Thursday, April 11, 2013

Christmas in April

One of the only good things about moving is discovering things you don't remember having. Recently, I discovered a shoebox full of old letters/postcards from family, friends and countrymen. I found a rather amusing letter from my dad from 1991 discussing the upcoming holiday season and who gets whose name for the annual Christmas gift exchange. I found the humor/tone eerily familiar and decided to make it a guest post in my blog. Had I waited until Christmas, I probably would have forgotten about it, so you are stuck with Christmas in April.

I already anticipate a court summons from him for copyright infringement:

To: The Members of the Magnificent Klemperer Clan

From: The Magnificent Parents of the Klemperer Clan

Date: November 10, 1991

Since the Great Pumpkin did not appear again and the turkey will be too stuffed to do anything, someone had to do the name drawing for Christmas. After consulting with the intelligent member of the family (you did not get a call about this? I wonder what that means? Hmmmmm.) your father was unanimously elected by a vote of 1 – 1. Everyone knows 1 – 1 equals zero so there was no opposition.

Enclosed you will find the name that was drawn by the absentee hand. We have carefully recorded who drew whom and put the list in a Miracle Whip jar, sealed it with duct tape and put it who knows where. If you lose your name, you can call and for a small fee, we will tell you the name given (we mean drawn) for you. Of course we probably could not find the list in the jar as I forgot to empty it first. For those of you who are married and decide to discuss the name you have drawn, just remember, your spouse is kidding if she/he says “Dad” and your slip says “Dad.” This brings us to the thought that we (Mom and Dad) have decided to participate in the drawing. To make it easy, we will accept gift certificates in increments of a thousand (dollars).

The following guidelines are for those who will be coming over during the Christmas season. We will be celebrating an old-fashioned Christmas this year. We will use candles for light and the fireplace for heat. We suggest that you bring warm clothing and portable heaters (non-electric). Rooms will be assigned on a first come, first served basis. The warm rooms will be given to the early arrivals; the others will have to fight the polar bears.

As a new tradition this year, boxes will be placed at the front door to accept your gifts of food and spirits. The boxes will be marked with your name so Santa can find out who's naughty or nice. Fingerprints will be taken and the hidden video cameras will record everything (not that anyone would take from someone else's box and put it in theirs!).

When you register, note that only cash is accepted, in advance. Your parking tickets must be stamped daily or else the rates will automatically double.

All fax machines, computers, and electronic games become the property of the establishment if plugged in. Long distance is provided by the U.S. Postal Service for your convenience. Anyone who comes down with an illness will be immediately banished to the Franciscan Brothers Nursing Home for care. They devote their lives to caring for the sick. They will love you if you are sick.

Hopefully, you will find these few rules to be helpful, but bribery works.

As it may be crowded at our house, the following will not be allowed:

  • Snowballs
  • Icicles
  • Cranberries
  • Kidney Stew
  • Necessary evils
  • Extra whipped cream
  • Soap operas
  • Sad sacks
Please don't forget to bring the grandchildren. We will even take them on an outing for a few hours (without their parents)!

Mom and Dad


  1. Not only is that funny but very helpful for my next Christmas invite to my children. BTW where does one get polar bears? OR does the Magnificent Parents of the Klemperer Clan live at the South Pole? Wait!!! Is your dad the polar opposite of Santa Clause????

  2. The polar bears natural habitat was our basement where it was about 20 degrees colder than the rest of the house. As kids we were forced to live down there while my parents enjoyed the nice warm upstairs. Snow would swirl and bury the outside door to the basement, then we would have to walk to school barefoot, 10 miles uphill.... yeah you see where this is going? Thanks for the comment!

  3. Will your family adopt me? I used to live in Texas...

    Your blog is great!

  4. Amazingly, I and my family are not originally from Texas. But as the saying goes, I got here as fast as I could and am now on the front lines of keeping the United Nations out. Thanks for the comment!

  5. I could also offer you my in-laws...