(For previous Christmas letters and the full explanation of this oddball series, see here. In short: these are actual fake Christmas letters that I once sent to family and friends. They’re a fictitious version of my life, featuring invented relatives and pets.)
Dearest Friend or Acquaintance,
My missive this year will be brief. I have joined Letter Writers Anonymous and am weaning myself from the compulsion to reveal my family’s intimacies to the world. I shouldn’t be writing this, but sneaking a note now and then can’t really hurt, can it?
What a year! The excitement started when we attended the Reverent T. Willy J.C. Wingett’s televised ministry on a weekend trip to Bakersfield. The Reverend called Paul to the stage and – Glory be! – then and there cured him of ichthyopiliosis! Thank God – this insidious disease leads to a noisy and disgusting death but is so hard to detect that Paul didn’t even know he was afflicted until the Reverend T. Willy threw his hands in the air, crying, “Heel! Heel!” and revealed the cure. What a close shave! We were so grateful that we cashed in our Savings Bonds, sold the Winnebago, and donated the proceeds to the Reverend’s Crusade to Stamp Out Infant Baptism By 2012.
Unfortunately, the Reverend T. Willy went south with $42 million in donations, ours included. We’d given up hope of seeing our money again (much less the end of infant baptism) when People magazine ran a photo of the Reverend with Madonna in a San Juan disco. Our boy Jimmy, bless his heart, got leave from his summer vacation at Camp Blackwater on the Honduras border and went to seek restitution. But as luck would have it, the Reverend T. Willy’s yacht exploded and sank in San Juan harbor the night Jimmy arrived in Puerto Rico. Our stockings will be pretty empty this Christmas.
Needless to say, after the Reverend T. Willy debacle we scaled down our vacation plans – no trip to visit Elvis’s grave in Nashville this year. Instead, we spent a week exploring the National Farm Equipment Hall of Fame in Mojave. We drove past Edwards Air Force Base just three months after the Space Shuttle landed! We felt like a small part of history.
Janie is back home now that the guru has moved his commune to the Himalayas, and she seems happy building a career in retail and preaching free love to her co-workers at Walgreens. Vi finally took the big leap to Hollywood – Tinseltown! – to seek fame and fortune. And our little star is twinkling. According to reports, she’s been successful “working the streets” (that’s movieland lingo for auditioning), and has landed her first role, in a film called “Casting Couch” (it’s about fishing or psychiatry, I’m not sure which). Look for her under the stage name Joy de Vivre. We’re so proud!
And you’ve probably heard about our new arrival. Surprise! What with my hectic work schedule at the “Popcorn Emporium” and my glandular condition, I didn’t have a clue that I was in a family way until the little bundle was ready to make her entrance. You’ve never seen such a panic in the middle of 99-cent Day at KMart. We’re thrilled, of course, but after losing the Winnebago’s three bedrooms, space was kind of tight. So, the twins had to go.
Joy to the world!