I’ve never been a big fan of the Christmas newsletter. I was reminded why last weekend when some dear friends read to us a letter they received. If the sender only knew what laughs the letter generated — not because it was intentionally funny, mind you — they might think twice about sending one each year.
No matter how hard people try to avoid it, the letters always come across as bragadocious or downright snooty, even when written by the loveliest of people. (Editor’s note: If you are reading this and have sent me a family Christmas letter in the past, don’t worry…I am not talking about you, promise. It’s everyone else 😉 )
I decided to have a little fun and adopt a completely exaggerated adaptation of the voice in which so many of these letters are written.
I present to you, the Traveler on the Run 2011 family letter:
Dearest family and friends,
I can’t believe it’s been an entire year since I was sitting around the big spruce pine, sipping an exquisite blend of eggnog and spiced rum, admiring my handsome husband and well-groomed dogs, while laughing and singing Christmas songs – what memories! But here we are, and what a whirlwind it’s been!
Where to begin? Well, Brian (39) and I (25) attended the annual Chicago Boat and RV show in January and realized the RV lifestyle was something we just might fancy, so we set the wheels in motion (ha! wheels in motion – I made a pun!) to get ourselves in an RV so luxurious we were sure to be the envy of white trash across America. We took delivery in April and two weeks later, we were on the maiden voyage!
We have had quite the time traveling this grand country of ours from the amber waves of grain to the purple mountains of majesty. America is, indeed, beautiful and I look forward to logging many more miles in the upcoming year with our dogs Macy and Maya in tow. Macy (7), by the way, is embracing middle-age and still enjoys an active lifestyle of romping around the yard with her sister Maya. Maya (3) is an active girl and enjoys hunting, and sniffing the bottom of her older sister. With all new things to sniff and see at each new campground, they have enthusiastically embraced the RV lifestyle as well as we have!
While we have enjoyed the glorious landscapes, and reveled in America’s natural beauty on our voyages, about mid-summer we were feeling an unexplained sense of emptiness when we entered the many campgrounds across the states. There are aspects of our lives to which we have grown accustomed and certain yuppie needs were not being fulfilled. The truth is, America’s campgrounds are lacking in culture.
You will be shocked to learn that we could not find one bloody campground with an opera company! And don’t get me started on the many ways the symphony has lost its luster in the nation’s RV parks. Therefore, we are delighted to announce the launch our new non-profit, Operation Opera. We hope to award our first RV Opera Star in Residence scholarship this spring! Our goal is to have an operational opera in every campground, in every state of the union, by 2015. It’s a lofty goal, I know. But with your help, we can achieve great things.
I bet you are wondering what has become of our Oak Lawn residence! Now that the RV has been parked for the winter, we are back in the concrete jungle and look forward to celebrating the holidays at our humble sticks and bricks abode.
Each year, we pick a theme for the holidays and this year is …you guessed it – White Trash Christmas! We have decorated the outside of the home with string lights that look like miniature Budweiser cans that are the most beautiful Christmas red you’ve ever seen. We picked up some broken down cars and lawnmowers at the local junk yard and decorated them with garland and decorative wreaths, and have strung tinsel around the necks of the pink flamingos out by the mailbox. We even have a blow-up Homer Simpson character dressed as Santa Clause on the roof. He’s bending over, like he’s going down the chimney, and his butt crack is peeping out the top of his trousers! Imagine!
For the inside of the home, I cannot overstate my delight at finding fly strips in the most lovely Christmas plaid. They are an absolutely perfect addition to the decor as they provide both whimsy and function because, let’s be
honest, nothing ruins a Christmas dinner like pesty gnats buzzing around the Wedgewood gravy boat.
On Christmas day, we are asking that our guests come in themed attire such as red and green tube tops with matching flip flops and Daisy Duke cut-offs. You are probably thinking, “But Pam! It’s December…In Chicago! It’s way too cold for that get-up.” Don’t you know by now I always think of everything!
We plan to have a bonfire in the bathtub to keep those tootsies toasty while we roast chestnuts and sing songs about Baby Jesus. And, yes, I realize it’s a fire hazard. But if we burn the house down, imagine the fodder for next year’s newsletter!
Well I wish you the best this holiday season. And as they say at the Hickory Haven Trailer Park, Merry Christmas, y’all!
Pam and Brian and the two pups.
P.S. As you make those last minute tax deductions before the end of the year, I wanted to make you aware that Operation Opera is registered as a 501(c)(3) in the state of Illinois, so any donation is tax deductible. Won’t you consider making a generous donation to this worthy cause?