Before you start drafting that family Christmas letter and licking all those envelopes, you may want to pause for a moment and read this blog post. In it, you’ll find a list of the seven most heinous holiday card sins, a series of yuletide-greeting faux pas that are both egregious and, sadly, very common. Before you embarrass yourself and your children, or potentially alienate friends and family for the entirety of 2009, make sure you don’t commit any of the following Christmas card crimes.
1. Do Not Include a Family Photo in Which Everyone is Dressed in the Same Outfit: You are members of a family. You are not a Catholic school, a cheerleading squad or a bridal party. For the love of God, acknowledge that and act accordingly. P.S. That goes triple for anyone even considering dressing their children in the same reindeer sweater.
2. Do Not Brag Excessively About Your Children’s Accomplishments: Yes, it’s wonderful that 18-month-old Madison can count to 100 in German while standing on her head. And sure, it’s impressive that, at the age of five, Wyatt has already read the complete works of Tolstoy. But here’s the thing: no one wants to hear that s@*! in their holiday card. So just say the kids are doing well and leave it at that.
3. Do Not Write Freakishly Long Paragraphs About Your Pet: I love animals. I adore my dog. I’ll admit to tearing up while reading portions of “Marley and Me.” But even I don’t want to read a monthly summary of everything that happened to your labradoodle in 2008.
4. Do Not Break News in Your Holiday Card: Here’s a pair of sentences your parents do not want to read for the first time when they open your holiday card: “After careful consideration, we have withdrawn Jacob from the Wilshire Academy. We are now homeschooling him so he can focus more time on training to compete in his first ever ‘Guitar Hero’ battle.” Here’s another: “Our family has decided to move to Abu Dhabi for an indefinite period of time. Actually, we haven’t just decided; we’re already there.” News should never be broken in a holiday card, at least not one that gets delivered to close family members and friends.
5. Do Not Forget to Send the Holiday Card to Certain Relatives, Especially the Year After Having Your First Child: It’s an honest mistake. Anyone could make it. But that won’t matter to your Aunt Phoebe, who will repeatedly point out that she didn’t get a copy of that adorable photograph of Fiona with that sweet ribbon in her hair even though everyone else in the family did. Still, she knows this was probably a simple error even though the same exact thing happened back in 1974 when cousin Marjorie didn’t send a Christmas card the year after little Tommy was born, so could it really have been an accidental oversight or is the entire family conspiring against her as she has suspected ever since the Rump Roast Incident of ’65 and don’t play dumb because you know exactly which one she means?
6. Do Not Go Into Excessive Detail About Your Pregnancy: This may go without saying, but the words “happy holidays” and “gestatational diabetes” should never be used in the same sentence. Neither should “merry Christmas” and “mucus plug.” Keep the specifics to yourself. And if you really can’t help it, at least have the sense to delete all those details from the copy of the Christmas letter that goes to your best friend from college with fertility issues. Honestly, that’s just rude.
7.Do Not Get Too Cutesy With the Kid Pictures: Clearly this is a subjective area. One person’s “totally adorable” is another person’s “downright nauseating.” So do your best to use good judgment. And remember this important tip: If your child is dressed in a Tweety costume and holding a sign that says “I tawt I taw a mewwy Chwistmas,” um, yeah. That’s wayyyy too cute.
Image: The Fun Times Guide