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Monday, July 18, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Our church is preparing to celebrate Christmas in July, when we decorate for Christmas, sing carols and collect school supplies to give to agencies that help inner city kids get back to school in style. That got us in the Christmas spirit this week.

Each year, at "real" Christmas, we enjoy getting those Christmas letters with the news of how well everyone has done in the past year. Sometimes, though, they just have us scratching our heads. Like the times when someone writes about being more in love than ever with their spouse, and you know they're both having affairs. Or the time when they write about how much their son is enjoying his fancy boarding school, and you know he's in a rehab.

Last year, for the first time ever, Jif and I jumped into the Christmas-letter pool, trying to keep up with the Joneses. Here follows our email Christmas letter of 2004, modified slightly for the blogging audience.







Dear Friends,

For years now, we have enjoyed our many fine friends' Christmas letters. And what fine friends we do have; we are blessed. We so enjoy reading, for example, about the blinding whiteness of their children's perfectly straight teeth. And so many of our friends (and their offspring), continue, year after year, to win MAJOR AWARDS. We have welcomed the news of the "Biggest SUV in the Neighborhood" award, and the esteemed, "I Gave More Money to Charity this Year than Oprah Made" award. Most of our friends' major awards, pardon us, MAJOR AWARDS, do revolve around the beauty and brilliance of their children, however there are also awards for the taste, beauty, and yes, CO$T of their home(s), as well as the level of long-term, sustained passion, devotion, etc., of their marriages.

And we have realized how very selfish we have been in enjoying the most intimate details of others' lives, while year after year, withholding any information about our own equally fascinating, equally envy-inspiring lives. Well this year, in the spirit of the season, we want to share:

Susie has cut WAY back on her drinking. LG and Jif are so happy to report that she comes home now more nights than not! We are finally looking forward to a year in which we meet no "nice officers" bringing her home after a . . . well, an "incident" . . .

LG and Biscuit have suffered terribly this holiday season with earmites. It just about breaks your heart to see them shaking their little heads and rubbing their ears against any rough surface in sight. That's why the photo with our letter is not of our own little ones -- we put halos and angel wings on them and tried to snap a good one, but they just kept on with the scratching and the gnawing . . .

The presidential election was a confusing time for LG. She was quite annoyed with people like her mother, who claimed to be voting for "nader." LG said, "No! You can't say 'nader,' you have to pick one or the other!"

We do have much for which to be thankful. Turns out the voices in Jif's head are almost always RIGHT, so how bad is that, really? They even gave him some good investment tips. (The mole rat breeding thing didn't work out, but who could have guessed that the Neighborhood Association has tenets specifically prohibiting that particular enterprise? And those children just shouldn't have gotten so close . . . )

A bit of seasonal advice, and we don't want to say how we know this: it is proper etiquette to buy a separate gift for EACH of the personalities if a loved one is, um, challenged in that way . . . just didn't want you to commit the holiday faux pas that we did last year! Speaking of gift-giving, one of Susie's clients gave her the Christmas gift of two SELF-HELP books: "Why You Act the Way You Do," and "God Has a Plan B for You!" Is someone trying to tell her something? You know, some gifts should just come with a big ol' label stuck right on 'em: Excellent for Re-Gifting! These helpful volumes will definitely be seeing some action in that arena.

Dear friends, if you have received this letter, then you are not one of those from whom we have received the treasured annual Christmas letter -- OR -- and this could be you -- you did send us a letter, but your kids just aren't winning enough MAJOR AWARDS. Your life is just a little too ordinary, and/or we think you're . . . you know . . . FUNNY.

Wishing you every happiness of the season, and a 2005 with AWARDS, REWARDS, etc.,

The Fairchild Family
Jif, Susie, LG*, and Biscuit the Unruly Beast


*For the record, LG disavows any association with this project; her exact words were, "You may NOT use my name; I FORBID IT." (We narrowly missed snagging "Dr. Phil's Listen to Your Children Award.")

(The photograph here was totally stolen and doctored up. So report us.)

49 heads are better than one . . .

Blogger WILLIAM said...

Merry Christmas! What a an awesome letter. I wished I received more of those. God has plan B for you is hysterical.

