FILED IN: Parenting

Dear your name here, Happy Holidays!

Have you ever tried to write a family newsletter at holiday time? Did you look back on the year and the only positive thing you could say about it is that you got through it?

Never fear! This Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwaanza use our helpful guide. You, too, can carpet-bomb the western world with an obnoxious form letter of your very own, even though your family is a sorry bunch of dysfunctional losers. Feel free to refer to yourself in the third person. This is guaranteed to further annoy your nearest and dearest. Here goes:

Circle One:
A. Season’s Greetings!  
B. To all our blessed friends and family members, far and near!
C. Ho-Ho-Ho to all our vaguely-remembered former neighbors!

Circle One:
A. Can you believe that it’s “holiday time” already! How “time flies”!
B. Another year has passed and we have been blessed by health and happiness.
C. Another year shot to hell.

Circle one:
A. I’m writing to you all as the “matriarch” of the “wacky and wild” Harrington bunch to bring you “up to speed!”
B. I sit with pen in hand to update you on the gifts that have been bestowed upon our family.    
C. I’m writing this because it’s better than watching the freakin’ Grinch for the fourth time today.

Circle one:
A. To start with, yours truly is “up to her eyeballs” with her new Mary Kay business!
B. I was in charge of the bric-a-brac section of the church’s rummage sale. We earned $22.75 and will donate the entire sum to the Church’s legal defense fund.
C. I’ve started a scrapbooking business and now my friends shun me.

Circle one:
A. Not that we need the money, mind you, with my Ted earning “VP” status this year!
B. Fred’s star continues to rise at Faceless, Automaton and Howe. His new title is Vice President, Company Line Division.
C. Ned continues to crush his own dreams and ambitions in return for money to live on.

Circle one:
A. Our loveable children are just a “bundle of energy”, and they sure keep me “hopping”!
B. Our immaculately-conceived children are growing by leaps and bounds, and we are in complete denial in regards to their budding sexuality.
C. Our children are still breathing, last time I checked.

Circle one:
A. Can you believe Ted junior is already 10! (oooh-I feel old!!!) He’s first in the state in reading, math and general adorable freckleface-ness, routinely pitches “perfect games” in little league, is the “world’s youngest” eagle scout, and loves to “tease” his little sister! Oh well, “boys will be boys”!
B. Fred junior is 10, has just received ultra early admission to Harvard, and is on the fast track for beatification.
C. Ned junior’s therapist says he’s making progress.

Circle one:
A. Little Madison is 8 (oooh, I feel old!!) and was a Donald Trump Honorable Mention Finalist in our county’s L’il Miss Future Trophy Wife pageant! You should see “Maddy” in her costume! You would just “eat her up”!
B. Our Lexington continues to amaze us with her gymnastic talent. This year Lexi won most improved in vaulting. She loves dollhouses, horses, and donating blood at the semi-annual Red Cross Blood Drive.
C. Bowery collects gum wrappers and likes TV.

Circle one:
A. The baby is now 6 (oooh-I feel old!) and has already skipped a grade! I suppose “brilliance” just runs in the family–ha!
B. Our baby shone during his solo of the “Ave Maria” the Vienna Boys Choir.
C. Thank goodness the baby is finally out of those goddamned Pull-Ups. I thought I’d never get the smell out of the house.

Circle One:
A. The Christmas decorations are finally done, thanks to “Martha Stewart”! This year’s theme is “Fruitcake Elves”!
B. The outdoor decorations took some time to get together this year, as the all-weather nativity scene is beginning to show its age. We were able to squeak out another year by leaning the magi up against the sheep.
C. Luckily we never got around to taking down the lights from last year. All we had to do was dig the extension cord plug out of the mud behind the garbage cans.

Circle One:
A. This year we had a “fun-filled” vacation in Orlando! Epcot was just like being in “Europe” (without all the B.O. and unusual food–ha!!!!)
B. Our vacation took us to lovely Branson, Missouri, with the highlight being the Marie Osmond concert.
C. We left the kids with Mom and took the bus to Vegas. Ned walked away from the craps table with a cool fifty bucks.

Circle One:
A. Now for the sad news (Boo-Hoo): Grandpa Henderson has finally left us! He said he would make it until Willard said his name on the Today show, and goshdarnit, he was right! He died doing what he loved: whittling!
B. With sorrow we report the passing of Grandfather Farquehar. His memorial service at the National Cathedral was attended by hundreds who remembered his life as one full of God’s blessings.
C. Not surprisingly, Grandpa finally kicked. He had been gone a few days when we found him, his hand still clasping the remote and the TV still tuned to the Weather Channel.

Circle One:
A. We’ve just been “up to our ears” with “household projects”! We were chosen as a This Old House project and we’re getting $250,000 worth of renovations…free! You know, Steve and Norm are REALLY nice guys!
B. We sold our house and donated the money to Habitat for Humanity. We thought it would be a growth experience for the kids.
C. We finally got around to cleaning out the garage.

Circle One:
A. Well. must dash! I’d better get back to wrapping all those presents!!!
B. I’m due at choir practice so, alas, I must bid you adieu.
C. I’d better run. I think the Christmas tree is on fire.

Circle One:
A. We can’t wait to receive your card! Does your child’s name here still have that adorable “harelip?!!!”
B. Please send some photos of your little angels.
C. Last warning…send us a card this year or you’re cut off.

Circle One:
A. From all of us Hendersons…have a “happy”!!!!
B. From our family to yours: may the blessings of the season be upon you.
C. Here’s hoping a little eggnog will help you survive this cursed season.

Circle One:
A. P.S. Don’t forget to put those cookies out for “you-know-who”!!! Maybe I should get him some Snackwell’s — ha!
B. P.S. Don’t forget that Jesus is the reason for the season.
C. P.S. Don’t forget to save your receipts.