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Damned Holiday Newsletters Make Me Furious

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92 Comments leave one →
  1. 12:38 am

    Mr. Mills,
    I am with you all the way on this one. My favorite, which alas I failed to keep, was the one mentioning the nanny and the Volvo they bought for her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You are so eloquent in your disdain for the ostentatious and superficial. I’d much rather hear about Bruce’s rehab as well..

    Sincerely with all my sincere wishes for your best day yet in 2009….
    Delicate Flower

    • 1:36 pm

      Thank you very much Delicate Flower,

      Buying their Nanny a Volvo? Interesting. The closest I’ve seen any of the neighborhood nannies getting to a Volvo is when they are instructed to detail them for their owners.

      Thank you for visiting with me. All the best to you and yours for a festive holiday season!


  2. 12:49 am

    do you know when bruce went back to rehab? i had july 18th in the office pool, and i could really use the money.

    • 1:36 pm

      I’m afraid I don’t know the exact date, Nonnie.

      If my damned relatives would include those kinds of interesting details in their newsletters instead of filling them with nonsense like “Gerrard is only 18 months but his Aquatots teachers says he is swimming like a 2-year old” I’d be able to help you out.

      Still, if it will help you out, I can send a note to his mother and try to pin down the actual date. I’ll call her Christmas morning and pry the details out of her.

      All the best for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Years, Nonnie.


  3. 12:51 am

    Dear Don,

    I do believe that many are channeling you this season. You have stated the obvious with such pointed eloquence. I particularly dislike the supersized photos that are usually included with the “letter.” Would you happen to know who invented this tiresome tradition?

    On the other hand, I am very happy to hear that you have been quite busy this holiday season. Thespian work is never easy. It does not matter that you are sheep #3. Rehearsals can be quite taxing if the stars do not know their material.

    Wishing you the very best during this holiday season and a very happy New Year!


    • 1:53 pm

      Many thanks McNorman,

      I’m afraid I have no idea who started this tiresome tradition but thanks to the damned internet it seems to be more popular than ever. And you are right about the photos. If my damned relatives really felt it was important for me to see them on the beach in Punta Boga Vista perhaps they should have bought me a ticket and invited me to go with them. (Though, I should be careful what I ask for.)

      And thanks for the kind words about my foray into acting. I was actually understudy to sheep number 3 but he fell ill at the last moment and I thrust into the spotlight. I was a little nervous but since my only line was “baaaa” it didn’t require too much work or memorization. I thought we did a decent job. Especially when you consider that two or our three wise men are prone to wandering.

      Merry Christmas to you as well, McNorman and all the best for a happy and healthy 2010.


  4. 1:07 am

    The whole point of growing up and moving out of the house is so that we don’t have to talk to our siblings anymore if we don’t want to. Why should we care what their spawn are up to?

    Excellent and elegant rant. Your personal stationery looks festive, too.

    Merry Christmas, Don.

    • 2:02 pm

      Thank you Joan of Argghh!

      Always nice to have you stop in.

      Not only am I unconcerned about the exploits of their spawn, I don’t know who half of them are. Ignatius Mills Jr.? I didn’t even know there was an Ignatius Mills Sr. for Christ’s sake. And that’s a name I would remember.

      A very Merry Christmas to you as well, Joan.

      Best regards,


  5. Lily Fossil permalink
    1:36 am

    Dear Donald,

    Yes, one’s failures for the year make much more interesting reading and here are mine

    -failed to finish any of the books I started reading, except for one
    – failed to keep in touch with any of my friends especially the ones who sent me letters last Xmas with all their spectacularly dull achievements

    -failed to build a fish pond
    -failed to give up smoking
    -failed to increase my savings
    -failed in finding a suitable partner
    -failed to be more empathetic and caring
    -failed to succumb to iPhone

    but you know, I always say that we learn more from our failures than our successes.

    All the very best Donald for a happy holiday season. You have thoroughly earnt your fruitcake and rye.


    • 2:21 pm

      Thank you Lily,

      You need to reframe this list in the language of our forward-thinking education system. You didn’t fail to build a fish pond, you’ve simply deferred that success to 2010. (And personally, that’s the only one I’d have any regret over.)