 
Blogger Greenthumb said...

DOH! William beat me this time.

I hate those christmas letters almost as much as I hate chain letters, but that letter is one I would start counting down the days for. I agree, Plan B is funny, must be what I'm living now. Hope there's a Plan C too.

Glad you cut back on the booze too. ;-)

This was the perfect start to the morning, now I need my coffee. XO

 
Blogger little sister said...

LMFAO! That is the best Christmas letter I have very read. That gives me some ideas... ;-)

 
Anonymous lawbrat said...

Susie, in more ways than one I love that. Each of my personalities thanks you. :-)

Way 1: Just truly hysterical. Over the top funny. Home more nights than not! LOL

Way 2: I always felt my life was inadequate when I would read those from family members, and I never did them because I didnt have all the 'good' stuff to say.
Im not inadequate. Period.

Merry Chirstmas in July!

 
Blogger Susie said...

william, glad you enjoyed. I would appreciate a little attempt at humor in those things, too.

greenie, sweetie, after age 35, I think most of us are on Plan B, and wondering about the plans farther down the alphabet.
Have a good day :)

lilsis, HEY, it's good to see you. Someone at my church last Christmas actually asked if she could use my letter, just change some of the particulars and send it out to her peeps; nothing would have been more flattering to me. I'm glad you found it inspiring :)

lawbrat, most of those letters are "family PR." I could never write a real one, because I'm too honest. Yes, I have a great life, I'm very blessed; however, in any given year, I also have some very distressing, very difficult crap happen to me and my loved ones, as well. But no one seems to put that in the Christmas letter, so I thought making fun of ourselves was the way to go. Actually, I think that's often the way to go.
Your life is as wonderful and as difficult as anyone from whom you get a Christmas letter. And your kids? They deserve WAY more MAJOR AWARDS than anyone else you know :)

 
Blogger _Summer_ said...

The Fairchilds are an ornery lot.

 
Blogger dashababy said...

Funny, funny, funny.

 
Blogger August95 said...

That is a great Christmas letter.

I have never gotten a Christmas letter, most of the people I know can't use the puter. Ah well, you are still very funny.

 
Blogger Nilbo said...

I'm totally stealing this idea and using it this year to replace the letter my daughters normally compose. This is freaking hysterical ... I LOVED "... comes home more nights than not."

 
Blogger SierraBella said...

I absolutely love this!

My best friend from way back sends those sickening Holiday letters.
Last year, in the midst of the usual bragging, she inserted something to the effect of "BTW, my sister died..." Tacky!

 
Blogger LadyBug said...

Oh.

Ahem.

I am one of those family members. No major awards, but I do send out the letter every year. I don't see most of my extended family, except once every few years or so, and that letter is the only communication I have with some of them.

But - heavens to Betsy - I even posted a modified version on my blog last December.

I do know the MAJOR AWARDS letters of which you speak, and I LOVE this tongue-in-cheek letter. You're so witty and clever, Susie.

 
Blogger Celebrate Woo-Woo said...

I hate the letters, too. It's not that I don't want to hear about the people they come from, but why not actually stay in touch if that's what the goal is?!? Please, write me something once a month to tell me what's up...don't pick all the good stuff from the year and send it at a time when we are supposed to be humble;>

 
Blogger ieatcrayonz said...

Be sure to include the "12 days of hospice porn" in this year's letter!

 
Blogger Squirl said...

Susie, you win a MAJOR AWARD for this letter. I love it.

 
Blogger Nina said...

Thanks for the laugh today . . .
Last year we got one of those letters and yes it was addressed to us. But none of us knew who it was from or even recognized the names of the people in it.
We did realize what a wonderful life these strangers had, and the picture of them standing in front of their beautiful new home was great. We did not recognize their faces . . . but they sure have some really gifted children. So I asked John, does this mean we have to add them to our Christmas card list for next year?

Nina

P.S. Don't put off that RX for the "ECHO" ~ Trust me on this.

 
Blogger Candace said...

I don't mind getting the letters from family that we don't see often, as long as they aren't bragging. I'd prefer something more along the lines of, "We're alive, we're working, oh, we bought a house, and the baby learned to walk. Merry Christmas!" instead of the ones we usually get.

