A long time ago, in a California far, far away, somebody challenged me to write a Christmas letter. And, being the sick little snarky puppy that I am, I obliged. I wrote the most absurd fake Christmas letter I could come up with, and sent it to friends and family.
It says a lot about my friends and family that they didn’t shun me. Instead, they asked for another letter the next year. People came to expect my alternate histories, and I got in the habit of writing increasingly ludicrous tales.
Today I found the letters. In the spirit of the season, I’m going to post them over the next few days.
Yes, I actually mailed these to my loved ones. I started sending them before I had kids, and far before I began writing novels. The only people portrayed who come close to existing in real life are me and Paul, aka the Husband. All other characters, whether animal, vegetable, or mineral, are fictitious. Minor details have been edited to protect the innocent and guilty alike.
Here we are at Holiday time again! Merry Christmas/Happy Chanukah to you and your delightful family. We hope your year has been eventful — ours certainly has!
First (if I may brag a bit), I’m finally off of parole. And how wonderful it is! No more embarrassing moments, such as having our honeymoon suite at the Oxnard Hilton raided because I forgot to tell my parole officer I was leaving the county. We’re free to travel, so leave your porch lights on… we may knock on your door some evening. (Yes, the Winnebago has been repaired, and the Sierra Club has dropped its suit against us for running over that herd of pygmy ubu elk.) And may my whole unpleasant prison experience be a reminder to you: don’t put off filing those tax returns!
Oops, I let the cat out of the bag in the last paragraph. Paul and I were married in April! The kids were a bit surprised to learn we weren’t already hitched, but got over it and were very happy for us. (And there is no truth to the rumor the kids hotwired the Winnebago during the reception and drove all the way to Barstow before the Highway Patrol caught up with them.) The ceremony was beautifully sentimental; cousin Myrna and her all-girl accordion combo came from Palmdale to play “The Wedding Song.” Plenty of tears after that one! (Myrna sweetheart — thank you again!)
We had a wonderful honeymoon (aside from the aforementioned raid and Winnebago accident). Highlights included attending a game show taping in Burbank, and running into Chuck Norris at Red Lobster.
Paul’s business is booming. ($$$!!!) The market for cat exterminators just exploded this year, and he’s opened three new “Paul’s Cat-Away” franchises in the Valley. We thank the Lord for blessing us so bountifully.
The kids have grown like weeds (no pun on Janie’s expulsion from Chico State for cultivating “pot” intended). Violet got a standing ovation at Central High Government Nite for her speech, “Please Don’t Nuke My Puppy, Mr. Kim Jong-Il.” We’ve enclosed a copy. Jimmy loves mercenary school. “Our little counterinsurgent” is certainly handy to have — kids no longer egg “The Compound” (our house) on Halloween since Jimmy took out an offender’s car with a rocket. And our twins are having the time of their lives in pee-wee boxing.
I keep plenty busy, working part time at “Vera’s Scarves for the Large” shop. I jog once a week (I even ran a “one K” race this year!) and do volunteer work to rehabilitate disgraced bankers, teaching them about balancing their checkbooks, tipping, and other law-abiding habits.
That’s about it for us. Hope Santa’s good to you! (Except to our Jewish friends — no offense.)
Ho ho ho —
Meg & Paul