The Christmas Tradition that won’t quit

So if you know me, or have followed me for a long time, you know I’m an annual practitioner of the fake holiday card.

Which is to say: Every December we (I’m usually accompanied by at least one of my two kids) create a phony Christmas card, print it up and send it out to (largely unsuspecting) people.

It started about a decade ago, when I thought it’d be funny to redirect seasonal cards to unintended recipients. That went over beautifully—as this old post explains. And this post explains, too. But the wife (a better person than I’ll ever be) thought it was wrong to take someone’s card and fuck with other folks. Hence, the new-and-improved tradition of crafting an original card with random people, then writing bullshit nonsensical messages.

This year, my son Emmett and I searched the World Wide Web until we found a picture of a family in COVID masks. We went around the room and picked names—the parents needed to be sorta dull (Jonathan and Shelly), the kids a bit more precious (Kylee and Lucas).

The back is where the magic happens …

It needs to be inane, but not so inane that it screams, “Fake!”

It needs to be in-depth, but not overly in-depth.

It needs to feel like someone you’d know, but can’t place.

Also, I’m a “fan” of putting random words in quotes, because my mom has been doing that for years. It’s always good to have a term nobody would understand (“The Barneys”), even though it seems as if they’d understand. I’m a fan of sayings that old grandparents might have uttered long ago, such as, “Christmas is holy … because it celebrates the whole.”

Mostly, I love love love love love love love love love love love love that every year at least a couple of recipients (we send out 50) open the card and—if even for 10 seconds—think, “Who the fuck is this?”

Love, Shelly, Jonathan, Kylee and Lucas