A Christmas newsletter with a twist?

cc licensed ( BY NC ) flickr photo shared by Patrick Q

I received my first Christmas newsletter yesterday.

I say first because year after year I am cursed with receiving newsletters of friends who just love to gloat share the good things that have happened to them during the year.

This letter in particular was from a friend (will call her Muffy), who lives in the Midwest.

She is bubbly, cheerful, and optimistic.

In other words, a ginormous ray of sunshine.

In her letter, Muffy enumerated her children’s many academic accomplishments, the many home improvements her husband has completed, and how her dog Minnie is expecting a litter of pups in the spring.

Muffy detailed so many good happenings, that you’d have to be a Buddhist monk to not feel like life isn’t fair.

Nevertheless, I had to smile as I reached the end of the letter.

There, in a large font, complete with swirls and curls, she had written, “What good things have happened to you in 2012?”

Given that I can’t actually write a sincere reply to Muffy, I thought I’d try my hand at my own Christmas newsletter and post it here.

Dear family and friends,
As 2012 nearly comes to a close, I can’t help but wonder why back in 2011 I thought this would be my year. For starters, we continue to soldier on without a dryer. Three years have passed since the demise of Gertrude, our trusty Whirlpool. Since then, we have toiled arduously to perfect the art of line drying. I think we can count this past year as the year we finally nailed how to dry three loads of laundry on two drying racks and any available surface. Sadly, this year we also suffered the passing of Bert, our central heating system. Much as we tried to CPR it back to life, the old guy didn’t have it in him to heat our home a second longer. The Son, always one to see the silver lining, came up with the brilliant idea that I should start a work in progress titled, “The Amish Ain’t Got Nothing On Us.” I am currently working on the first chapter.
The Son reached a milestone this year–he turned 21. He commemorated the event by attending a birthday/Halloween party dressed as a Ninja, for the ninth year in a row. Not one to upset tradition, he celebrated by drinking a hearty amount of distilled spirits in the company of his posse. Fortunately, upon arriving home, he was still able to walk a straight line and spell his name backwards.
This year brought a series of career opportunities to the Significant Other. His employer not only bequeathed him with a new desk chair, but also with new stationery. We now have plenty of “From the desk of…” post its to write our grocery lists on. Roxy Lee, our adorable furry friend underwent some difficult transitions. During the month of September, she went from cute ball of fur to fearful mini Cujo. This resulted not only in the loss of all her furry friends, but also in being banned from the dog park. We think this may be the reason why she has been leaving us little “gifts” as of late. Thanks to Roxy’s generosity, our home has taken on a unique aroma we call “Poopy-Bleach.” The Significant Other is currently considering whether to create an air freshener line with this very name.
This year, we also lost Helga, our spider plant. The neighbor, who saw me take out dear Helga’s lifeless carcass, thinks this may have been the result of overzealous watering. But between you and me, I think Helga committed suicide so she didn’t have to look at the snowman broom that hangs on the neighbor’s door year round. Finally, 2012 also gifted us with bronchitis, influenza, reflux, a torn meniscus, and copious amounts of gas and bloating. All in all, a splendid year, folks. We hope the holiday season finds you and your loved ones in good cheer!
With love,
Bella and family

Dear readers, what good things have happened to you in 2012?



77 thoughts on “A Christmas newsletter with a twist?

  1. Oh, Bella, wonderful letter!!!! I’ll take this kind of Christmas letter any day over the “normal” ones. (And why not add a few details about your fun experience in the MRI machine?) Sorry about dear Helga. xxxxxxx

    1. Jann, my goodness yes, I could’ve added the details of the horrific MRI experience! Argh! Next Christmas letter it is! hee hee! Helga was a good plant. She is missed. Baci! :)

  2. Bella!
    I had such a great laugh reading your Christmas letter!! Congratulations on new grocery list stationary!! I’m sure no one has grocery lists as professional as yours, with a “from the desk of” heading! I write mine on torn newspaper article scraps.

    Keep up your humor! i hope 2013 brings some more modern technology into your life to replace the passing on of Bert and Gertrude!!

    kisses from Buenos Aires!