      And while we are on the subject of successes and failings…

      I’d like to pass on my most sincere thanks, Lily, for never failing to bring a smile to my face with your very funny, always insightful and genuinely original comments. I’m sure I speak for many when I say that this site just wouldn’t be the same without you.

      All the best for a joyous holiday season Lily.


    • The Celtic Queen permalink
      9:10 am

      Lily you are such a failure. Please get on with that fishpond even I built one this year.

      Also you need to keep in touch with your friends because if they are like you there will be nobody at your funeral and no matter how witty and eloquently written your obituary is nobody will be there to hear it.

      So, good with the bad, embrace those Christmas Carols and spend time with friends, even the slightly boring ones.

      You don’ t want to be entirely consumed with Grumpy Old Fart’s thoughts now do you?

      Another thing my girl, give up the fags! That’s an order.

      • Lily Fossil permalink
        9:21 pm

        yes, Ms Bossy Boots.

        • The Celtic Queen permalink
          7:20 am

          That’s good because smoking is really bad. It’s killed almost everyone in my family. MIL FIL dad, aunt, 60 year old uncle. Ugh ths list goes on.
          So 2010 heralds in a new fish pond and a smoke free Lily fossil. Good girl Lily and by the way if that gravatar is you, you don’t look like a fossil

  6. 2:38 am

    I’m with you, Don, I’d much rather hear about the prodigal than the prodigy.

    If the high-achievers are so interesting then why are the best-selling memoirs all about disfunction? Because we hate Barbie that’s why. (But we love her whoring little sister, Skipper, who can’t stay off the Most Wanted list.)

    • 2:54 pm

      Thank you very much Tricia.

      Absolutely right. If you’re going to fill my spam folder with details of your family’s activities at least make it a compelling read. Follow the lead of Hollywood and open with a car chase and shoot out. That will get my attention.

      All the best for the holidays, Tricia. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


  7. 2:40 am

    Dear Mr. Mills.

    I was sorry to read about your hip. I hope it didn’t take away from the enjoyment of your slacks.

    • 3:15 pm

      Many thanks bmj2k,

      Thanks for your concern about my hip. I appreciate that.

      Fortunately, the slight pain in my hip has done nothing to take away from the enjoyment of my new slacks. I’m quite pleased with the pants – the pockets are adequate and meet my needs, they hang reasonably well and don’t bunch up uncomfortably when I’m seated. They’re a lighter shade of brown than I normally would have selected but despite that, I feel the color suits me.

      I don’t buy clothes often (I still have trousers from 1957) but when I do, I take the matter seriously.

      Thanks for visiting, bmj2k.

      All the best for the holiday season.


  8. 3:35 am

    I am glad to see that Pleasantview is letting you have your own coffee maker.

    But changing coffee brands? This is very confusing since I have never met anyone over the age of 50 that would ever do something like this. This sounds very twenty-like of you.

    You strike me as a Folgers man. If you are now starting the day with a Double Latte, I might have to rethink things.

    • 3:15 pm

      Thank you morethananelectrician,

      First off, I should clarify that I am not a resident of a retirement home. I live in the house I bought in 1953 and intend to remain here until they roll me out the front door under a sheet.

      The Pleasantview Seniors Centre is a community meeting place for the 55 and older set. It’s like a recreation centre without the damned skateboard ramps and pimply teenagers. We gather, play cards, have coffee and generally plot our revenge on ungrateful family members.

      On the coffee front, you were bang on. I was indeed a Folgers man. However, I am also on a fixed income and needed to switch to a more economical brand. It was tough but it came down to a choice between cheap coffee or cheap tunafish and I decided that with generic coffee there was less risk of food poisoning or feeling as though I was ingesting catfood.

      I can assure you that the only double I’ve ever started my day with was not a Latte.

      All the best, lad, for a very Merry Christmas.


  9. Debbi permalink
    3:57 am

    Great post, as always, Don. These end-of-year missives are about as welcome in my house as a big old brick of fruitcake. In fact, they’re probably both equally nutty and indigestible.

    • 3:35 pm

      Thank you kindly Debbi,

      Always a pleasure to have you visit. Please feel free to send any unwanted fruit cake my way (the edible ones, not the unstable relatives).

      Merry Christmas, Debbi, and Happy New Year.

      All the best,


  10. Friar permalink
    4:51 am

    Excellent letter, Don. With a few minor edits, I’m half-tempted to use it as my own.

