Oh Christmas Card, Oh Christmas Card

OK, folks, it is time for some really straight talk. I know I tend to be very obtuse in these blogs, leaving it to your imagination to figure out what I’m really thinking, where I stand on issues, how I view the world. Today’s topic is too damned important so I’m going to be as blunt as I possibly can be. Ready?


I am serious. I really mean business.

You’ve got two very simple options – send me a lightweight cardboard Christmas card, with some pithy saying, in an envelope, delivered by the United States Postal Service, including a picture of your family. Or, send me nothing. At your option, you may include a one-page single-spaced 12 pt font letter detailing the goings on in your family over the past year. I promise to read it, but I also promise to read it aloud to the roaring laughter of my entire family if you make preposterous claims about your 10 year old, who I observed struggling to walk and chew gum last summer, playing on the travel basketball team or your 4 year old having mastered the tenor sax.

I know we’re being serious here (no shit, I’m deadly serious, do NOT send me an electronic Christmas card. Just don’t do it), but I do have to laugh at some of the family Christmas letters we get. Hey, we sent them when our kids were younger and I’m sure you all laughed at me, but c’mon. Some of the stuff in those letters really is funny. I would invite my blog readers (both of you) to submit comments with the funniest thing you’ve ever read in a family Christmas letter. We tend to categorize them into a few groups. I’ve provided an excerpt from each of these.

  • The “Vacation Letter” – it goes something like this.

In January we went to Hawaii. In March, John had a business trip to Akron and the whole family joined him. It was so much fun to see the tire factories. In April, we took a weekend away from the kids in the Poconos (wink wink). In August, we went to the beach. In September we all went to Disney World. In December, we went back to Akron because we all loved it so much. Merry Christmas!

  • The “Friends You’ve Never Heard of Letter” – This one really bores me to tears.

We were so fortunate to see so many of you this year. We saw Phyllis and Bobby when they were in town for William and Jody’s wedding. It was so great to see them. We loved our trip to Akron because we got to see Sarah, Winnie, Joey, and Dehlia. In September, we saw Sam and Arlene and their 3 beautiful children. We sure hope we get to see you next year!

  • The “Medical Report Letter” – Sorry, but this one is just plain depressing. You know how it goes.

We had a difficult year. We lost our dear Aunt Esmerelda in February. We will all miss her very much.  Then, Stanley’s hemorrhoids came back again, only much worse than last time. He can hardly sit down. My PMS has gotten much worse and I think I may be pre-menopausal. Both kids had colds twice this fall and Johnny’s may be turning into bronchitis. We hope next year is better:(

  • The “Our Kids are Better than Your Kids Letter” – Just makes you puke.

 It was another great year for the kids. Justin made the travel basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, fencing and football teams. It’s been tough for me to juggle the schedule, but his coaches say he could play professionally in all of them. He also started reading this year, which his pre-school teacher says is 2 years above grade level. Susie got straight A’s, starred on the 1st grade basketball team, and is now playing 3 different musical instruments. The New York Philharmonic made her an offer to join. We know your kids aren’t doing anything this impressive, but we hope they’re well anyway.

  • The “Excruciating Level of Detail Letter” – In the end, I find this one the most humorous.

We had a great year. In January, we got new garage doors installed. Stuart did all the work himself. Well, actually, he needed his friend, Stan Wilson’s help to put the chains on. But, otherwise, he did it all. We had a great summer too. We decided to drive across country. On the first day, we stayed at a lovely little B&B in Charlotte that had the best raspberry syrup we’ve ever had. The biscuits were incredible too. Frieda got 4 A’s and 2 B’s (the B’s were in Spanish and Art and therefore don’t count on her GPA – phew).  Jason got straight A’s. Well, actually he got 2 A-‘s, but at his school an A and an A- count the same until 9th grade so his GPA is still a 4.0. His basketball team won their first 2 games, then lost 3, then won 2, then lost their last 4. Zzzzzzzz.

Please share your faves, but, please do not miss the broader point of this blog. I am totally 100% serious about the e-Card thing. Do NOT send me one!

What? I’m sorry? Where’s your card from me? Oh, just click here!

About Bruce Robertson

Bruce Robertson is an amateur writer and professional provocateur
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9 Responses to Oh Christmas Card, Oh Christmas Card

  1. Jules says:

    In 2006 this is how I started our Christmas letter, “We still have our kids! That’s a positive note to start with! They have not left our home yet and so this is what we will be asking Santa for starting next year.”

    You forgot the lone category of those of us who don’t take life and our kids too seriously!

    This is priceless. I mean spot on, exactly what lands in our mailbox. My personal favorite used to be “our kids are better than your kids” but since our kids have now left the house, we have reached the age of “the attempt to remove the massive cyst became an extended hospital stay” cards.

    Oh thank you, thank you for my afternoon laugh till I cry moment. And btw, our cheap ass Christmas card to you will hit the mailbox in the morning!

  2. Nora Fox says:

    Dear Wonderful Friends,

    This little card is just our way of saying “Merry Christmas” and thank you, Bruce, for the opportunity to send this out to the world. Love, etc., Nora

  3. Dan says:

    I’m curious: why not? It’s easy to dispense with an e-card with the click of a mouse. It costs nothing to mail. It costs nothing to print. It’s worth the price of the paper it’s printed on ($0.00). It doesn’t clog the landfills come January 19 (or, in our case, April 19, when we finally clear the mantle).

    Perhaps you are becoming a Luddite? That would be fun. We could all have a commune together, hoeing the fields, wearing dungarees, sharing everything equally (each according to his needs, right?). No need for any technology, really, just a couple of shovels and a plow made out of an ox femur, pulled by a mule. Hey, when we’re out sowing together, I’ll be able to tell you in tremendous detail all about my kid. No need for a Christmas letter! No delete button! Just good old-fashioned conversation.

    A very merry Christmas to you and the family from your cousin and his family.

  4. I just received an e-mail from the head of marketing at my firm that we are sending out an electronic holiday card, with my name on it, to about, oh, 40,000 people. Ooops.

  5. Andy says:

    My 3 year old does calculus.

  6. Kelle says:


    I have to agree that I hate the e-card thing, they just annoy me. This year I received my first Thanksgiving card from a co-worker. It had their family picture (including the dog) and they mailed via USPS. As a woman who tries pretty hard to keep my castle going, I was pretty pissed. I felt like some woman undoubtedly with too much time on her hands has decided to raise the domestic bar to include Thanksgiving cards. I’m not drinking the kool-aid.

    BTW, I found your blog via Snoburbia. Good stuff.

    • @Kelle – thanks for the comment and for visiting. All I can say to the Thanksgiving card is YIKES! We have boxes of unsent Christmas cards, each with a corresponding pile of pictures of our family (no letter), from the last few years. The notion of getting out a Thanksgiving card as well is laughable. Question – did your friend who sent the Thanksgiving card also send a Christmas card or was that her one and only shot?

      • Kelle says:

        They had the nerve to send us a Christmas card two weeks after we got the Thanksgivng card. This card had a new family picture (you know the whole red and green sweater deal) and a holiday caption on it. Seriously? I was lucky to get my Christmas cards out before Christmas this year and this family is striving for domestic over achievement. SMH!

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