    1. Felicia, you should see these post its! I’ll be writing lists on these things till the cows come home! hee hee! Thank you for your well wishes. I’m hoping the powers to be hear them. It’s so cold in this house! Hugs to you!

  3. “Gas, you say? Methane has doubled in our home since the arrival of the nephew. Hubs has an accomplice and no longer as to blame the cats each time one gets away from him. In summary, Come Visit! But BYO gas mask.” Love 2012

    1. Lori, I’m trolling Ebay for a gas mask! Gas or no gas, we would have such a blast! ha! I’m so happy to see you here again, by the way. And I’m still waiting for your to post, woman! Chop, chop! :)

  4. I don’t receive many of those letters, but there’s one I look forward to every year. Mostly because it is a lot like yours… It reminds me that we all struggle and the best way to react is with humor. I can always count on you for a great laugh.

    1. Shary, sending you much love across the miles for your ever sweet comments! I’m hoping you and Lola post soon! Your posts are missed, my friend! :)

  5. Bella, you are a caution! Love the reinvented report. I hope you’re feeling better!

    I so know what you mean about xmas letters, they do mess with reality. I wonder if the composers of such impartial missives realize that to restore order to the universe, the kindest of readers will be forced into the role of bitch.

    1. The role of bitch indeed, amiga! hee hee! Seriously though, these missives are so ridiculous. Like anyone cares, am I right? Hugs to you! :)

    2. It is an odd tradition, particularly when you never see the people. I figure they are kind of like blogs without a comment section that come out just once a year. Maybe people write them to review and feel better about their year; maybe the good things that happened to them feel more real if they know other people witness there happening. And maybe the bad things seem less bad, knowing they are being deprived of air time. It’s like marketing, I guess. You build a platform for what you want others to think you are and then you grow to believe your spin. I think it’s irritating to learn more about people from their letters than you do in actual conversation with them. But maybe that’s the point. Maybe the letters work only in the absence of real human contact. I’m a compulsive figure-it-outer…sorry. I love to puzzle and think through everything….it’s how I survive all the nonsene, I guess ;)

    3. Patrice, I love how you think everything through! It speaks of a very inquisitive nature! I think you’re right–some people might find it easier to send letters than to have contact with others. I know some people don’t like to talk about their accomplishment so this might be a medium that helps this type of person. Although in all honesty, I always see these letters as a little gloating fest. And at the end of the day, who cares, right? hee hee! :)

  6. I agree with hemsforher! Best newsletter ever! You can tackle anything . . . ANYTHING . . . with a good sense of humour. Dead appliances, ninja sons, personalized post-its, and aromatic gifts. You are a light and an example to all of us! Keep up the good work! And I bless you with renewed heat, revitalized appliances and much wealth from your patent of the new, world-renowned Poopy-Bleach. I will be able to say: I knew her when . . .

    1. Diane, you and I are like birds of a feather when it comes to believing that a good laugh always saves the day! Thank you for your sweet wishes. May the good Lord hear you! As we speak, my teeth are chattering. It’s like Roxy and I are in Siberia! hee hee! Love to you from the little Miss and me! :)

  7. Even worse is the newsletter written by a well intended but completely missing the horror created family member that takes one anecdote per family member of their own choosing to share with family and friends. These are dangerous weapons indeed, known to seriously impair and wound their subjects.
    A very entertaining alternative!

    1. Rimly, your sweet words are always an inspiration to me. Thank you so much, my friend. It makes me so very happy when a reader tells me that I’ve made her or him laugh. It truly makes my day. A very merry Christmas to you as well, lady! Hugs! :)

  8. Love the letter! I don’t know how the annual letter tradition got started, but I don’t know anyone who likes getting one. I feel like I have a great life, but those letters bring on a sense of inadequacy…sort of like when Oprah would have her fashion and makeover shows.

    I send continued hugs to Roxy for whatever she’s going through — and best wishes to you and your family for a happy holiday season.