    The only thing I disagree with is getting the fruitcake. I was never fond of that brick-like concoction. If I had a choice between a newsletter and a fruitcake, it would be either/or.

    You take care of that hip. And glad to see you’re involved in the local community theater.

    All the best;


    • 3:35 pm

      Many thanks Friar,

      I don’t know why people are so down on the fruitcake. Properly prepared, it can be a Hell of a treat.

      All the best to you as well Friar. And thanks for visiting so regularly over the course of the year. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you, lad.

      Merry Christmas.


  11. 5:36 am

    Dear Mr. Mills:

    You were particularly eloquent in your rant about Holiday Newsletters. They get me so depressed I want to start the holidays drinking early and often.

    Ho, Ho, Ho!

    Thank you for putting into words what everyone thinks when they get these horrible Holiday tomes.

    Mrs. King

    • 3:54 pm

      Thank you kindly Mrs. King,

      Always remember – depression and alcohol are Christmas traditions too.

      Ho, ho, ho.

      Have a wonderful Christmas, Mrs. King. And my best to you and yours for a happy and healthy 2010.


  12. 6:47 am

    “There will be ample opportunity to list all of your achievements in your obituary.”

    HAHAHA! And if I get another holiday newsletters, you better start working on your obit now.

    The first holiday newsletter I ever got threw me into such a depression I curled up in a dark room in the fetal position for days. This was a letter from my soon to be ex-husband’s loser brother and sister-in-law, and to read the letter you would think they were on the verge of curing cancer, world hunger and racism. This from a couple of people who couldn’t understand birth control.

    My parents didn’t mail self important newsletters. They spent Christmas Day one-upping their siblings and in-laws until somebody had too much egg nog and flipped over the dining room table in a fit of drunken resentment, breaking the good china and making the kids cry.

    Now that’s what the holidays are all about.

    Best wishes for a Merry Christmas, Mr. Mills.

    • 3:54 pm

      Many thanks Yellowcat,

      You damned well nailed it, yellowcat.

      “My parents didn’t mail self important newsletters. They spent Christmas Day one-upping their siblings and in-laws until somebody had too much egg nog and flipped over the dining room table in a fit of drunken resentment, breaking the good china and making the kids cry.

      Now that’s what the holidays are all about.”

      That’s just perfect. Thanks for the memories and for the laugh. I appreciate it, I really do.

      All the best to you for a Merry Christmas as well, yellowcat.


  13. Catherine permalink
    7:04 am

    I can’t say I’ve ever received a Holiday Newsletter but I would be quite interested to do so, just to prove that my nearest and dearest are capable of stringing together a full sentence instead of these meaningless texts they keep sending me full of abbreviations and unexplainable punctuation. ROFLMAO 😉 …? Bah, humbug.

    Season’s Greetings, Don. Stay warm and don’t go out in the snow wearing slippers.

    Catherine x

    • 3:55 pm

      Many thanks Catherine,

      Be careful what you ask for. Still, you raise a good point. I suppose in the not too distant future a holiday newsletter from your family will be restricted to 140 characters or less. A blessing and a curse I suppose.

      And, my God, I couldn’t agree more on the punctuation front. In fact, the return of punctuation is on my wish list of things to see in 2010.

      Season’s greetings to you as well. I’ll be cautious with my slippers but if you could have a word with the paperboy (he tends to throw short and wide) it would help me out a great deal.

      Best regards,


  14. 8:00 am

    Dear Don, I’m concerned about your dentures – can they withstand the rigours of a fruit cake?

    • 3:55 pm

      Many thanks Nursemyra,

      If properly soaked in rum, I should have no problem at all.

      I appreciate the concern, though, and will be sure to exercise appropriate caution.

      All the best, Nursemyra, for the holidays and for a wonderful 2010.


  15. 11:47 am

    Hypocrite. I am tired of getting your Xmas letters too.

    BTW, I wondered who was playing sheep #3 since he took a dump in the manger during the performance. The added realism was great. That is until the smell got past the 3rd row.

    • 3:56 pm

      Jesus Bearman,

      Hope you enjoy the lump of coal in your stocking. Santa doesn’t look kindly on being nasty to an old man the week before Christmas.

      I won’t respond to your scurrilous accusations or harsh critique of my method acting. I will let you know, however, that Sheep Number 2 got the note you sent backstage and is not interested in your proposition.

