World’s Best Christmas Letter

December 15, 2010

Well, it’s that time of year, the time of year for colorful, festive Christmas letters, sent to all the friends and family you consider worth the postage!

I’ll admit, this year I’m slacking on the Christmas letter writing.  Partly because any and everything anyone would care to know about me is on Facebook.  I was even considering just printing out my Facebook profile and sending that to all our friends and relatives.

But, letter writing is one of those timeless traditions that should not be left behind, and I am determined to keep it alive, so I’m here to help you craft the perfect letters to send to the people you don’t quite love enough to visit in person for the holidays.

Your Resume

Your Christmas letter is something like your resume for the year.  By reading your letter, people should feel that you had an amazing year, and they just can’t stack up.  Everything about gratuitously large house purchases, job promotions, or amazing children should be detailed ad nauseum. 

Now you may be saying that you don’t have anything to brag about, or maybe your children made terrible decisions that have embarassed you this year.  Well, who doesn’t have an off year once in a while?  Let’s say your teenage daughter managed to birth two children from seperate guys outside of wedlock this year.  You can either: not mention it, be totally honest about it, or my favorite: harmlessly embellish it.  For example, just replace “babies” with “scholarships,” and “Pizza Hut drivers” with “ivy league colleges.” 

Medical History

Relatives that you only see on occasion are vitally interested in the intimate details of the health of your body parts, including but not limited to: teeth, skin, colon, feet, weight gain or mucous.  By reading your Christmas letter, your readers should feel that they are having a colonoscopy right alongside you.  And hey, not every medical story is a problem.  There are miracles to share!  Everyone appreciates knowing that your sweet little girl is now a woman, so they can treat her accordingly at the next family gathering.    

Make it Current

Chances are, everyone on your Christmas list agrees with your politics, so don’t be shy about dropping an Obama or Palin reference in to liven things up.

Love, Sarcastic Clapping Family

Remember “sarcastic clapping family,” the family that claps slowly and sarcastically to “congratulate” their relatives?  Say you’re not that proud of your family’s meager accomplishments.  Just include them anyway, as if it’s a big accomplishment.  For example: “Dave decided to celebrate his fortieth birthday by having his mid-life crisis!  Dave’s treated himself to a new sports car, a reward for all of the “pro-bono” work he’s been doing lately.  Meanwhile, Timmy was honored to recieve his “participation” ribbon at his school’s field day events.  We have it hanging on the wall above the fireplace.” 

If you’ve done everything right…

…your letter should look something like this:

Happy Holidays!

Well, it’s certainly been a wonderful year in our home.  After months of searching, we finally settled on a new home for our growing family.  At just $525,000, it was a real steal.  Doesn’t everyone love bargain hunting?  Of course, we’ve hardly had time to unpack, since we spent six months bushwhacking through Nepal, in search for rare religious totems to sell on eBay.  But I guess you have to pay the bills somehow, right? 

The kids have sure been busy.  It seems like just yesterday, our little princess was pooping in the kiddie pool.  This year, she got what I believe the kids call a “tramp stamp,” and keeps insisting that it’s her body and she’ll do what she wants with it.  Oh, they grow up so fast.  We don’t always see eye to eye, but we love her, zits and all.

Of course, we’re still a bit of a health nut family.  Mike had some skin tags removed, and Paula had her annual check-up with her “lady doctor.”  Don’t worry, everything’s still in tip-top shape!  Something else for Mike to be thankful for.  Mike got hit by a Mercedes a few months ago, but he’s okay now.

Has anyone else been watching “Dancing with the Stars?”  That Bristol Palin is certainly as graceful as her mother!

Well, we have certainly enjoyed telling you about our recent existences.  We just want to note that we haven’t been to any Christmas parties this year, because none of you have invited us.  We are literally free every weekend in December, including Christmas morning, should you be planning a party.  Should you invite us, we will have many more colorful anecdotes about our amazing lives.

Do you send the Christmas letter, just a card, or one of those picture cards?  Have you ever recieved a letter with way too much information?  How else do you make the “perfect” Christmas letter?

30 responses to World’s Best Christmas Letter

  1. Absolutely Hilarious! I read it out loud to my wife and we had a great laugh. “It seems like just yesterday, our little princess was pooping in the kiddie pool.” Oh dear….my side hurts!
    Paul recently posted..Journal- God the Holy Spirit Hymn

  2. LOL Very good, that is great.

  3. We do the picture card but with just our kids on it. I once got a Christmas letter from one of my good friend’s mom telling me that she didn’t think his current g/f at the time was a Christian. Oh my…

    nicodemusatnite.blogspot.com
    Jonathan Chang recently posted..244 Meatballs and good memories

  4. Man, we don’t even send them out. I think our friends and families would have heart attacks if the Smith’s of North Chicago sent them anything! Half of our friends probably don’t know we moved from San Diego!

    I keep thinking that a New Year’s card would be a good idea for procrastinators who don’t send out Christmas cards soon enough. I think I might try to start that tradition. What do you think?
    Dan Smith recently posted..Technology and Memorizing Gods Word

  5. Great stuff… I think I’m just gonna print it out and send it to my inlaws…
    SethC recently posted..Courage

  6. I don’t think we are going to do anything in terms of sending out a card or even a letter. I used to enjoy sending cards. It was a way of focusing on the season.

    I am with you on Facebook. Anyone that cares what we have done can find it there.

    Other than our family, I am not so sure anyone cares that my wife was laid-off again, that we are cancer free for today, that my 20-something graduated from college and hasn’t found a real job yet, my 7-year old is fluent in Spanish and English, and that person that sold us the pet rabbits lied about them both being the same sex.

