Author Topic: Best/Worst Christmas letters?  (Read 13222 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6550
Re: Best/Worst Christmas letters?
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2011, 12:46:26 PM »
Many of my DH's fraternity brothers and their wives were big on sending out Xmas newsletters.  It was always interesting to see how much one upmanship would occur from one year to the next.  However, one year we were suprised to receive a letter from John and his wife Barb as they had never sent letters and really only sent cards every few years.  However, we soon remembered their great sense of humor.  The letter started off by saying they knew everyone would be suprised to receive it as raising 4 kids and two careers had left little time over the years for these type of activities but since Barb had become a "lady who lunches, well, lunches at the school cafeteria with her kids" after being laid off from her job, she now had the time to participate in the annual news sharing.  She went on to describe her 14 yr old daughter who was a social leader at her school, well at least with the other 14 yr old girls willing to admit their Harry Potter addiction and how their oldest son had scored his first soccer goal this year after 6 years of playing the sport, and their second son had really improved scholastically this year becoming a solid C student with some B's scattered about and though they weren't expecting him to take the Ivy league by storm, they were positive the local community college was in his future.  I forget the details about the youngest but she also included comments about their summer beach vacation (3 days at a borrowed friends beach house an hour away from where they live) and something about being proud her DH was holding strong to his current job even though no promotions had occured in the last 5 years.

I haven't done justice to how funny the letter really was and done in such a tongue in cheek style.  The following years, all of the other letters we received definately had the bragging toned down a few notches.  Unfortunately, Barb didn't remain a lady who lunches for long and we didn't get the second year follow up, but I can always hope. 

heartmug

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2349
Re: Best/Worst Christmas letters?
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2011, 01:49:56 PM »
One year, my mother broke her arm just after Thanksgiving, and decided that since her children were all teenagers, we had to do more to help get ready for Christmas, including writing and printing off the Christmas letter. We also signed and addressed all the Christmas cards, and delivered them to the post office. Imagine my Mom's surprise when she started getting phone calls about the "funniest Christmas letter ever."

We detailed my sister's acne & unrequited crushes, my older brother's many many trips to the principal's office, my habit of tripping over everything and finally my little brother's failing grade in social studies. We also included how Mom broke her arm (borrowing Sis's roller blades.)

Mom was so embarrassed she never sent out another Christmas letter, while the extended family likes to recount those stories year after year.


LOL!!  That was great.

I really like receiving the newsy letters.  One friend sends her's out on New Year's day detailing the last year.  It is fun to receive another one weeks after the others.  She also does New Year's day cards instead of holiday cards.
One option in a tug of war with someone is just to drop the rope.

Blondie

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 121
  • 42
Re: Best/Worst Christmas letters?
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2011, 02:03:19 PM »
Oh my- we have gotten some good ones, but the Worst (yes- capital W) came several years ago, and the whole family still laughs about it. The day before Christmas we got a large package, from distant relatives. It was a manilla envelope with 25 pages included. This was a surprise in of itself, as this family had cut us off several years ago due to my "questionable morals and depravity" I was a typical college student with pictures of red cups on facebook. This didn't fly with the father of the group, so altho their oldest is actually 3 years older than me, all contact was severed.

In these 15 pages, we actually had three consecutive years of letters, all written the year they were delivered- you see, they hadn't gotten around to writing them previous years, and didn't want anyone to feel like they had missed out. Now they are a large family, and a fully page of each year was dedicated to each family member- slight overkill, but it happens. However, Mother Cousin must have gotten lazy, and decided to copy and paste, rather than write new news for each family member. We know this because 4 of them had a medical condition which required surgery, and the stories (and typos) were the same for each. And this was a graphic, bloody story including complications and effects of medicine after the fact (and if you have ever been on strong pain killers, you know they can do some.... interesting.... things.) This was also included in the glossary, where they had not only helpfully included the doctors name, but also his office number, pager, cell phone, and home number. I really do feel for that surgeon. This practice was repeated for their religious school, housekeeper, soccer coach, and dog trainer. The information on the dogs bowel movements over three years was about as graphic as the human ones post surgery...
"He attacked everything in life with a mix of extraordinary genius and naive incompetence, and it was often difficult to tell which was which." Douglas Adams

BeagleMommy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3180
Re: Best/Worst Christmas letters?
« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2011, 02:27:39 PM »
I have a cousin who does this.  Every year she writes my mom and other family members (I'm not included for some reason  >:D) a long diatribe about her son whom she has openly described as "perfect".