    1. Nadine, Roxy loves that you love her so much! Thank you! Oprah and her makeovers…I was always just a tad jealous I couldn’t be one of the lucky women to be revamped! hee hee! And you’re right–those letters do make one feel like we’re one step behind. Sigh. Have a wonderful holiday season, my friend! May this new year bring you everything your heart desires! :)

  9. LOL! :-) Well, I have to say that’s the best Christmas newsletter/year in review I’ve read to date, even if it is at your expense. You are a funny lady, Bella.

    What good things have happened? The biggest and best of them are these two:
    1) The opportunity to reside with my parents and get to know them all over again (and understand what aging means for them), and
    2) Taking the “it’s time” bull by the proverbial horns in order to publish my first book (due 12/21/12!).

    I am truly blessed. xoxo

    1. Ellen, go ahead and laugh at my expense–it’s why I write these posts! hee hee! Oh my goodness–your book is being published! Congratulations, my friend! I can imagine how excited you must be! Hip, hip, hooray! Good for you! And how lovely that you’ve had this time to spend time with your folks. My father passed away two years ago but I had the opportunity of spending a year in his company before he died. The memories I have of him and my mother are priceless.:)

  10. Bella, we don’t observe the Christmas holiday in our home, and haven’t been subject to Christmas newsletters – sounds like it may be a good thing?

    Good things for me this year?

    We managed to NOT lose our house after a very lengthy time thinking we would.
    Here at the very end of the year, the good has started to flow – I’m a published author, and I JUST started a new job that will help us KEEP a roof over our head.

    Definitely things of note.

    Sorry about the demise of your Spider plant. I’d send you a new one, but somehow I think it wouldn’t survive the trip. :)

    1. Amber, it is a good thing, trust me! How wonderful that good things are flowing your way, lady! How wonderful that your luck seems to have changed and above all, how great that you are now a published author! You rock, girly! Your sentiment of sending a new plant is much appreciated, chica. Thank you! :)

  11. Bella, you are hilarious. Wishing you all the laughter, happiness and togetherness during this festive season. I hope you continue to make us all laugh in the coming years too. Great post. :)

    1. Arindam, your comments are always so uplifting! I love it when you drop by! And I am honored that you think me to be funny. I’ll confess and tell you that it’s getting harder and harder to write comedy script! hee hee! I’m so happy you liked thepost! Happy holidays to you! :)

    1. Jasmine, no need to say sorry. I welcome your good will with open arms! I just meant to say that perhaps Muffy’s year wasn’t as good as she had painted it to be. :)

  12. Bella-

    I love your Christmas letter! It sounds like mine…. had my deviated septum fixed and uvula trimmed at the same time. I’m now able to look in my mouth and not gag. I’m not able to eat marinara sauce just yet without crying, but there’s hope on the horizon… I ate potato chips! I’m living the dream folks, just living the dream. :)\

    Sending hugs to you my dear friend and also to Roxy. I hope little Cujo is able to go back to the park soon :)

    1. Oh my gosh, Sonja, sounds like your Christmas letter is more or less a kindred spirit of mine! hee hee! I love it! Not that you underwent all that tragedy, but how funny you make it sound. ha! Would you believe the Significant Other took Roxy out for a alkw tonight and told me that she befriended a Great Dane? There’s no understanding this furry friend of mine! Hugs to you! :)

  13. Abso-freaking-hilarious. Bella, you have a way with words, truly. The fact that you name all your household appliances only seals the deal.

    When we lived in the UK we didn’t have a close dryer and would just dry all of our wet laundry on our radiators which would turn all of our stuff (but especially our towels) ROCK HARD. Talk about awful, trying to try off with what was essentially a giant exfoliating cloth. Yeesshhh.

    Happy, happy hols you beauty! x

    1. Ethel, your words make this wannabee comedic writer’s heart sing! Thank you so much! Lady, don’t get me started on sandpaper towels. I’m under the impression that we’ve all rid ourselves of dead skin cells into the new millennium! ha!

  14. So funny! But what a year you have had! I noticed you didn’t mention Spain. But I know that wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Come back in the swing of blogging, you’ll find your mojo. BTW, I never do newsletters and rarely post achievements on fb.