But what I really can't stand is getting the letters from friends we see on a regular basis...and they don't have kids. We don't need their letter.

 
Blogger SassyFemme said...

Just wanted to say hi. Discovered your blog today from a comment you left on Sarah's Wacking Loving Family's blog. I've spent the entire morning reading through your site, and laughing my way through the morning - I love the way you write! You're one of those special people in life, and those in your 3-D world are very lucky to have you! :-)

 
Blogger Precisiongirl said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
Blogger Precisiongirl said...

Hmmm, Christmas letters eh?

We don't do that in the UK (well if we do, I'm out of the loop)..

 
Blogger Susie said...

summer, we do our best ;)

thanks, dashababymama

august95, although we emailed ours, we haven't really received one via email yet; it's all been snail mail. You'll get one sooner or later.

nilbo, yay! You must share it with us; I can only imagine how funny . . .

sierrabella GET OUT! That opens up a whole bunch of possibilities for tasteless "BTWs" in the holiday letter.

ladybug, NOooooo, you don't do THAT kind of letter. I LIKE getting the letters, I really don't dismiss the practice out of hand; it's just the incessant bragging, also when it happens to be LYING, that I find worthy of making a little fun of. I KNOW you don't send out that kind. Many of the people to whom we sent this do send out letters; although we did try to send it to only those with a healthy sense of humor.

celebrate woo-woo, welcome; your name is so much fun! You make another point there -- the "look how wonderful we are" theme is a bit objectionable for the season . . .

crayoneater, that's good . . . let's see, now, I have to be careful not to have my worlds collide . . . some who get the letter don't know about the blog, and indeed, mustn't know about the blog . . . tricky . . . but that story must be told, and what better place than in the Christmas letter . . . :0

squirl, HOT DAMN! I thank you. I have ALWAYS wanted to win a MAJOR AWARD!

nina, I read your comment here as I was trying to eat my lunch, and you were almost implicated in the first-ever death-by-blogging incident, I almost choked, so funny. We got a letter from those people, too! heheeeeheeee Seriously, somebody with a big, new house and travels in Europe . . . I don't know them!

I have an appointment; I made it after I read your comment. Thanks for caring :)

misfit, I don't mind the nice, newsy ones either, I enjoy them. Just the ones that try so hard to "spin" things; especially when we know better.

sassyfemme, welcome, and what a very kind comment. Thank you so much, I feel happy that you had a good time here :)

precisiongirl, you could start the trend ;)

 
Blogger laurenbove said...

Well, Merry Christmas dear Susie. Thank you for being the champion of my spirit these few days. You're a wonderful woman. xoxo

 
Blogger eclectic said...

You mean, everyone's worlds are NOT rainbow-hued and star-studded all year long, every year?! Like mine? ***lip quivering***

 
Blogger Kitty said...

I never knew people even did that until I met the ex-fiance's family!

Of course they didn't include the fact that their son is a seething pothead that sits around and gets balder and fatter everyday but that might have scared me off - right?

You continue to crack me up and brighten my days! Thank you Susie! I'm with Squirl - You deserve a MAJOR AWARD :)!!!

 
Blogger Kitty said...

...and God has a Plan B for all of us.

 
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Someone in this family is psychotic. I am a pretty poor guesser, but I got me an idea who is it. And it ain't Biscuit.

 
Blogger mrtl said...

You are too, too funny.

 
Blogger Amy said...

Susie.

You had me at the letter. SuperFantastic.

And then you get me again in the comments- "so I thought making fun of ourselves was the way to go. Actually, I think that's often the way to go."
SO WELL SAID. I am totally cross stitching that on a piece of Aida cloth. When I get the chance. Until then, I will be busy carting my kids around to their fencing lessons and baking my hubby's favorite cookies. NOT.

 
Blogger Grammah Bitch said...

I discovered your blog by following a trail that I no longer remember, but I have become a fast fan! *cheers* Here's to hoping you don't lose that "special thing" ya got!

 
Blogger Vajana said...

That was excellent Susie. I have a friend who sends out updates regularly on when her daughter poops, etc.

