The Christmas letter

You know the envelope.  It’s the red one with the festive return sticker in the corner.  Open it up and there it is on the same paper your cousin Cindy uses every year.  How much time does that woman spend on her Christmas letter anyway? It’s always different but it’s always the same.

Sitting there reading it you start to ask yourself how come Cindy and her family are so terrific and so perfect?  You start to ask yourself but there’s always something that tells you there’s more to it.  I suppose you could call Aunt Janet but you’d have to listen to her complain about her ailment of the month for half an hour before she got around to the skinny on Mike and Cindy.

What you need is a “Christmas letter to English translator” and I just happen to be working on an app. Let me show you how it will work. Here, just scan the letter and then copy sentences to the translator.

“It’s been a busy year at the Martin’s—Mike, Cindy, Hunter, Bethany and our dog, Piddles.”

Translation: Chaos

“Mike has been very busy at work but I think he’s starting to show signs of burning out so I’ve encouraged him to start looking for something new.”

Translation: Mike is in the process of losing his job.

“Sometimes he doesn’t get home until after 10”.

Translation: Mike has a girlfriend.

“Mike is becoming more involved with our church”.

Translation:  Mike’s AA meetings are in the parish hall.

“I’ve been awfully busy at work too but I’m starting to think that maybe I need to go in a different direction”.

Translation: Cindy has been told to clear out her desk.

“I’ve joined a fitness club and especially enjoy the cardio exercises”.

Translation: Cindy’s put on 60 pounds since last Christmas.

“Mike and I enjoy gourmet cooking and have found a number of restaurants that we really like”.

Translation: Cindy is so depressed that she won’t even turn on the stove anymore.

“Hunter is a senior this year and has applied to a number of colleges and universities but keeps thinking that maybe a small college in the mountains where he can do some hiking and get closer to nature will be best for him.”

Translation: Hunter is moving to Colorado because of the change in the marijuana laws.

“Bethany is just as bubbly as ever and is a big help around the house.”

Translation: Bethany is pregnant, has dropped out of school and sits on the couch all day.

“…she has a great boyfriend but he’s been so busy she hardly ever sees him.”

Translation:  Lance hasn’t been around since Bethany told him she’s pregnant.

“That little rascal Piddles is just so darn cute.  It’s so much fun watching him run around the house and then slide across the wooden floors.”

Translation: Cindy had to have the carpet pulled up after Piddles had too many accidents and the Stanley Steemer guy said he couldn’t get the stains out.

“We just love keeping in touch with family and friends and hope we can see more of our dear ones in 2014.”

Translation: Mike and/or Cindy may be calling about borrowing some money.

At this joyous time of year don’t let your friends and relatives get you down. Why do you think they send out that Christmas letter anyway?  They send it out so they can control the conversation on what’s going on in the world of the Martins—-Mike, Cindy, Hunter, Bethany and the dog, Piddles.  They want you to think that they’re normal as they try to convince themselves that they’re normal.  But here’s the normal test—if they were normal they would know that nobody wants to hear about “The Martins”.

What should a Christmas letter say?

“Merry Christmas”

Translation:  Merry Christmas

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