For the past 10 years she has included the line "DS's favorite foods are still chicken nuggets, apple sauce, graham crackers and peanut butter'.  All I can think of is "Gee, he's so perfect he's stuck at a 3 year old's eating habits".

Petticoats

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3494
Re: Best/Worst Christmas letters?
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2011, 03:38:50 PM »
information on the dogs bowel movements

I think you win the thread. I cannot imagine why anyone would include that type and level of detail in a Christmas newsletter--unless the bowel movements were so spectacular they got the dog a TV spot and a movie deal...

Blondie

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 121
  • 42
Re: Best/Worst Christmas letters?
« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2011, 03:52:00 PM »
information on the dogs bowel movements

I think you win the thread. I cannot imagine why anyone would include that type and level of detail in a Christmas newsletter--unless the bowel movements were so spectacular they got the dog a TV spot and a movie deal...

Honestly, this letter could garner a movie deal... in our more evil moments we joke about reading it in the place of Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve  >:D
"He attacked everything in life with a mix of extraordinary genius and naive incompetence, and it was often difficult to tell which was which." Douglas Adams

KenveeB

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8585
Re: Best/Worst Christmas letters?
« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2011, 04:01:10 PM »
It's so hard to write a Christmas letter -- striking just the right tone between serious and funny, informative but not bragging or boring or long.  But I always enjoy reading other people's Christmas letters, even the people that I keep up with during the year, so I always make an effort.

I haven't received too many Awful ones, but I'll never forget the lovely lady who helpfully announced that her husband was planning on quitting his job as soon as he could find another one he liked better.

lilfox

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1843
Re: Best/Worst Christmas letters?
« Reply #22 on: December 14, 2011, 04:26:02 PM »
This isn't necessarily the worst letter, but it was the only one I've received where I went  ???

An older relative of DH's that I've never met and he's met maybe twice sent a typed newsletter about their activities, which center around their church involvement.  They're very involved and they do some significant charitable things, but the way they describe the families they are fostering is ... odd.  The descriptions come across as condescending when I truly believe they're meant to be supportive.  Stuff like "FosterfamilyDad tries so hard at his job, it's very inspiring that he was able to find one with his lack of education.  And the older boys just love sports, especially SpecificSport, but that's to be expected since it is their native sport."  I'm probably not conveying it well but it was pretty off-putting.

What really tipped it, though, was the handwritten note inside the card - I couldn't follow the rambling, grammatically questionable structure very well but I believe she was chiding us in a very PA way for not having sent a personal Christmas letter in the past and was definitely expecting one this year.  Did I mention we don't know them?

shostet

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 50
Re: Best/Worst Christmas letters?
« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2011, 04:59:34 PM »
I have an aversion to the annual Christmas letters.  The two best (worst?) examples I have are :

1.  From a very close female relative, who always writes a glowing letter about how great everything is in their family, while I know firsthand all the truly horrible stuff that is going on (straight from her).  Makes me wonder how many other Christmas letters people write are fake, fake, fake.

2.  From a high school classmate.  The letter is always written as a poem with MANY stanzas detailing the exceptional accomplishments of their four gorgeous children--classical music performances, helping the poor, outstanding in sports, and on and on and on.  The funniest thing though is that last year they somehow managed to leave out one child entirely.  Not a mention.  Now, I'm pretty sure the child has not been excommunicated from the family and that it was just an oversight (how??), but it was pretty interesting to notice.

crella

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1020
Re: Best/Worst Christmas letters?
« Reply #24 on: December 14, 2011, 05:45:16 PM »
I used to get the most marvelous Christmas letters from a doctor we know in Canada. He went to Saudi Arabia to practice for a few years, and his wife's Christmas letters were a well-written, funny record of their journey through culture shock. I missed those letters when their time there was over!