      (Sheep Number 1….maybe, but she only has the costume rental until next week so you’ll have to act fast.)

      Happy holidays Bearman! All the best for 2010 and my thanks, once again, for the PSA. It was a nice gesture and a fine piece of work. Hopefully Old St. Nick will take that into consideration when checking his “naughty and nice” list one last time.


      • jammer5 permalink
        2:36 pm

        Don, it is a well known fact Bearman is allergic to sheep. That camel, now that’s a different story.

  16. 5:11 pm

    I’m with you Don, I could care less where my relatives have travelled to as long as there not coming here for the holidays and I enjoy a little fruitcake with my rum. On the other hand, those newsletters do make fine kindling.

    • 8:30 pm

      Well said, Blue.

      I suppose I should be grateful that the newsletter is the only thing showing up at my door.

      Enjoy some fruitcake and have a very Merry Christmas.


  17. 6:09 pm

    You are right about how tedious people can be while talking about things the other person does not give a damn about. In our country, it is the custom to show guests marriage albums. Now how on earth am I supposed to be eagerly interested in the festivities that surround the process of two people getting a lifetime copulatory license for themselves? Or in the spectacle of over-decked and overweight females gorging themselves with food that I didn’t get a morsel of?

    • 8:32 pm

      Thanks for visiting doctoratlarge,

      Marriage albums? Sounds like nasty business to me. The only positive I can see is that at least marriage isn’t an annual event (hopefully. For some of my relatives it sure seems like it).

      All the best and happy holidays.


  18. 6:45 pm

    Sometimes I think my cynicism and inability to stay within the boundaries of good taste will cause me to have the least attended funeral of all time. Then I come here and realize that all my worries are for naught. Thanks for making me seem lovable.

    • 8:35 pm

      Glad I can help Tannerleah.

      I’m sure my funeral will be well attended. The question is whether people are cheering or crying at the event. Hopefully, if I’ve done things right, there will be fair representation from both camps.

      Merry Christmas, TL. And all the best to your family for 2010.


      • jammer5 permalink
        9:34 am

        Don, I have learned from past funerals that the number of people attending is in direct proportion to the amount of freebies they think they will get via the will.

  19. 7:18 pm

    HA HA HA!

    Oh my Mr. Mills – you do beat all.

    Merry Christmas to you (I promise you will never get a family news letter from me – but I do make fruitcake on occasion and I don’t skimp on the rum soak for it, if you get a good one it might be from me.)

    Be well,

    • 8:37 pm

      And Merry Christmas to you as well, wordsweneversaid.

      Thanks for the assurances on the newsletter. I’ll look forward to receiving that fruitcake.

      All the best,


  20. 8:42 pm


    I have to say that I’m a little disappointed. I had no idea that you even acted, let alone were the most influential sheep in an Off-Broadway (I’m assuming it’s not on Broadway unless you’ve recently moved- ) theatrical production.

    Had I known, I would have sculpted you a woolly hat (using some type of non-wool material thereby making it more abstract). Or better yet, made you a set of sheep hooves out of non-perishable food tins.

    Anyway, seeing as it is the Christmas season (and you are my BGF-Best Geriatric Friend), I will forgive you for not telling me. But next time you need to let me know ahead of time so I can be the one in the front row taking pictures (for Facebook) and encouraging you to “be the best ewe you can be!”

    Merry Christmas, BGF (this time it means Best Grandpa Friend).

    Your BF,

    • 3:04 pm

      Many thanks Bschooled,

      I appreciate the kind words but I’m afraid I’m hardly the most influential sheep in the mob. That honor would have to go to Sheep #1, Rod Creemore. He gets all of the choice lines and pulls most of the laughs.

      If I decide to audition for the Seniors “Spring Fling Cavalcade of Fun “I’ll be sure to let you know. It’s generally a damned fine show with lots of singing, clogging and plenty of hokey-cokey.

      All the best for a wonderful Christmas, Bschooled. Please send my best wishes along to Auntie D and the rest of the family.

      Warm regards,


  21. Micky-T permalink
    9:42 pm

    They also look like crap hanging on the fireplace.
    Have a wonderful Christmas Mr. Mills.

