So my mom was here last night, and she’s a big fan of the Christmas letter.  We can always tell when she is about to pen hers, because she calls for a family photo with the urgency of a trauma surgeon, “I need a digital image of your entire family stat!”  It’s often a three call, two email process.  As I am the world’s most horrible daughter, she usually has to remind me at least once to get on task.  Once I finally send the shot, she will follow with an email to ask some obscure context question I have yet been trained to include in the photo’s caption.  “Where did “The Middle Girl,” get that pink sweater she is wearing?  Why is the boy squinting, did he have a headache?”  My honest answer, “I haven’t got a clue,” doesn’t please her, so I have learned to take creative license.  “He just got sneezed on by a wasp,” or “He heard a squirrel cry.”

My mom writes a perky letter each year; she puts a lot of effort into it and is proud of her results.  She includes pictures of each family and crows about the grandbabies.  She publishes highlights from her year’s travels and extends her holiday wishes.  All the pictures frame smiling faces.  Some even sport a sunburned nose or two.  All the stories are positive quips about laudable outcomes.

It’s not just my mom that writes such letters.  It’s become something of a social icon.  The Christmas letter markets families like an end cap cereal display in Super Walmarts.  A bit like a commercial for feminine products, Christmas letters never show the stain on white pants.  All this got me thinking about what people don’t include in Christmas letters…

Top 10 Things Not Mentioned in This Year’s Christmas Letter

10.  My daughter brought Ex-lax laden brownies to cheerleading try-outs to eliminate the competition.

9.  I pretended to have food poisoning to get out of the school’s annual Silent Auction.

8.  My husband paid a teacher to take and tank the SAT under a rival student’s name to get our precious baby a better class ranking.

7.  I regularly search the homes of my pet sitting clients for hidden unmentionables.

6.  My son got arrested for spray painting a yak at the city zoo.

5.  Our baby got expelled from school for repeated incidents of public lewdness and intoxication.

4.  I stalk clowns.

3.  I accidentally hit Reply All and inadvertently told my son’s entire middle school class how grateful I was to my husband for a hot date the night before.

2.  The Homeowners Association sent us a letter stating that there were numerous neighborhood complaints about my shrill screaming.

1.  We don’t want to write this stupid Christmas letter anymore than you want to read it!

Heck, were any of the above topics the content matter, maybe such holiday epistles would be worth reading, cheesy grin pictures and all!

I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!