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The Slice: Planning your family newsletter Christmas card

Feel free to take this with a grain of salt.

But here are The Slice’s Top 10 ways to make your Spokane family newsletter Christmas card a delightful reading experience for everyone on your list.

1. First familiarize yourself with the writing of Calvin Trillin. 2. Remember the holiday letter isn’t Facebook. 3. Be brutally honest. 4. Don’t shy away from mentioning arrests and convictions. 5. Brag about Dad not being caught up in any sexual harassment scandals. 6. List the weights of all family members. 7. Use obviously doctored family photos. 8. Bring up probate issues. 9. Speculate about current status of ex-spouses. 10. Weigh in on Donald Trump.

Just wondering: What statement do your outdoor holiday decorations make?

A) Visible from the International Space Station. B) Are there no workhouses? C) We want the little kids across the street to be able to see our lights. D) Elegant, tasteful illumination of the season. E) Other.

Just wondering 2: What’s your theory about why you get dropped from people’s Christmas card lists?

A) Senders died. B) You didn’t mail them a card last year. C) They stopped sending cards to anyone. D) It’s their reaction to the e-card you sent them. E) Other.

Reader challenge: List one reason these two lines from Merle Haggard’s “If We Make it Through December” might not be true:

If we make it through December

Everything’s gonna be all right I know

Warm-up question: Did growing up in Spokane make you less likely to think “I’ll be Home for Christmas” was a Beach Boys original song (from their 1964 Christmas album)?

Bing Crosby, of course, was the first to record it, in 1943.

Today’s Slice question: I’ve told you about the time nearly 30 years ago when my wife and I took all our written and addressed holiday cards up to Nelson, B.C., purchased Canadian Christmas stamps and mailed the entire batch from that charming community in British Columbia. Then we learned in the days to come that the cards all arrived at their U.S. destinations adorned with “Chicago” postmarks, which wasn’t quite what we were going for.

No big deal, obviously. But it makes me wonder.

What little plan for Christmas didn’t really turn out the way you hoped because of some unforeseen circumstance?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. Would you rather live in Whoville or on the Island of Misfit Toys?

 
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