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Jeff Ward: The Christmas Letter I'd Really Like to See!

Christmas letters are a crime against humanity.

Just when you think you’ve almost made it through this most unbearable of all seasons with only minor emotional scarring and that last trip to Danada Square didn’t put you over the edge, they start to infest your mailbox. And those violent holiday tendencies start to resurface once again.

And I’ve tried to be so good this year, too! Not one fruitcake returned though a thoughtless friend’s front window and I haven’t even set the dog on a gaggle of terrified carolers. (I do miss watching them scatter and slip on the ice.)

Don’t try acting like you don’t know what we’re talking here, either. It’s those overly optimistic Christmas letters extolling the fictional virtue of your family intended only to make our pathetic lives pale in comparison. Don’t pretend you don’t send ‘em, because we know you do.

Does anyone really care if baby Timmy mastered the art of toilet training at the age of 3 weeks (unless he’s at my house)? Our lives would still be complete if we never knew that little Suzy translated the Bible from the original Aramaic? And what made you think we really wanted to hear about your visit to some high falutin’ locale like Dollywood?

You really wanna make me happy this holiday season? Don’t even think about sending me a Christmas letter, or better yet, how about penning a holiday missive that makes us all feel a little bit better about ourselves. I’m thinking something along the lines of this:

Dear Friends and Family,

We’d apologize for sending you this impersonal form letter, but the truth is, we’re not that close, and you’re not nearly important enough for us to take the time to write you each a personal letter.

We did it! We finally got those indoor facilities installed in the doublewide. They’ll be no more running across Route 38 to the Shell station in the middle of night for Ethel. She got pretty mad when her butt froze to the toilet seat last time, and she had to sit there all night.

As I always like to say, nothin’s too good for my blushing bride!

And speaking of Ethel, I’m sure you saw her on that episode of "Cops" chasing me down the street with a cast iron frying pan in nothing but her underwear. She wasn’t too happy when she caught me messin’ around with her little sister, but I’m proud to say that I’m the one that bought her those “If you can read this I must be drunk” panties last Christmas.

Yep! I’m still working with the decontamination crew down at the nuclear plant, but it ain’t so bad. With all those glowing body parts, Ethel says if I take my clothes off and you hang a few ornaments on me it’s even better than a Christmas tree.

We’re proud to say the trailer’s gonna get a little more crowded again next year. That’s right! It’s hard to believe our 14-year-old Latoya is expecting her sixth child. We think we know the babydaddy this round, but she’s still trying to sell that alien abduction story to the National Enquirer.

And thank the Lord! Jermaine will be out on parole in time for Christmas. He swears he was just helping out when the police caught him running from the Suds ‘n Duds with all those wet clothes. Some folks say that boy won’t amount to much, but we think he’s got a real future on the County Board.

More good news! Little Tito is finally coming home from the hospital. You may have already heard about his unfortunate “Deaf Leopard” tattoo incident. Of course, the infection set in soon after he tried to make the corrections himself with a soldering iron.

This year could be the charm for young Marlon. We’re confident he’ll finally move on to the middle school next fall! At just 27, he’s poised to be the scholar of the family, but he still says those six years of fourth grade were the best of his life.

We’re happy to report that uncle Joe is recovering from his recent surgery, but it’s  taking him some time for him to adjust to life as a woman. I suppose it would be tough to have to come up with a whole new wardrobe when you’re 6-foot-8 and 456 pounds. For now, we hear he’s borrowing clothes from his younger sister.

But the highlight of our year was the family trip to Branson, MO. That Elvis impersonator got me so choked up I went right out and had “hunka burning love” tattooed right across my right cheek. Long live the King!

As I sit here thinking about all the trials and tribulations our wonderful family faced last year, I can’t help but find myself comforted by the thought that we don’t have to see any of you this season and we’re not nearly as bad as the Kardashians.

Your’s Truly

Billy Ray

Now, not only would I be proud to be part of such an intriguing family, or have such an interesting friend, but one can’t help but step a little bit lighter after reading something as uplifting as that letter right smack in the middle of a stressful holiday season.

So unless you can come up with something similar, stop sending me Christmas letters! If you don’t, I’ll tell Billy Ray and Ethel you want them to move in with you.

Jeff Ward December 16, 2011 at 05:27 PM
But Gilbert, This is by far the funniest column on Christmas letters ever written! Jeff
Rich Forrester December 16, 2011 at 08:52 PM
No, it blows.
Alex Keown December 16, 2011 at 08:55 PM
I shake my head at the number of Christmas cards and letters we receive from people I've never met! Whenever a bunch of cards arrives in our daily mail I begin sorting them singing lyrics from the Glen Campbell classic "Rhinestone Cowboy" --"...getting cards and letters from people I don't even know..."
Jeff Ward December 16, 2011 at 09:31 PM
Alex, Rhinestone Cowboy is one of my favorite songs of all time and it certainly fits here! Jeff
Dan Stearns December 17, 2011 at 04:59 AM
This column would've been so much better if it were funny. (You should give Mr. Nagle back his 15 bucks for this one)

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