    • 3:05 pm

      Thank you Mickey T,

      Many thanks for visiting with me during the holidays. And a very Merry Christmas to you as well.

      All the best,


  22. Polly Anna permalink
    10:07 pm

    Great post, Don! However I confess I received a Christmas letter that tickled me this year. The husband had an affair that his wife evidently found out about because she used the Tiger Woods fiasco as a reference to frame a thinly veiled threat in the family news letter. Of course it was done as a joke so that if you didn’t know about his recent “goings on” you might think she was just being playful, but some of us know better. Those letters are at least entertaining. Merry Christmas to you, sir.

    • 3:06 pm

      Thank you Polly Anna,

      Sounds as though the author of your newsletter was a least making an effort to entertain. I’d certainly welcome something other than the usual 1000 word exercise in boasting, bragging and boring the Hell out of me.

      Merry Christmas to you as well and all the best for 2010.


  23. 10:12 pm

    Mr Mills

    Nothing like Mr Mills telling you he does not give a good damn about you or your newsletter. Wow..easy their scrooge people gonna think you want to beat tiny tim with his own cane….so tiny tim stole your lawn santa…you have had the damn thing since the johnson administration…chill ..have some egg nog and put a boost in it…push easy homey…….happy holidays Sir….zman sends

    • 3:06 pm

      Merry Christmas Zman!

      For the record, I never beat Tiny Tim with his own cane. We had words, I made a few idle threats but it stopped there. Not saying I wasn’t tempted, but I’m no monster. That lawn Santa was a damned handsome ornament, I believe I had a right to be upset.

      All the best to you, Zman, for a happy holiday season and a prosperous 2010.

      Best regards,


  24. 11:13 pm

    You really are trying to kill me now. This is very, very funny.

    I don’t think we get these newsletters in the UK (at least I don’t and I thank the sweet baby Jesus for it), but if I ever did, I’d use yours as a template for a response. Thanks and Merry Christmas.

    • 3:07 pm

      Many thanks pie and welcome.

      If the UK has been spared those damned newsletters you can consider yourself very lucky indeed..

      Have a Merry Christmas and thanks kindly for visiting.


  25. 1:36 am

    Well Mister Mills, I rarely ever read posts more than once (unless I’m drinking that high octane stuff), but I’ve gotta tell ya; I not only read this post twice, I laughed harder the second time around, cold sober and tired from a long day.

    Thanks for a great laugh . . . and better understanding of what bugs me about those damn rambling newsletters.

    Have a fantastic holiday! The hat was a nice touch, and if you ever serve hard time as a department store Santa, some of those spoiled punks will get the holiday gift they truly deserve; timely advice from “one who knows the way things truly are.”

    May the approaching New Year find you as ornery as ever!

    • 3:08 pm

      Many thanks Dan,

      I hope you have a wonderful holiday as well.

      One favour, if I might. If you ever see me serving hard time as a department store Santa I beg you to either break me out of just put me out of my misery and kill me on the spot. I’d be truly grateful.

      All the best,


  26. 1:55 am

    Dear Don,

    Well, it’s that time of the year again. Christmas. Time to knock out a workmanlike letter detailing everything I can remember from the past two weeks and pad it with some poetry stolen from a letter to Ann Landers.

    Perhaps it’s the large amount of Christmas cheer or the faulty radiator vent, but I have to tell you: we have truly been blessed this year.

    Here are some of the highlights:
    – Nickelback released a new album and the kids couldn’t be happier. Since Scott Stapp is no longer sober enough to produce low-quality grunge by-products, it is left up to these fine Canadians to fill the void left by Candlebox, Bush and Better Than Ezra.

    – Tiger Woods finally split up with his wife and now will probably make an honest woman of my sister, whom he has given the affectionate nickname “The 19th Hole.”

    – Heroin is cheaper, purer and more readily available than ever. I’m sure we all will be taking advantage of this windfall to stock up before the holidays. With this stash in place, we will no longer need to “step out for a smoke” for 2-3 days at a time.

    – Steven Spielberg’s latest extravagance has hit the big screen, and the filmmaking world is rejoicing in this triumph of commerce over art. No longer will the downtrodden indie filmmakers be forced to underspend when rushing a mass of cliches to the screen. I haven’t seen it myself but it has been described to me as “The Bicycle Thief” meets “The Smurfs” in outer space.

