Monday, December 20, 2010

A (Non-Traditional) Christmas Letter

While sending a "Christmas Letter" to friends and family we rarely get to see is a great way to update everyone about the goings-on in our lives, and we only have to do it once a year, it can still be a stressful and time consuming undertaking.  You have to write the letter and then address all the envelopes and lick all those envelopes and stamps. YUCK!  Susan, from Rants With an Old Trout, took a moment out of her busy schedule to share with us her non-traditional, tongue-in-cheek Christmas Letter - blogger-style!

Many of you will think I am tacky for writing our annual Christmas letter this way, but unlike a lot of you, I am BUSY.

The maid had to go see her dying mother or something, so not only have we had to clean our own house, but we had to put up the Christmas tree and decorations too. Last year her son fell off the roof while putting up all our outside lights -- he threatened (unsuccessfully) to sue us, so I don't know why we keep her anyway. She did promise she'd come by sometime the week before Christmas and bake cookies for us to give away -- we think homemade cookies are always appreciated.

Once again, John was passed over for promotion at work. The cretins he works with and his so called "manager" are so jealous of him they can't stand it. So he continues to at a job for which he is CLEARLY overqualified and nags me about getting a real job and cooking something other than ramen noodles with fried bologna. Like sweeping up hair at a salon 10 hours a week is a breeze. (I was saving the hair to send to some beach where a tanker of olive oil hit a reef or something -- a guy on the news said it was good for moping up oil, and I thought it would count towards my mandatory community service. But here's a free tip: don't use a big bag of hair to mop your floor when your dishwasher leaks!!!! It will make a foul, disgusting mess, no matter what the talking heads say). However, John and I are going to try to patch things up over the holidays at a couples-only retreat in Greenville, Mississippi. We got a great deal - $60 a night for the hotel. The brochure said something about "taking up serpents," so I'm thinking it might be one of those reptile farms. Which are kind of creepy but interesting, too: I saw an albino alligator one time! Anyway, we'll have some time to share our problems with other couples. As my fans know, my husband can't get enough of socializing, especially with strangers so desperate they want marital counseling.

                                                           Girls before they went bad.

You might be wondering; what about your daughters? I know some of you have heard of my struggles -- they live to make me crazy. Their grades have been falling steadily in high school, and PLEASE - no more of that "they're struggling and you're the parent" crap. The guidance counselor keeps calling and talking about "gang activity." We were a bit tickled, to tell the truth: both of them started dressing a lot better - no more of that snotty preppy look they had going. Since they were tiny tykes we've been spinning tales about back in the day when we rode with the Demon Spawn of Flatbush. Sure, our black leather chaps are a bit tight, our vests resemble bolero jackets, and we've switched from Yamahas to Segways, but we still turn more than a few heads. Especially at Teachers' Night.

(Note to fans: I wanted so much to find a suitable image to insert here, but searching for "overweight couples wearing chaps on motorcycles" sent me to some sites I'd rather not visit again.)

Wow -- I was gathering wool there for a moment -- thinking of how we almost had that rumble with the Blouds and the Cripes before they went running home to their mommies!

Back to the girls -- unfortunately, they are spending the holidays in detention. We found out after the fact that the "gangs" they hang out with are totally lame. They usually just drive up and honk for them, so we hadn't actually met any of them. Those loud noises we were so impressed with turned out to be crappy cars with even crappier mufflers. Turns out my oldest one tried to steal several expensive slide rules as an initiation into the Cute Angles, a group of girls so geeky the regular math club wouldn't let them in. My youngest was caught stealing fruit to serve at a soiree given by the No Shows, a group so vile they had been banned from the Drama Club. She would have been given probation if her aim hadn't been so good: she hit the police officer right in the eye with a Granny Smith. You can only imagine our disappointment and shame at their choice of companions.

(I know it sounds callow, but is this not the best excuse EVER for saving money on presents! Not only do they not deserve them, but they're not even here to open them if they WERE under the tree.)

It looks as though Aunt Lucy is going to have to move back in with us: the woman cannot hold a job and I don't know why she keeps going back to working in technical support. She thought she was just practicing tough love when she screamed at a second-time caller, "Users are losers, you lowlife motherf___ing earwig! May bedbugs nest in your pants! May all food you eat turn to rat turds in your mouth! May jackals tear out your entrails and eat them in front of your children! Even the squirrels I shoot from my porch know to save their work now and then!"

I'm not happy about this, but we continue to feud with our next door neighbor about our lawn ornaments and silk flowers -- she thinks she's so high and mighty with her "native plant" and "habitat for butterflies" crap. When we tell her we don't mow our lawn because we also want to save the planet, she scoffs. Nothing I relish more than a good feud. I get a real kick hearing her complain to the neighbors about her morning paper always landing in her fountain. Oh yeah, I'm keeping it real.

We're still a family who tries to have dinner sitting at the table at least once a month, because studies show that's the best way to stay close or some such crap. The girls know they can always talk to me, but seriously, when is the last time you actually listened to a teenager - they yammer on and on about themselves.

Our family advice to you is always take the high road; our family wish is a blessed and happy holiday season. And as always, please don't give us your lousy fruitcakes, cookies, jams (even if you call it curd) and homemade liqueur - nothing says "we wish you a merry Christmas!" like some cash stashed in a tasteful Christmas card.

p.s. can someone pick up the girls on the 28th? Because we'll still be improving our marriage at the alligator farm.

Susan has been blogging for almost a year. She is one of those people who say "I want to be a writer," but either doesn't get around to it or doesn't show her work to anyone because it's never finished. She find blogging perfect because:
- No one can refuse to publish her work
-The majority of her followers are close friends who think she is funny no matter what
- She cracks herself up when she's writing
Susan lives with her husband, two daughters (9th graders at Parkview) and two rescue dogs. She considers myself blessed. She works for Acxiom Corporation as a tech writer.


  1. Very informative holiday letter...good visuals...thanks :0)

  2. I just happened to run across your blog and so glad I did! I live in S. Arkansas. It'll be nice to get to know other Arkie Bloggers!

    You have a new follower!