I hope that you win a MAJOR AWARD for this letter and it comes in the form of a sexy leg lamp.

 
Anonymous MrsDoF said...

Guilty, so very guilty, of sending the newsletter. I don't even spice it up, I just report family happenings.
One year was extra busy and tiring, so I just bought a couple boxes of lovely cards, hand signed them, addressed, and sent on their way. That's what everyone else does, right?
By Valentine's Day I had more than 6 requests for "where's the newsletter?" or worse "Did you take me off your list for some sad reason?"
Having my weblog helps a little, but much of the family (especially My West Virginia side) doesn't do computers, so I'm really stuck for the paper and postage.
There must be a Plan B in there somewhere. Maybe I'll find it by Thanksgiving.

 
Blogger Dawn said...

susie, you're hilarious, crack me up, milk out of my nose hilarious. thanx for that.

 
Blogger abcd said...

Sarah had told us you were quite
funny. We (the sister's and Nikki)
read your Christmas post. Imagine our surprise when we saw this in
July with the temp. here being 90.

What a great project your church
community sponsers.

The letter we all said the same
thing. Perfect people, perfect children, spouses, perfect homes,
lawns are perfect candidates for
some type of rehab.

Never having written a Christmas
letter. We thought your letter
this year should start with
My 12 days on crack. And on my
first day of crack my....you should
know the words. Don't take these Jewish girls words to heart on that
song.

Thank you for the comic relief.
Shoshie,Lisabeth and Nikki (now
she is a Christian. I think I see her nodding her head. Yes, I will
write that letter with her.

 
Blogger Susie said...

LB, you are very kind; you have a lovely spirit, I'd be happy to be its champion any ol' time :)

eclectic, *gasp* you weren't supposed to read this one! Pay it no mind, dear. Everyone is happy always.

oh, kitty, you might just have to help them out by sending that letter out on their behalf ;)
There ARE plans for you, Miss Kitty; and they don't involve jackasses such as the one I recently read about at your place!

hoss, do ya really think? Should I try to get Jif some help?

well, mrtl, you are, too. Too funny.

amy, fencing seems to show up a lot in those letters . . . whassup with that, I wonder? Glad you enjoyed. Show us the needlework when it's done ;)

grammah bitch, a FAN? How nice, I don't think anyone's ever called themselves that before. Thank you, but I'm liable to lose it any minute. No guarantees here.

vajana, ah, you know where the MAJOR AWARD comes from. I'd love a leg lamp to put in the front window ;) Your friend should blog; I've heard that bloggers will actually read about such things ;)

mrsDoF, you're funny. And clearly, you are not one of THOSE letter-writers -- you had people clamoring for your holiday letter! Your plan is working just fine.

blogaholic, you are so welcome. The thought of making someone laugh just tickles me so much.

swlf, welcome, friends. And thank you for the colorful suggestion for this year's letter. You made Jif and me laugh with that. Let me know if you develop it further. And thank you for stopping in here after what I know must be a long day. Goodlordhavemercy, is there anything more exhausting than hospital-hanging-out? I hate it a lot. I pray for your stamina in the very admirable commitment you've made there. Hug to Sarah.

 
Blogger abcd said...

Once again we are waiting on ice
chips, we are FORBIDDEN to get
anything ourselves for Sarah. WE
are using your name again to put the fear of something in them.

While the hospital hanging thing
is a complete PITA (pain in the ass)we do laugh amongst ourselves.
We talk to Sarah pretty much non-stop. Even when she clearly is
sleeping.

Sometime in the next few days you
might want to visit the SWLF blog.
Between me (Shoshie),Lisabeth, and Nikki, our entertainment could be
a rough draft for your Christmas
letter next year.

Shoshie or if you can say it
with a drawl the given name
is Shoshanna. Very difficult to say
if one is intoxicated

 
Blogger Circus Kelli said...

OH. My. Gock, that's hysterical!

