS write in the third person as if they hired someone to write it for them. I think it makes them feel like they think they are even more hot shit or something if it looks like someone else wrote it. So for example it would be "Biff and Mimsy did manage a lovely getaway for their 27th anniversary." etc etc. That is exactly how the one we get from hub's uncle always is. I try my best not to even touch it but I always end up looking at it and gagging and poking fun at it. Hub just ignores me. Because he knows I am right.

countrymouse said...

What a fantastic idea! (And so well executed ; )

My distaste for one-size-fits-all Christmas letters causes me to hand write individual messages to everyone. Why didn't I ever think of changing it up a bit and adding some humor? I am so 'duh' sometimes : )

If I get pressed for time, I'll just jack yours. We don't know the same people--nobody will be the wiser ; )

jenny said...

Loved that!

Have you read David Sedaris' letter "Seasons Greetings to our Friends and Family!!!" ?

Twisted and completely wrong. But so, so funny.

Linda and her Surroundings said...

Christmas letter - hmmm, all I put is ho ho ho and that is it.

I should copy this one and just change the names.

Jennifer (Jen on the Edge) said...

Jenny: No, I haven't, so thanks for the recommendation!

smalltownmom said...

I confess I do a letter, but lately it's been a magazine parody (last year was Car and Driver because our 16 year old got his license). I try to make it funny. No one's complained. Yet.