    Well, that should get us up to speed and allow us not to communicate with each other for another 11-1/2 months.


    • 12:58 pm

      Beware CLT, there be anthrax in Glasgow heroin currently…

    • 3:39 pm

      Many thanks CLT,

      I may have to ask you to provide some consultative services to the authors of the newsletters I’ve received. This is exactly the kind of pithy, disturbing and provocative family news I want to hear about (though the Nickelbag reference was likely uncalled for).

      All the best, CLT, for a wonderful Christmas with your family and a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.

      All the best,


  27. 1:55 am

    Damn straight Mr Mills and what do they expect you to do with the family photo (minus Bruce) ? I think, not only should you defriend them from Facebook you should scratch them off the inheritance, that will teach them what’s what! Falalalala lalakingla

    • 3:39 pm

      Thanks very much Frigginloon,

      Good advice. Be assured that the authors of these infernal pieces of crap won’t receive a red cent of my small but impressive fortune. I will however, make sure that they continue to receive annual newsletters from me for years after my death.

      I plan to send them a Christmas “Achievements in the Afterlife” note every December until 2022. I hope it scares the Hell out of them.

      All the best for the holiday season!


  28. Clifton L. Tanager permalink
    2:41 am

    Don –

    Excellent post as always.

    You make a good point about these pointless holiday letters. I fail to understand how a holiday that happens unfailingly once a year suddenly makes the happenings in your family relevant.

    I remember back in my day when these letters meant something. While we were freezing our various limbs off in the DMZ, our loved ones were preparing thoughtful letters full of emotion and pertinent information, rather than a roster update where everyone adds 1 to their age and jumps a grade level.

    These letters were our bread and butter. In fact, the paper used back then could have been our bread, as it was made from only the hardiest trees rather than recycled from someone’s week-old newspaper and rejected submissions to Hustler.

    We would receive these once a month, unfailingly, delivered by the hand of our sargeant, who often read them out loud to us while adopting a variety of voices.

    “Pvt. Mickelson, I’m leaving you for James who works at the hardware store,” he’d screech in a supposedly female tone, voice quavering and cracking. “He has been offered a management position by my father and several other positions by me.”

    We’d roar with laughter and wait patiently for our turn to be “done” by our overseer.

    “Pvt. Anderson, we regret to inform you that your poem ‘In Deepest Blue Summers’ has been rejected. We appreciate your contribution, but at this time, Hustler has no need for overwrought poetry that does not include descriptive sex acts.” For this one, the sargeant adopted a world-weary tone laden with bitter sarcasm.

    “Pvt. Tanager, it is time for your yearly checkup. If you wish to consult with me privately about your variety of sexually transmitted diseases, please call me at the office to set an appointment. I have a variety of interns who will be more than happy to address your ‘issues.’ I, however, will be taking care to be out of the office during your visits and have a cleaning crew ready the moment you depart. Also, please quit asking if my sister is seeing somebody.”

    Although the sargeant had adopted a prissy and officious tone, by the second sentence he was laughing too hard to continue and had to bring in Corporal Jensen to finish the letter.

    That’s the way communication was meant to be: a powerful collection of words that could move you to tears or laughter, often within a few sentences of each other. Suffice to say, by the end of our sargeant’s “Mailbag Day,” most of us had spent several minutes laughing or crying.

    Keep the faith, Donald. And keep those youngsters’ feet to the fire.

    C.L. Tanager

    • 3:40 pm

      Many thanks Clifton,

      Those damned war stories of yours never fail to warm my heart. Nothing prepares a young a decent and productive life like hierarchy, fear and cruel camaraderie.

      And thank you for reminding everyone what communication was meant to be – infrequent, disturbing and packed with emotional kidney punches. All of this tweeting, twittering and texting has eroded the power of the written word.

      There is something to be said for having to wait 6 months to find out that your best gal has left you, taken up with your arch-nemesis and is already pregnant with your child.

      Wishing you the best for the holidays Clifton. Stay vigilant and consider a trip to the Doctor in the New Year.

      All the best,


  29. Lily Fossil permalink
    4:27 am

    Dear Donald,

    I will apologize in advance to you and your readers because I can feel an angry anti-Christmas rant coming on.