I used to send out annual newsletters, but haven't done so since Buddy was born. I'll have to look back at those and make sure they aren't of the "Major Award" variety -- I *did* get one of those from a friend, though, and holy cow -- I had NO IDEA her daughter was such a smart, beautiful little angel until I read it. :)

I may have to do something like that this year... 'cause, you know, it would be funny as hell, and if some people get bent out of shape, well... maybe we'll get taken off their Christmas card list! :)

 
Blogger Bucky Four-Eyes said...

Best Christmas letter to ever exist. Hands down.

But I suppose you're saving the crack-weaning story for this year's letter, aren't you?

 
Blogger marybishop said...

I do not like those happy horseshit christmas letters and I also detest the family vacation photos used as christmas cards...why not just send copies of your income tax forms so we can see exactly how stinking rich y'are?

The Hawaiian ones with the leis get to me...

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd welcome a letter like that at Christmas! Put me on your list, Susie!

gina
http://findingmygroove.blog-city.com

 
Blogger SRH said...

I think I will steal this idea for my Christmas blog

Absolutely brilliant.

 
Blogger Von Krankipantzen said...

This is the second reference to Christmas this week. I am freaking a little.

 
Blogger Spurious Plum said...

Ooh! Red and green ink, and everything!

I wish there were more letters like that, and less "I say everything's fine, but my husband has run away to live on a houseboat with a hoochie half his age" letters.

If folks actually ADMITTED the part about the houseboat hoochies, it would be way funner. Damn. Is 'funner' a word?

 
Blogger snaps79 said...

I wore my lone Christmas thong in honor of you today. Ho Ho Ho.

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

where da titters at

 
Blogger JessicaRabbit said...

My mother always sends those letters and they are always horrible and full of it, you should of seen the one she wrote when I moved away from home at 15 HAH. Freak.

I personally have always wanted to send something out with things like, things have settled down now that I have made my mother happy and stopped being a WHORE. But boy I am still glad I am not as fat as HER.

Lucky for her, I dont send Christmas cards. Never can tell what you might get from me for halloween though.

You rock, and you so should of come along shopping with me and Bucky.

 
Blogger Bucky Four-Eyes said...

Jess, ya think we coulda made Susie blush?

The magic 8-ball says: You know it, sistah.

 
Blogger Susie said...

SWLF, you may have to break out the big guns, now. Instead of just invoking "Susie," use my last name, "Fairchild." You'll have enough ice chips to build a freakin' igloo! (See my March 18th post to learn of the power behind that name.) Thanks for helping with the Christmas letter; I have never before had Jewish input on such a thing, and I say, it's about time! Shoshie, interestingly, when one is intoxicated, my name sounds very much like yours. Sort of Shooshie. I read that Sarah is still making with the funny. God bless her every single cell.

CK, isn't that funny when you really know the people, have been around them a lot, and their letter bears no resemblance to what you've seen all year :0

BFE, crack-weaning would make a very heart-warming, inspirational holiday mistle . . . missile? Missive? What am I trying to say? Gimme that crack . . .

MB, you're cracking me up. I have my own quirkiness on what is and is not appropriate on Christmas cards. Mine have to have Jesus and/or animals, preferably both. Go figure. But yea, send out those other kind of cards on "Look How Rich I am Day."

Gina, you got it. You could write a very fine such letter. I'm thinking we need to do a blogworld-wide holiday letter day . . . how 'bout it?

srh, hurray for stealing! At least in this case.

kranki, whassup, got A Christmas Carol kind of vibe going there?

SugarPlum, Funner HAS to be word. Yes, Christmas letters really should contain mention of hoochies.

HDL, who you callin' ho? And not just once, but
once, twice, three times a Ho . . . Aw, you love me, don't you ;) I hope you've posted a picture.

anonymous, honey, are you lost? You might be looking for JessicaRabbit's place . . .

JR, see if you can help Anon. Your little rough draft here is very funny, but share that with us internet wackos, I don't think the real world is ready for that one. I'm sure I would have had a MOST memorable time with you and Katy Caverna.

 
Blogger Bucky Four-Eyes said...

Susie, you coulda shouted into the Caverna when I fell down!

 
Blogger Susie said...

bucky . . .uh. . . yea, no. No thanks (anks anks nks ks s)

 
Anonymous Sarah Jo said...

That is a great Christmas letter. Belated happy christmas.....

 


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