I don’t know about you, but my parents send out a traditional Christmas letter every holiday season to friends, family, distant cousins, and people I’ve never met who may have really attractive and single male children for me to meet and date one day.
A few years back, someone (ahem, sister) didn’t like what our parents were saying about us in our individual paragraphs, so my parents dumped the responsibility on us. So every year I am obligated to come up with some cheesy ass paragraph about what I’ve been doing that year. And I hate it. It’s my parents’ way of showing us off under the guise of the holiday season.
This year came along and all I wanted to write was “Same shit, different year. Happy 2010!” But I knew that wouldn’t fly. Instead, I decided to be funny and write a joke submission (you all know where this is heading) and this is what I wrote:
Greetings and salutations from the poorest state in the Union! Financial troubles aside, 2009 has been a good year out here in Los Angeles. No writers strike to threaten the Academy Awards!! Am I right! Instead of a museum, we have block of vacant buildings surrounded by fencing and razor wire. Through out the year, I’ve spent quality time reading books, doing crossword puzzles and finding ways to keep my head from hitting my desk at my job. Cheers to a great 2010!
I’m laughing, laughing, laughing at this because it’s so absurd and hilarious if you know my sense of humor. I send it to my Dad because I know he’ll think it’s funny too. A few minutes later, I send a revised and appropriate submission that went a little something like this:
Greetings from the poorest state in the union! Considering California’s empty pocketbook, 2009 has been a very fortunate year. The Museum project I am working on has slowed due to the economy, but in the meantime, we are busy building our collection and developing possible exhibit ideas. I was recently involved with the Academy’s inaugural Governor Awards where we celebrated the outstanding achievements of Roger Corman, John Calley, Lauren Bacall and Gordon Willis. I’ll be working the 82nd Academy Awards as a Press Guide Coordinator again this year. With ten Best Picture nominees for the first time since 1943, it’s bound to be a big year. Outside of work, I continue to enjoy the constant sunshine, the year-round farmers markets and the steady flow of friends and family who make the trek out west to visit.
This paragraph should be a go-to example of what a perfect Christmas letter should look like. It’s outstanding. And not a single person on my parent’s mailing list read it. Because what was sent out to my grandmother, aunts, uncles, former kindergarten teachers and future boyfriends was the paragraph that makes me sound like a drunk asshole.
My oldest sister read it and howled with laughter and the running joke for the rest of our time home was “am I right, AM I RIGHT?” I’m over it now and thankfully it makes for a good story. I just don’t know how I’m going to top it next year.