November 27, 2007
I'm thrilled to let you know that I've already gotten a fantastic response to my Christmas letter post from this past weekend. I'll be sending tons of jolly Christmas correspondence to my readers this year, and I couldn't be happier--the more the merrier!
So far, I have noticed two major concerns emerging in your email requests, so I'd like to take a moment to respond to them both.
Concern Number One: I'd like to receive a Lawson Family Christmas Letter (with accompanying photo) in the mail, but I don't want you to spend 41 cents on a stamp and 19 cents on a photo print.
Amy's Response: Um...I appreciate the concern, but really folks, let's not be so silly. I'm planning to take the stamps right out of my mom's pocketbook--she keeps them tucked inside her checkbook holder. And if that won't be enough, then I'll hit up her secret postage stash in the kitchen pantry.
And the pictures? My sister will pay for those. Here's the plan: I'll convince her to pick up the photos from my local CVS, with the "promise" of paying her back. Every time she begins to mention the twenty bucks that I owe her, I will break into show tunes and sing about my hopeless student loan situation. As an alternative, I will offer to pay her back in dance lessons. She'll feel slightly bullied, and reluctantly accept the deal, but by the end of the evening I'll still have my twenty bucks and she'll be dancing the Roger Rabbit like it's her part-time job.
Really guys, the plan is flawless, so let's not worry about the cash.
Concern Number Two: I would like to send you a Christmas letter, but I don't know how to write one, so I'll just send you a card.
Amy's Response: A card is boring, no one needs another image of an oil-painted snowman with a sorry-ass little signature in their mailbox. They want to know about your life. So, in order to get you started, I'm going to lay down the rules for Christmas letter writing, and provide you with some fool-proof tips for holiday letter success.
Rule #1: No one likes a show-off.
Mentioning the brand new BMW SUV in your driveway will not win you any friends, it will only make your existing pals talk some nasty crap behind your back. We are shallow human beings my friends, so the same goes for expensive jewelry, exotic vacations, and pricey home remodeling projects.
If you want to keep your popular status, then take the high road and pretend that you've gained so much weight that you can no longer fit into the driver's seat of your Kia sedan. Tell your friends that you do your paper route in a 1976 Winnebago, and your husband left you for an okay looking nineteen-year-old pancake waitress named Sabrina.
While you're at it, just forget about your recent trip to the coast of Italy. Tell your friends that you're permanently on vacation, since you now live in your RV full time. Tell them how much you love sleeping in the parking lot of various WalMart stores, and how truly blessed you are, since every trip to the manicurist is like its own mini-vacation. Hell, a kitchen table that doubles as a full sized bed makes every day ten times more fun.
Rule #2: No one likes a show-off.
Speaking in detail about Joey's first semester at Princeton and Molly's impeccable performance as the lead in the school musical will elicit one reaction from your friends--they will hate you. So, instead of losing your long-lost buddies, I once again urge you to make stuff up.
Tell your friends that Joey was thrown out of Princeton for using counterfeit money in the dining hall. Let them know that he's doing exceptionally well in his new role as a carnie/tilt-a-whirl operator, and his wedding to the bearded lady is scheduled for June. And then--I don't know--let them know that Molly is due in March. Trust me, your friends will love that.
Rule #3: No one like a show-off.
You made partner in your law firm?! Well congratulations!...now keep it to yourself. Why in the world would your underemployed friend want to know that you're raking in 300-grand a year? They might ask you to co-sign on their loan for a used VW Beetle, but trust me folks, that will be the extent of their warm feelings for your upward mobility.
Tell them you were fired...for not completing assignment in a timely manner...because you were too busy making out with the pest control guy...in the trunk of his busted-up Cadillac. Oh man, your friends will get so excited over that. Then, in the next sentence, mention his pet bobcat named Sex-Kitten. Just be sure to let your friends know that your safety is not in jeopardy, as Sex-Kitten has been declawed and detoothed.
Rule #4: End the letter with an invitation.
End by extending an invitation to your friends and family. Why not invite them to a cookout next to the RV, or for a ride on Joey's tilt-a-whirl, or to meet Sex-Kitten at the local petting zoo? Trust me, you'll have the best turn out ever. Stock up on sauerkraut my friends, because no one is going to turn down the opportunity to peek into your awesome, new life.
So, happy writing my faithful readers! Oh, and do me a favor...send me a copy of your Christmas letter, I'm just dying to read it.