Home About Bibliography Contact Fiction Links News Ramblings
JWR 2.37 - Santa Was a Stutterer; Ho-ho-ho?
So, do any of you know what a Christmas Letter is? I only found out in the last few years, although I was aware of them in some fashion for a very long time. The idea behind a Christmas letter is to kind of do an end of year sum up of what your family has gone through since the previous Christmas. This is targeted at friends and family who have moved away, youíve lost touch with, but want to keep them informed. But, really, itís a chance to brag about how kick ass itís all going for you. Itís a bourgeoisie kind of thing to do, really.
Well, last year when I was at my apartment, I found a letter in my box that was addressed to someone I had never heard of. Now, I know who had been at my apartment for the previous two years, and if this person had been there, they obviously didnít care about the Vanderpols enough to let them know he and his wife moved.
So, I opened it and read it. One of the Vanderpol daughters, Tara, was given the daunting task of sounding humble as she spouted off the various accomplishments of each of her family members. Yeah, I looked it over for grammatical, punctuation and syntax errors. The first couple paragraphs were nice and neat, although worded awkwardly in a few spots. Then there were increasingly more errors in the last three paragraphs. Mustíve gotten bored, she is (was) after all, a senior in high school.
Dad is a high school principal; mom is a registered nurse, Nicoleís in eighth grade and Elie is in fifth. How very sweet. Well, I was going to spout off about the letter last year, but I probably decided to take one of my Rambling vacations where I simply donít write them for a month or two at a time.
This year, I have a new idea, and that is to write my own Christmas letter. As you may be able to guess, mine wonít be like the Vanderpolís. First, I have no wife and kids. Second, I donít know how to be bourgie. So, letís see how we do, huh?
Dear Friends, Family and Mere Acquaintances (including, but not limited to: former friends, people Iíve never met or spoken to, and the like),
I hope this letter finds you all happy, in good health and in the Christmas spirit. Because I need your money. Sure the yearís been good to me. I bought a house. And thatís why I need your money. A mortgage is a daunting task, an albatross around your neck for thirty years. Ebenezer Scrooge knew it well, so did the Mariner. Now, I do, as well.
Hey, but aside from needing money, I started a new job. IT. Information Technologies at Nelson where I was before. But they still want me working on Collections, as well. ďNever do a bad job good,Ē they advised me. Point well taken. Yes, my new job is quite involved, especially for someone with no computer experience. They tell me thatís a good thing, that my not knowing how things are supposed to work will keep my perspective fresh. But I do enjoy it at times, thereís a lot of critical thinking which I have a tendency to do anyway. The application of that thinking is something I have to work on.
What else? Well, one person died, but I didnít really know her. It was one of my co-workerís mother. I went to the viewing. It had been about twelve years since I stood in the same room as one who laid in a casket. People came up to me and said that I looked familiar even though I had never seen any of them before. I found myself saying things like ďShe was a sweet ladyĒ and ďFull of life.Ē Things we say to try and be Godly to someone who lost a close family member. And they thought I was someone they know; people in a state of loss and shock trying to latch onto something new and living maybe to try and rebuild what had been lost. They canít be faulted or blamed, itís human nature to shy away and block death.
I didnít lose anyone to death, but I feel as if Iím leaving this year with fewer friends than I began it with. But that happens, the circle of friendship, so is the circle of life. Tear, wipe, and away we go.
Around this time of year I would like to be reading The Catcher in the Rye. That was something I have done every Christmas for years. Some people watch Itís a Wonderful Life, some go visit family in other states, some make cookies. Not me. But not this year. See, Iím in the middle of a huge book that Iíve made very little progress on in recent months. Something strange when you read a book; it becomes increasingly difficult to read until you reach the halfway point, then the end comes increasingly faster. The book Iím on right now is called Underworld, an eight hundred page book about a baseball. Well, not just a baseball, but about the way the Cold War affected the United States in the latter half of the twentieth century. But, I suspect, mostly about a baseball. I donít think we should hold that against the book.
Loners feel an affinity towards Catcher because the protagonist is a lone kid, seventeen, who seems to hate everything. This is why they find a copy of Catcher in the personal property of attempted assassins and general a-holes. (Incidentally, you ever seen Assassins with Stallone and Antonio, ah, how do you say...ah yes, Banderas? Itís a kick ass flick.) Me, I always liked Catcher because it had lots of swears in it and, especially this time of year, it gave me a Christmas feeling in the end when he meets up with his sister. I know, if youíve never read it, you have no idea what Iím talking about and you donít want to read any further. But, hey, look, look, if youíre going to trust me on one thing, trust me on this, read it sometime.
These letters are supposed to be short. Who am I not to follow suit?
Peace and Humptiness Forever,
Copyright © 2001 John Lemut