    1. Jodi, Spain remains untouched by tragedy, thank goodness. I think I didn’t mention it so I wouldn’t hex my summer trip! hee hee! I was certain that a wise soul such as yourself wouldn’t do newsletters! :)

    1. Adriene, gas? You too? Oh dear. hee hee! Methinks we’ve unwillingly contributed to global warming! ha! I shall keep you posted on the release date of the book! Althoug I should warn you that it’s being published in one of my alternate realities! hee hee! :)

  15. I don’t know when I’ve had such a great laugh! What a great sense of humor you have! Many thanks to Adriene for tweeting your post, or I would have been the poorer for not having discovered you!
    Blessings and hoping for a less complicated 2013. Oh, but don’t lose the humor!

    1. Martha, hello and welcome! I’m grateful to Adriene for tweeting about the post since this means you made your way to this wee blog! Thank you for your kind words. I am very happy that you’ve joined us! :)

  16. You continue to amuse me and make me laugh with your unique style of writing. Love your Christmas letter and all that has happened on your side of the world…sad about your spider plant, give me the secret since mine keep multiplying to the point where I stopped potting those damn spider babies!

    Keep up the good work!

    1. Eve, you lucky lady, with the multiplying spider babies! hee hee! Your comment made me laugh! I’m continuously grateful for your visits and encouragement, lady. It means so much to me! :)

  17. Bella, I am glad I’m not the only one who feels this way! While I am glad that life is good for my friends and family I cannot imagine writing such a glowing letter myself.

    Heck, I feel like I’m doing pretty well when I manage to shower regularly. Forget sending out a letter to 100+ of my closest friends and family :P.

    1. Rachel, I hear you and I second you. Most days, I’m happy to get out of my pajamas! hee hee! It’s a weird thing, these little letters. I really wish I knew what drives people to write them! ha! :)

    2. Me too! I like getting them from my aunts and uncles because they always talk about their kids (my cousins) and otherwise I have no clue what’s going on with them. I guess that’s the problem with some of your cousins being nearly 20 years your junior. I like hearing that a cousin of mine loves band or just got their black belt, but hearing all the other stuff . . . not so much.

    3. Rachel, in my case, I find out all about that stuff through the long winded phone calls I have with family. Although lately it seems like all they do is post accomplishments to Facebook. Sigh. I’m afraid that if they continue to do this, I will be out of the loop! hee hee! :)

  18. Bella, this is delightful! I tried my hand at a Christmas newsletter — once. And trust me, once was enough. Most of us struggle to find so many uplifting things to talk about in a year’s time, and nobody wants to read the dismal news. Even though that’s part of life, too, isn’t it?

    1. Debbie, sadly the bad comes with the good. Oh, if life was only composed of the good stuff, how grand life would be! ha! I don’t think I could write an uplifting newsletter because I can count the good things that have happened to me on the palm of one hand. Hee hee! Seriously though, I’m not a fan of holiday newsletters. I think they’re a waste of time and paper. :)

  19. Now, that is the kind of Christmas Letter I want to read! I Love.
    I usually cringe when these horrible, pretentious, bragging, boring things are delivered to my mailbox! xx Kisses for you and Rox.

    1. Kim, you and I both! I’m so glad you approve of this newsletter style! At least you get a laugh out of one such as this! (I hope!) Hugs and kisses to you from Roxy and me! :)

  20. You know Bella, I love this post. Mostly because I hate these letters that so many people send out. They always go on and on about how wonderful their children are and what amazing lives they lead. I so wish you could do the talk circuit and give lessons on how to really write the Holiday Letter. So refreshing and fun! If you did, I would look forward to these letters and read them all, cover to cover. I wouldn’t even gag. Poor Roxy. I hope she finds a way to get off the “no-fly” list at the park.

