It’s that time of year again, and I received my first Christmas letter today.
Yeah, Ho Ho Ho.
I am not a big fan of Christmas letters. Okay, the idea is nice. People who love you enough to send out a card also send information also send a Christmas letter, and if it is a well-written letter, everything is wonderful. But not many letters are well-written. By well-written, I am not talking about grammar, spelling, subject-verb agreement. I speak to content.
The typical letter I get from those who love me is filled with their yearly accomplishments. "Hey, we had a good year – bought me and my wife matching Lexuses." The first thing that pisses me off is that people should not be rich enough to ever need to pluralize the word "Lexus." Class envy aside, I really need to know that it was a really good year financially for someone.
Only slightly less annoyingly, are the letters that tout the kids. I love, kids, I really do. And I think kids do great just learning how to read, write, and deal with irrational numbers. But either the authors of these Christmas letters are exaggerating their accomplishments, or my relatives and friends' children are going to cure Cancer, the Riemann hypothesis, and discover that there was a second gunman behind the grassy knoll. Oh, and I know these kids. Yeah, they consume oxygen like the rest of us and convert it to carbon dioxide. That does not make them a chemistry wiz.
Next are the letters that laud other accomplishments. I am not going to put an award won at work on my resume' and you probably should not include it on your Christmas letter. Well, if you have won a Nobel Prize, don't brag about the prize. Just mention that you took a trip to Stockholm this year, posed for some pictures for a local event, and went next door to the Netherlands to hook up with a bunch of prostitutes (window shopping) and visiting the pot bars. That would be both entertaining, and informative (and we already know you won the Nobel Prize anyway).
Oh, then there are the wonderful Baptists that send their Christmas letters. Sorry, I know lots of good Baptists outside of my family. There is one, in particular, who think that all Catholic priests are pedophiles, and that I cannot go to heaven because I am not following in Christ's path (simply because I am Catholic). Their letters talk about all of their charity work, reminding us to tithe to a local Baptist church. Funny thing is that the father is racist, and I cannot reconcile racism with Christianity. The Baptist Letter, as it is known in my household, is special each year. We circle the misspellings and comma faults. Anything over twelve and we celebrate. We have gone out because of the letter three years running.
Next is the letter that explains how to have a more "Christ-ful" Christmas. It is along the same lines as the previous letter, though these two families don't automatically condemn one to hell because of their particular brand of Christianity they practice. How Christian of them. I have tried quantifying the contents of these letters, seeing if they are less boastful, more meek, but I just can't figure out how to do it.
Perhaps one of their brilliant children can come up with an expression to do this. It would surely make my Christmas a merrier one.