Wednesday, December 15, 2004


I’ve been putting this little task off (as is my wont with most tasks), but I am beginning to run out of time. So it will have to be this week when I compose the Annual Elisson Family Holiday Newsletter.

You know what I’m talking about. That talky, newsy, bring-everybody-you-don’t communicate-regularly-with-up-to-speed-on-the-useless-shit-that-is-your-life letter. And this year, I have no idea what to write.

We’ve been sending these bad boys out since, oh, 1997. It’s a task that is greatly simplified nowadays, thanks to the handy-dandy omnipresent computer. I typically will write up a two-page screed that includes pictures of the four of us, along with a snazzy masthead that features a scenic shot of Stone Mountain. That’s to help people remember where the hell it is we live these days... a nontrivial matter when you consider that we’re in our seventh house since forming the Elisson Family Consortium.

Setting the right tone is important. We used to get Holiday Newsletters from a young woman who used to babysit Elder Daughter back when she was still Only Daughter, and each one of these was gloomier than the last, endless litanies of family tragedies and diseases. Feh.

The other extreme ain’t much better. Who the hell wants to read about little Johnny becoming a world-renowned neurosurgeon and concert pianist while little Susie has just received a Rhodes scholarship? Screw that.

Nobody wants to hear about your various infirmities, and it’s a bad idea (generally) to include copies of your colonoscopy photos. Sure, you have a lovely sigmoid colon, but really - too much information. And nobody wants to read your Pollyanna-like take on world events or hear about your latest promotion. Nobody likes a trombenik - someone who toots his own horn just a wee bit too much.

So I try to find the middle ground. Good news? I put it in but try not to play it up too much. Our friends and family are generally well-informed about all that stuff anyway. What I try to do is just refresh everyone’s memory about what we’re doing and how our kid’s lives are developing, with a little extra about anything remotely enjoyable we did. I’m not sure if I do a good job of it, but since She Who Must Be Obeyed is there to rein me in when I get too snarky or overenthusiastic, overall, I’m confident in the quality of the results.

Time to get busy. Bullshit is a dish best served hot!

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