Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Holiday Newsletter

I can't deny a request (see comments on previous post) for "my take" on something from one of my best friends in the whole wide world, so I am going to go ahead and fulfill that request right here but *only because* this one of my best friends asked me so nicely and not at all because I absolutely LIVE to give my opinion on all things.


So, the Holiday Newsletter...

My take on these things is this: I like them.

Yes, this is true. I like your long ass, rambling summaries on all the yearly goings-on that you recount without ever spellchecking or re-reading for context.

I find them to be an excellent low-committal vehicle for me to find out exactly what's going on with you and your life. And when we finally do reconnect after a really long time, we can avoid the awkward moment when I look at you in horror from the passenger seat of your new minivan and ask you when, exactly, you began picking up hitchhikers and you tell me that, oh, those are my three kids that I had since we saw each other last and I feel like a big jerk.

The Holiday Newsletter is also a good time to also check in on where the hell you've moved in the last year so that I can readdress the holiday card (or perhaps just make a mental note) I sent you that got shipped back to me "addressee unknown" or whatever.

I have to say though, there is something that I have a hard time understanding with these things, not ever having put one together myself, and that is how they end up looking in no way like they belong with their accompanying card.

Because the cards are usually glorious. Glossy, professionally produced photo collage jobs which look as though they've been torn directly from a Vanity Fair spread. Some of the cards are simply incredible and must have cost thousands to produce and mail. And sometimes, they come in those really fancypants envelopes with the gold lining? Supah fance.

Meanwhile, the Holiday Newsletters never follow this fancy detail in any way.

As though you were stuffing your envelopes for holiday mailing and suddenly thought, "Well, *I* know this is the entire extended family during our commandeering of the teacup ride at Disneyland, and that Uncle Horace chunked his pancake breakfast in the shrubs as soon as I snapped the shot, but I only know that because *I* was there. How will *they* know when *they* see this card?? They won't! I MUST TELL THEM."

Then you sneak downstairs and snatch some purple construction paper from the kids' little short-legged crafting table, jam it in the printer and begin banging away the mind-numbing minutia of your Disneyland trip *just in case* those looking at the photos can't derive all the not important details on their own. THEY MUST KNOW ABOUT THE CHUNKED PANCAKES. Also make sure to tell them that Dylan is finally making solid poops and Daisy is having her first dance recital where she'll be dressed like a car tire and dancing to the "Wheels on the Bus".

Then this letter gets hastily printed, folded in whatever way makes it fit in the envelope and addressed with a Burnt Sienna crayon.

When it finally reaches my greedy eyes (see, I like them) I stop short wondering why one would go to such trouble and cost to produce a lovely, customized and perfectly executed greeting card just to wad up a piece of purple construction paper between the folds. Personally, I'd rather leave something to the imagination with regard to the photos than ruin the integrity of the perfectly executed card. But that is me. I am childfree and not a frequenter of Disney, so perhaps I don't have any news so pressing that I feel compelled to capture it on purple construction paper to the detriment of my fabulous holiday card.

My only last "take" on the Holiday Newsletter is this, they go against the concept of my greeting card display thingee since they aren't particularly decorative (see purple construction paper reference) and are a very different size than the cards with which they arrive and for which my display thingee is designed. Logistically, Holiday Newsletters aren't my favorite. But I do like to read them (see entire post prior to this paragraph) and I refuse to separate them from their appropriately sized card counterparts because that would compromise my carefully crafted personal bubble of anal-retentiveness. So, they're up there. I don't include them in my yearly recycling of gift cards because, well, they're not pretty or useful in that way, but they're up there for all to see.

Something to keep in mind when you shun the spellchecker or misspell your children's names. I'm just saying. People might see your newsletter sticking out from behind your card and think mean things about you is all.

But keep them coming. I like to know that you're all out there making sure the earth is being repopulated, Disneyland still has people willing to pay $20 for a churro and that you're visiting places I really want to go but haven't yet (Greece, Australia). They give me a chance to feel like we're still friends because I know what you're up to and also to be jealous that you look real skinny or glad about my same old haircut because you look like Beavis with your weird new "stylish" doo.

Maybe one year I'll go beyond the "We had lots of fun in 200X and hope you have a great 200X!" or whatever and venture into the inner sanctum of the Holiday Newsletter, but not yet. For now, I'm perfectly satisfied to sum up our year with a string of verbs so totally out of context that you're challenged to either figure it out on your own or just do whatever it is you do with holiday cards - not paying a second moment's attention to our yearly word jumble.

Either way, our card will show up with generally acceptable dimensions, spell-checked for accuracy and reviewed for content. It will not include any construction paper, confetti (damn you to hell for this) or crayon marks. I will not have the dog or cat "stamp" the envelope with their paw.

And then we'll all have Merry Happy Holidays That We Celebrate and have a great New Year.


  1. Love it. Post by request, awesome. And, BFF... warm fuzzies.

  2. Just for that, I mail have to email you my holiday newsletter (which is pancake-free).

  3. Holiday Newsletter: Cheap Therapy or Maoist Self-Denunciation? Discuss.


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.