    Every year, a couple of days before Xmas I get my account from the telephone company and every year it makes me angry that they are so mean and so lacking in goodwill as to send it out 2 days before Xmas, just when no-one has any money left and of course with all the holidays, most people leave paying it till the New Year, by which time they incur a late fee.

    Now, I would hate to think they do this on purpose to raise extra squillions in revenue, but it sure makes me mad.

    Come to think about it, EVERYTHING about Xmas makes me mad as a cut snake. I can’t stand the hideous decorations that get dragged out of mothballs decade after decade; I can’t stand the way people spend months rigging up those stupid light displays on their houses, contributing to global warming, that we all HAVE to look at; I can’t stand listening to xmas carols being sung ANYWHERE and I can’t stand the gluttony and the amount of food that goes to waste from Christian tables, when billions are starving.

    I hate it, I really do.

    end of rant

    • 1:00 pm

      Lily, call by and join the ranting at;

    • 3:59 pm

      Thank you Lily,

      Rants are always welcomed, no need to apologize.

      I’m no fan of the telephone companies either. In addition to gauging customers and providing piss-poor customer service they seem to be Hell bent on getting me to give up my rotary phone. I love my damned phone.

      Progress my wrinkled ass.

      All the best,


  30. jammer5 permalink
    9:30 am

    There is a certain amount of chuckle time allotted to the opening of family (or those who think they are family) year-long exploits one receives via internet during the holiday season. For instance: “Hi. You probably don’t remember me, but we met at the family reunion way back in ’86. I’m your third cousin, Chuck. I’m the one who told all those great jokes about my second cousin, Larry, who is currently residing in a secret federal facility, the location of which he wont tell me. Hahaha!!

    “Anyway, we had a rough year: our house was repossessed and sold at auction for a little over $8,476.00. My wife, Judy, has the shingles and needs some donations so she can buy the ointment she needs to get rid of them. Can you help a poor family out?”

    I keep a list of the email addresses of all the scams I get from Nigerians and forward the emails to them in the hope the Nigerians can help them in their dire straights. For some unknown reason, I never have heard from Chuck again.

    Merry Christmas, Don, and many more 🙂

    • 3:59 pm

      Ha! Many thanks Jammer,

      I have to admit that I haven’t seen any newsletters begging for financial help but I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s next. Nothing like using a form letter to try and mooch money off your relatives.

      I’ll have to keep the Nigerian Prince tactic in mind for the future. It’s a fine strategy.

      Merry Christmas to you as well, Jammer. And a Happy New Year too.

      Best regards,


  31. 1:02 pm

    Excellent logical rant Don. Have a great holiday.

    Dave and Hazel

    • 4:00 pm

      Many thanks Dave.

      Always a pleasure to have you stop in. All the best to you and Hazel for a happy holiday season.

      Best regards,


  32. hisqueen permalink
    7:45 pm

    Dear Mr. Mills,

    Perhaps you aren’t reading into their updates correctly. Perhaps Bruce is currently working on his free education while in prison/rehab. Everything is free in prison you know. 3 squares a day, cable tv, heat, ac and free education.
    You failed to make the trip to the Goodyear Museum because of your hip so they figured you would enjoy the pictures.
    The brand of coffee you switched to could be causing the Giant Schnauzers UTI and they are concerned that you may end up with same dilemma.
    And lastly the law school kid is there to help you when your doctors fail to act upon the 3 new moles that you found. They need to be able to sue the dr. to pay for their college education after your deceased.
    Please excuse my update in your spam box. I sent it before I read of your great disdain for our wonderful updates. I will send a new one with all the correct updates (horrible vacations, nervous breakdowns, charges of theft, kids calling cops on adults because they got yelled at(this last is true) ect…
    Merry Christmas

    • 5:46 pm

      Many thanks his queen and Merry Christmas to you as well.

      I appreciate the upbeat spin on these nasty newsletters but remain unconvinced that they had my best interests are heart. Perhaps if they had opened with “how are you?” instead of “You wouldn’t know the economy was in trouble based on how much money George made last year.”

      I’ve never liked George. He’s a vain blowhard and has an odd shaped head.

      All the best to you and yours for a happy holiday and a wonderful New Year!


  33. downcastmysoul permalink
    8:08 pm

    You can always use those Christmas form letters as “puppy pads” or confetti.

