It was another wonderful year for the (insert last name here) family. (Insert Dad’s name here) got a promotion at work and despite his busy travel schedule continues to find time for charity work, coaching the kid’s baseball and soccer teams, and pursuing his dream as a screen-writer. (Insert oldest child’s name here) is an honors student and continues to excel at baseball, piano, swimming, and rhythmic dance. He’s only 9 years old but he’s already being recruited by several Division 1 colleges for both athletic and academic scholarships. (Insert middle child’s name here) is also an honors student and is a truly gifted artist. He is by far our most creative child. (Insert youngest child’s name here) is not yet in school but is clearly on her way to becoming an honors student. She’s only 9 months old but already has a beautiful singing voice. In fact we’ve already been approached by several talent agents who would like to put her in movies. I continue to feel so blessed with how perfectly our lives have turned out. Being a full time mom keeps me very busy but it is truly the most rewarding job I can imagine. We wish you and yours the best of everything in the year to come. Warmest regards, the (insert last name here) family.
The problems with these letters are many but the most evident problem is that everyone you send it to knows full well it’s wrought with exaggerated claims and embellished bullshit. That being said I’ve taken the liberty of putting together a rough translation of the letter above:
It was another miserable year for the (insert last name here) family. (Insert Dad’s name here) got moved into a new role at his company with less responsibility and significantly less pay. His boss told him they would actually like to fire him but because he’s 1/8 African American they can’t (everyone knows it’s impossible to fire a minority). He goes away often and claims it's for business travel but I’m starting to suspect he’s lying because he never takes a suitcase and strange women are starting to call the house. I also doubt he’s doing any charity work because every time he says he’s going down to the soup kitchen to help feed the homeless he returns home reeking of whiskey and cheap perfume. He does actually coach our children’s baseball and soccer teams but only because the league commissioners have informed us that unless he coaches our kids will not be able to participate due to their severe emotional and behavioral problems. And he is also working on a screen play but it’s for a pornographic movie starring a sadistic hermaphrodite (surprisingly the parts I’ve read are actually quite good). (Insert oldest child’s name here) is repeating 2nd grade… again, and he continues to suck at every new activity he partakes in. Too bad swearing is not a sport. The only way this little mutant’s going to college is if he’s there to serve food in the cafeteria. (Insert middle child’s name here) has not yet had to repeat any grades, which is surprising to everyone considering we think he may be slightly retarded. He frequently draws dark, bloody pictures of our family being murdered and the other day I caught him pulling the legs off his pet turtle, flash. He’s now on his third clinical psychologist after the first two suddenly changed professions, or at least that’s what their messages said on our answering machine. We’re still hopeful he can turn out to be a good serial killer like that guy Dexter on TV. (Insert youngest child’s name here) is not progressing as quickly as the pediatricians would like but she’s honestly just lucky to be alive after the massive head trauma inflicted by her brother when she was just a few days old. She has good days and bad days but spends most of her time covering her ears, humming loudly, and rocking back and forth in the fetal position in a puddle of her own waist. We’ve been approached by the child abuse prevention people who want to put together a public address video about her to teach new parents about the dangers of shaken baby syndrome. And although we’re hesitant our lawyer says we have no choice, something about it being in the terms of our legal settlement with child protective services. I continue to dull my pain with alcohol and sleeping pills and pray every night before I go to bed that I’ll die in my sleep and be free of this living hell I now find myself in. I would honestly disappear and start a new life somewhere else but I have no money, no credit history, and since I got knocked up when I was just 13 no education and no job skills whatsoever. I am so full of hate and discontent that I can’t even stand to look at myself in the mirror. Life sucks, the (insert last name here) family.
In summary don’t jibjab and don’t write corny, self-promoting Christmas letters. Nobody wants to see your family’s faces superimposed on top of creepy, snowball throwing elves and nobody wants to read your sadly transparent lies. Shit, my mom's going to kill me when she reads this post. Oh well, just keepin it real Mom.