    Merry Christmas, Matt.
    David recently posted..Geek Gifts for Couples

  7. I just send an ordinary card that says “Merry Christmas, Love, Us” in the mail. I may drop a note to someone who sends a card to my Mom, who died this year, or my MIL, who died 15 years ago . “I regret to tell you that Mom passed away. I’m so sorry to tell you this so late…. I was very broken up at the time, and counted on you being informed by mutual friends of yours and Mom’s. Please forgive me. Merry Christmas, Love, Me”
    Helen recently posted..Do They Get the Hallmark Channel in Heaven

  8. Thank you for those ideas :-).

    I will eventually be sending out Christmas cards, and if they are late, I consider it to be extending the joy of the season ;-).

    Last year, our printer wasn’t working very well. So, instead of printing out the letters and including them with cards, I converted it into a Adobe file that everyone could read and emailed it to all friends and family with a computer. I still printed out the letters for the older folks who may not have computers or whose email address I do not have. I liked it so much, I am going to do the same thing this year.

    This year, I had three of my four kids write a blurb about themselves as part of their writing assignment for school. I am typing it in, as is, with minimal editing, so everyone can see how amazing my kid’s writing skills are, or at least get a good laugh ;-). It takes the pressure off of me for once.

  9. “letter writing is a tradition should not be left behind.” Left Behind – Ha! Maybe it will be when the rapture happens. God wrote all the letters that He wanted to already I think!
    jay sauser recently posted..…my 90s music monday…

  10. HILARIOUS!!!! I love this. My mom got a hand written letter this year along with her Christmas card. This is what it said:

    “Merry CHRISTmas! Praise Jesus! We got the gifts that you sent for the kids. We were hoping that this would have gotten to you, but you obviously weren’t told that this year we are trying to make Christmas about Jesus and not about gifts. We know you are probably just trying to be nice, but I hope that next year you will respect our decision to make this season all about Christ and not try and pollute our children with consumerism. I hope this letter finds you well. Thank you for the wine you sent, it was wonderful!”

    Yeah.

    Nothing says “Jesus” like a passive aggressive Christmas card asking people to stop being givers. :)
    Katie M recently posted..Coffee Debacle 1

  11. I’ve never sent one out, but have received a few. Just a note: sex-change operations are usually not good items to start off with. In case you were wondering.
    seekingpastor recently posted..No Child Left Behind

  12. Every year we would receive a Christmas letter from a pathetic Pastor that included all his perks – free beach vacations (“just happened to know a guy who had a million dollar condo in the Bahama’s with a private jet and servants with coconut tops that served your every whim”), his latest golf scores (“free membership, play 3 times a week and won 10 people to Christ”), his worldwide preaching adventures (“went to Mexico and 7,623 got saved after I sung ‘My Fathers Eyes’ in spanish”), his awards (“just got presented the moocher of the year”), his wonderful church (“we only have 26 people but they tithe like heck!”), and of course sickness (“had a heart attack but God healed me”), and family. All I read was LOSER and LAZY! Funny stuff, Matt!

  13. Dude…this is seriously classic.
    Jason recently posted..The Step Live Thursday Night

  14. This is hilarious and unfortunately can be so true!
    April recently posted..Photo of the Day- A New Batch of Puppies

  15. I just wrote about this too (www.compost-blog.com)–but your post is so much better! I have got to learn the fine art of sarcasm. 8-)

    We had just received a 4-page, single-spaced week-by-week missive about one family’s year (and no, we haven’t read it yet) when I sat down to create our own letter. I ended up with all photos, and only enough text to explain what was in the pictures. Then I created a .pdf and emailed it to everyone.

    I miss the cards and handwritten notes, but at least this way our friends heard from us before July!

    • See, our first year married, we sent out a 1 page letter, and I’m afraid now that it came off as braggy. I mean, it was. We had gotten married, bought a house, and took a trip. We felt blessed by the year. But now I’m not sure I want to do a letter, for fear of getting carried away like that 4 page essay you got.

  16. Christmas letters can definitely be unintentionally entertaining, but that’s part of the fun.

    And for some reason, I pictured Andy Richter reading your example letter and it made it 10x funnier to me. Thanks Matt.
    jasonS recently posted..Where’s the Urgency

  17. My wife and I just started the Christmas card thing this year. We don’t have kids so we took a “family” photo with just us and our two dogs. That is what is on our Christmas post card thing. Is that weird? Oh well.

  18. This was the first year that my parents decided to send a family Christmas letter without actually letting any of us four kids see it first. :-) Needless to say there was much horror and hilarity to be had when we sat down on the couch to discover what we’d been up to this year. :-)

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today. Your note was really encouraging and came on a day when I needed it most. It’s great to meet you and I look forward to reading more of your posts. :-)

  19. A truly funny piece of work. I remember a while back an older woman who had been recently widowed wrote in her Christmas letter of her recent marriage to a cruise ship steward a full generation younger than herself, pictures included. She was a retired funeral home owner with plenty of wrinkles showing off her new life with a tanned hunk on the high seas. Those are the kind of Christmas letters that are worth keeping and posting on the refrigerator!
    Phil recently posted..When did we first start making music

  20. That was pretty funny, although when my daughters get older, they are banned from seeing Pizza Hut drivers.
    Jason recently posted..“Seeds Of Turmoil” By Bryant Wright

  21. I need Christmas letter to parents

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    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Matt Appling, stephaniegraves. stephaniegraves said: RT @MattTCoNP: Today on the blog: how to write the "best" Christmas letter your friends will ever get. http://wp.me/pSZSu-o1 // Amazing! […]

  2. Light Friday Hit List: 12/17/10 - December 17, 2010

    […] World’s Best Christmas Letter by Matt Appling (The Church of No People). Matt is always funny with a point. He shows us how to write the world’s best Christmas letter (probably why he gave the post that title). […]