BatCity

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1369
    • Duct Tape and Chicken Wire
Re: Best/Worst Christmas letters?
« Reply #25 on: December 14, 2011, 07:10:04 PM »
I only get two Christmas newsletters, and they're both from people who are fantastic at it.  Or maybe I get others and just forget about them after I'm done reading.

Friend #1 is just a generally hilarious person, and her personality just glows in her newsletters.  Last year she didn't do one because she was going through a divorce; in this year's letter she managed to even make her divorce seem funny.

Friend #2 uses a technique I really admire: two lines for each month, no more, no less.  Had me in stitches.

Ginya

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 164
Re: Best/Worst Christmas letters?
« Reply #26 on: December 15, 2011, 12:35:04 AM »
Well the only person who I've ever known to send them is my mothers sister,and they're awful. We didn't receive one this year as mum had a falling out with her sister last year, disappointing we loved seeing what kind of train wreck she would send out. They were always printed from their home computer on cheap paper with clip art from the 90's, horribly misspelled and grammatically horrifying. The last letter was bragging about her son getting put on permanent disability, and his 20yr old son getting divorced and his GED, her medical issues and her working woes. I'd have to explain all the family dynamics for the things I've listed to be understandable for being terrible and laughable. Just trust me they were bad  :)


WhirlyBird

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 38
Re: Best/Worst Christmas letters?
« Reply #27 on: December 15, 2011, 01:48:00 AM »
Ugh, the worst Christmas letters I receive are from a relative, who has a BA in English and works in advertising. They are inevitably filled with grammatical errors and misspellings. Sigh. Bad grammar and spelling are my absolute pet peeve.

Most of each letter is a self pity party, on behalf of someone else. Mom is sick, uncle is sick, sister has a broken leg, great aunt's third cousin twice removed sister's dog died last February. Poor me that this is all happening to me! This person is a serial monogamist also, with a shiny new BF every year. Every.single.year's. letter is signed by the relative and the new boyfriend, with pictures and hints about the upcoming proposal. OK, not every year. Maybe every other.

The Wild One, Forever

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1812
Re: Best/Worst Christmas letters?
« Reply #28 on: December 15, 2011, 02:26:50 PM »
I don't do them, but my parents do, almost every year.  (They didn't do one this year, as they have been busily preparing for their amazing trip that we gifted them from all of us "kids.)    ;)

Anyway, my mom is a fantastic writer, and manages to strike just the right note; she notes accomplishments without bragging, and also, she vets with each kid/ grandkid any information involving them so that they can have a say as to whether they want it excluded or amended.  (What she has written has always been fine with everyone, as far as I know, but it's a very considerate thing for her to do.)  When the grands were all a bit younger, she'd gather them over the summer for a group pic to be included, but now everyone is so scattered, and the kids so busy, that she hasn't done the picture in several years.  In place of it, she includes a picture of her and dad on one of their many travels throughout the year.

The most interesting ones I can recall were the ones sent by some close friends of my parents.  They were happily childfree, and spent much of their year traveling both for pleasure and for the husband's business.  They took some amazing vacations, and it was always interesting to read of their adventures in Thailand, Siberia, Honduras, etc.  Sadly, the husband died a few years ago, and I'm not sure if the wife continues with the letters, as my parents live out west now so I don't get to see their Christmas letters.
Soft silly music is meaningful, magical

cityslicker

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 82
Re: Best/Worst Christmas letters?
« Reply #29 on: December 16, 2011, 03:09:30 PM »
This doesn't sound nearly as funny when I write it out, but here goes... one of DH's coworker's wives writes this letter every year that is typical vanilla stuff (Johnny got a new dog, blah blah blah) interspersed with totally shocking language about her DH's first wife, referring to her as very negative words you use to refer to women.  Then back to "Sally sings in the church choir."  Then back to swearing a blue streak.  It's hilarious- like rapid cycling bipolar disorder in letter form. 

Whoever finds it in the mailbox each year runs up the driveway, yelling "it's here!  it's here!"