More than a Feeling

I don't want to seem totally down on the holiday season, because I'm no hater. There is actually one thing I love about the holidays. That one thing is the "holiday newsletter." With the onslaught of computer technology, I'm willing to bet the holiday newsletter will be out in full force this season, and this year it may be more than a just a form letter on cute snowman stationary.

For example, Party411.com suggests making your newsletter look like a newspaper, and giving it a creative name like "Smith Holiday Times." Microsoft.com encourages sending a holiday CD, because "sending and receiving a seasonal CD jammed with news and photographic evidence of family members' experiences over the past year can be more fun than a two-dimensional card. CD newsletters can sing (quite literally) with all manner of multimedia, from voice to graphics to video clips."

Wow, that advice is worse than Jessica Simpson's new Christmas album. The holiday newsletter is bad because all it does is brag about how great the kids are, which is also known as lies! And when we read these things, all we can think about is how we heard that little Jason fathered an illegitimate baby last year — which is way more important than him making the Dean's List — and we'd rather hear about Sarah dropping out of beauty school to marry her white-trash boyfriend than see her high school graduation pictures. I think there's only one way to redeem a holiday newsletter: brutal honesty.

I mean, what would you write if you were telling the truth? Perhaps: Dear everyone: Hey, how's it going? Me, I'm living the high life and drinking it too. You all know I'm sending this letter because I'm hoping you'll cut me another check, right? A few weeks ago I got busted with the fake, and I told my parents I needed $500 for a parking permit and an Abercrombie sweater, but I really used it to pay the fine and get a new fake. Then I got busted again, and the 'rents cut me off. Oh my god, I just checked the Facebook, and Katie Harrison wants to add me as a friend! Yeah, right! I like, hate her! Wait, now I'm getting a text message … Okay, I'm back. So here's the deal: Happy Holidays, and I really need money! Sincerely, College Student.

Honesty — you gotta love it. Good luck on finals, and Merry/Happy Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Festivus or whatever holiday I neglected to mention that you may celebrate.

This article appeared in The Marquette Tribune on Dec. 2 2004.

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