The Year Has Come and Gone So Quickly I Mean Goddamn

For some families, it’s a holiday tradition to send a weird family newsletter with your Christmas card. Just a short 7,000 word note about your family’s doings that gives the reader a glimpse into your year. Social media has almost rendered these letters obsolete, as your friends and family can now watch you slowly dissolve into madness in real time, but there’s something quaint about getting an actual letter in the mail.

I found an article that offers Tips for Sparkling Christmas Letters, and the advice is sound. “Start off on a positive note” is number one with a bullet. It says not to start with the phrase, “I can’t believe the year has come and gone so quickly!” because it reminds the reader that death is imminent, and there’s nothing cheerful about walking hand in boney hand with the grim reaper as he whisks you away to the afterlife. Even if his sickle is a candy cane. Keep it positive! Something like, “2014 was a great year, the family and I whispered an ancient incantation that promises immortality in exchange for… something or other. To be honest we couldn’t read the fine print because the book of spells turned to dust when we regained consciousness. LOL it’s fun to be a god.”

I can't believe 1987 is almost over.

I can’t believe 1987 is almost over.

Next on the list of Christmas Letter tips is about resisting the urge to embellish. For example, it’s better to plainly state, “The weird smell in the basement is back” instead of “Plumbers, public service workers and a team of scientists were all baffled by the mysterious raw sewage stench blanketing our basement.” It’s not polite to brag that you had to live in a motel for three months while members of the clergy performed an exorcism on your basement to send the foul odor back to Hell.

The list of tips ends with “Make it personal,” which is pretty vague, so allow me clarify. A 9 paragraph, all-caps sermon about the time you lost your shit on the lady at Dunkin Donuts because she said happy holidays instead of Merry Christmas is personal, but is better served as a journal entry. Similarly, saying that sometimes you look at your family and dream of getting in the car and just driving far, far away until you run out of gas, or that the only time you feel alive is when you hold your head underwater until you’re on the cusp of drowning are deeply personal sentiments, but maybe turn it down a notch for the family Christmas letter. Something like, “My spouse is fine. The children are also fine. It’s Christmas and everything is fine.”

Some last minute tips that the list failed to mention: clippings from the newspaper announcing your child’s honor roll achievements – good! Clippings from the newspaper that contain hidden messages about the JFK assassination that only you can see – also good, but not Christmas letter good. Family recipe for olive loaf – good! Olive loaf jammed into the envelope – thoughtful, but not good. Wishing your friends and family a happy and safe new year – not good depending on the reader, some people like to have dangerous, miserable new years. So with that, my friends, have a new year, and have it however you want it.

You can watch me scream and yell all of my recent posts on AwesomeTalk! It airs every other Tuesday on our YouTube channel, where you can also find past episodes and other psychotic vlog vids.

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