    1. Monica, I’m blushing with so much praise! Thank you! And may I say it’s wonderful to read that you have so much faith in me. Perhaps we should start a business! hee hee! I wonder how many takers we’d get! Roxy has made some improvements. Yesterday she made one friend and today, she didn’t growl at any puppy dog. I’m hoping things will continue to go this way! Hugs to you and Sir Henry from Roxy and me! :)

  21. I agree with Monica – refreshing!

    Christmas newsletters fall into the same category as “Oh, you just have to see (i.e. sit through a viewing of) all the pictures/videos/whatever taken/gathered during a summer vacation. My washer/dryer stacked unit died, so I feel for you there. One kitty went through a period of projectile vomiting. The price of heating the house has almost doubled, so I waddle around in several bathrobes appropriate for somewhere above the arctic circle.

    Oh well. But it’s still all good. 8)
    Great post!

    1. Eloise, it sounds like you can write a newsletter similar to mine! Oh my gosh, dear girl, you too? I’m sorry! I’m crossing my fingers that 2013 will be kind to you. And fix your heating system because really, we can’t continue to waddle around the house wearing ten layers! hee hee! :)

  22. I know I have been quite for a while, but this letter made me laugh and actually talk (comment again). Bella it’s hilarious! I love the part about your son! My son turned 23 and moved to Chicago for a job – it’s a joyous occasion for our family!

    1. Ariana, you’re back! I’m so happy to see you again! Your son already turned 23? Oh my goodness, how time flies! I can imagine how wonderful if must be to see him taking another step into adulthood. I’m hoping the Son will stay with me longer. I am not ready to deal with the empty nest syndrome, I’m afraid. I’m delighted that this post inspired you to comment! :)

  23. I love your holiday letter! I would be so happy to receive one of these rather than the usual list of accomplishments. Here’s to keeping it real and hilarious! Love!

    1. Kristine, coming from a funny lady such as yourself, I am honored that you like my newsletter! Thank you! As for keeping it real and hilarious–I’ll drink to that! :)

  24. You’re lucky, Bella. But maybe I’m luckier. You tell me. I saved a ton by not playing the lottery, as the numbers in my head never hit. Didn’t even come close. I lost two cars this year on account of my son who now calls himself Masta Unk, which took me to walking to the store and almost becoming a vegetable in the house until he bought me another car that I hope I can afford gas for all the places I wanna go but really don’t have the money for. But as they say, if there’s a will, there’s a dollar to be made somewhere. I also found out I was allergic to perms and not dye, so I can now go back to bleaching my hair so I can look like a wanna be real young person. Why, just today I learned that I’ve branded myself in the blogosphere as one who talks loud and doesn’t carry a stick. Not even a little one.

    1. Totsy, by far you have have trumped me! hee hee! “One who talks loud and doesn’t carry a stick”? Now who would brand you with a label like that? Oh my! Methinks you are a lady with a voice that needs to be heard! And you are funny as heck! I’m just sayin’. :)

  25. I’ve never received such a letter, nor sent one.
    I know what you mean with the dryer — we never even had one (the apartment is too small) so we always dried our stuff on drying racks and every available surface (including exercise bike — we almost never use it to exercise anyway :) ).

    1. Ivana, I know what you mean about the exercise bike. Back in the day, I also used mine for the same purpose! hee hee! I wish I had one now since it would mean more drying space! ha! :)

  26. Love this Bella….too late this year, but next year…I’m penning my own and sending to anyone who sends me a Christmas letter.

    “This year I did not climb Kilimanjaro, finish my first triathlon, go the London Olympics, or rack up a million air miles!”

    1. Ian, I think this would be a splendid way to start off your Christmas letter! hee hee! I say we start a new tradition: things we didn’t do or just down on our luck, tongue in cheek Christmas cheer! ha! :)

  27. This is GREAT! I can’t even imagine how horrified my family would be to get a Christmas letter like this from me. This had me laughing so hard, tears were running down my face! I don’t send out Christmas cards because I don’t really feel like calling attention to the non-accomplishements of the year before. Well, that and I’m lazy.

    1. Oh, Jess, I feel you! I do. When I think of all the things I thought I was going to accomplish but didn’t get as far as getting off the ground, I sigh. But at this point, all we can do is sigh. On the upside, there’s a new year coming up! hee hee! :)

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