Here they come…the Christmas cards. I admit I love to see them in my mailbox. I like to open them and catch up on and celebrate all that has happened in my friends’ lives. I even enjoy the whole process of sending my own card complete with my not-so-perfect family photo. Not of me, of course, but of the young people in my family who are thinner than I.
But I have to admit. Sometimes the Christmas letters included inside the card make me feel inadequate. It seems like the whole world is moving on fast forward while I’m simply treading water. Everyone else is taking exotic vacations while I’m only carpooling. Other people’s kids win awards and scholarships. My friends receive promotions and opportunities that seem to elude my family. What is wrong with me/us?
In order to maintain just a little bit of self-esteem, I’ve decided that these Christmas letters are mainly overstated hype. They have become the reality TV shows of the holidays. Surely these families employ publicists who put a positive spin on everything that happens in their lives. Those PR professionals are probably the ones who actually write the Christmas letters.
As a public service to the world at large, I’ve decided to provide a translation to all the other folks who are feeling as inadequate as I am when they receive these fake letters.
Here is what the Christmas letters really mean. I promise.
“Jim has accepted a new position with the largest corporation in America. He is excited about the growth potential there.”
Jim has been unemployed for eight months this year and is now a Walmart Greeter. There is nowhere to go but up.
“Our son was offered a full scholarship to several colleges. We are so proud of his accomplishments!”
We are homeless and on food stamps. Since we are now penniless our “indigent” status qualified him for full tuition.
“Susie, our sixteen year old, loves children and plans to seek a career in which she can help them grow and develop into their full potential.”
Susie is pregnant out-of-wedlock and will be raising her child alone. She will be a teacher’s aide at a daycare center in exchange for free babysitting for her child. She will be working on her GED at night.
“We decided to fulfill a lifelong dream and travel around the world. We’ve been to Paris, Jamaica, Australia, and Bermuda. We spent last week in Norway in a beautiful hotel made entirely of ice.”
Hubby is a Wall Street tycoon accused of a Ponzie scheme. We are on the run burning up funds from our Swiss accounts before the authorities catch us and lock us away.
“We have relocated and have decided to finally embrace the technology era to communicate with our friends. Our current email address is firstname.lastname@example.org We have recently written a bestseller together.
We had to walk away from our home when the bank foreclosed. We are now living in our brother-in-law’s old car checking our email in the public library. If you want to know the location of every store open twenty-four hours with a restroom, we have the best-selling ebook on Amazon.com.
OK. There you have it…the real truth about those Christmas letters. Do you feel better now? I know I do.