    Two years ago I put all black ornaments on my tree. I just do not love Christmas. Even though it’s God’s Birthday (as we celebrate it) it has been co-opted by the greedinators and cheapened and “glitzed” out and “Vegasized” till it no longer resembles honoring God’s Nativity.

    I would gladly hang out in a “stable” with a bottle of cheap rum and even cheaper fruitcake with you, Don! Jesus would be proud. Or not.

    Merry Christmas to you.

    • 5:48 pm

      Many thanks downcastmysoul,

      An intriguing offer. I’ve never been invited to “hang out” in a stable on Christmas and drink cheap rum. Have to say it is one of the more tempting invitations I’ve received for the holidays.

      Merry Christmas to you as well downcastmysoul. My thanks for your regular visits and comments as well.

      Wishing you all the best for 2010 and beyond.


  34. momromp permalink
    11:04 pm

    Another great post. I really miss my grandpa; you remind me so much of him. I think I heard this rant nearly verbatim from him a few Christmases back.

    • 5:49 pm

      Many thanks momromp,

      I take any comparison to a gramdpa as a real compliment. Many thanks and Merry Christmas.


  35. lookingforsomethingtofind permalink
    1:15 am

    You are so right, I mean if I’ve never meet my fifth cousin seven times removed, do I care that he repainted his care taupe, no. Do you ever get those cards from your dentist, or some company that you bought a product from. Where your name is just plugged into a blank space and they send it out to try and make you feel all warm and fuzzy so you will buy more stuff. I mean I’m all for capitalism don’t get me wrong, but instead of sending me that card, why not use the money saved to knock down the price one dollar or more. Also have to agree with Lily about the tacky lawn ornament lights, that look like landing strips for UFOs or something. Really good post Don, you tell it like it is.

    • 5:52 pm

      Thanks very kindly lookingforsomethingtofind,

      I get those form letters for Dentists, real estate agents, insurance companies and just about everyone else out there with a marketing budget and no common sense. I couldn’t agree with you more. Save me the damned calendar/promo card/seasons greeting and just give me a healthy seniors discount instead.

      I appreciate your stopping in. Happy holidays, lookingforsomethingtofind.

      All the best,


  36. 4:06 am

    Oh, I think my mother and father actually may have been the pioneers of the family Christmas news letter. We used to produce one back when the xerox machine had not been invented. I believe our first edition was in 1961. My mother had learned some way of melting some sort of fixative that you could put a mimeograph master on for a while and then pull off copies. After these things were printed, we children sat around and colored the titles in. This annual newsletter was called the Beaver Creek Confetti (because we lived on Beaver Creek). I apologize to everybody everywhere for this invention for it seems to have caught on.

    Now, mostly I enjoy the updates from the people I knew in the past. But when I get a list of all the trips a family has made burning up jet fuel flying the equivalent of around the world three times in six months and travelling over and past where I live twice a year and never even give me a call from the airport to invite me to have lunch, then I know that these people are not really my friends. They are just part of a long and chequered past.

    Happy Solstice, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, etc.

    • 6:04 pm

      Many thanks healingmagichands,

      I hate to contradict myself but those family newsletters your Mom and Dad churned out sound quite nice. Something about the time, effort and involving the children in their preparation I suppose.

      Seems nowadays people just pop themselves in front of their desktop with a bottle of gin and start listing their damned accomplishments and every inconsequential thought they had during the course of the year.

      I’m sure that wasn’t what your parents had in mind.

      Have a Merry Christmas, healingmagichands. I hope your 2010 is just as checkered as your past. It keeps you young and it’s fun, damn it.

  37. 5:16 am

    Hi Donald,

    Happy Holidays. Great post.

  38. 12:06 pm

    I can not say that I’ve been pestered with these newsletters, I can rely on my parents to keep track of any notable family matters, and tell me what I need to know. Anyway, I did not read this until now, since I’ve been busying myself cutting and hauling in firewood for my Grandmother.

    I’ll just take this opportunity to say Happy Holidays, Mr. Mills and everyone.


    • 1:13 pm

      Many thanks TJ.

      Happy Holidays to you as well. And good on you, TJ, for helping out your grandmother. I’m sure she appreciates all of your work.

      All the best,


  39. 5:59 am

    Merry Christmas, Mr Mills 🙂

  40. 2:03 pm

    all I want for Christmas is my dreamboat, Don, to re-start his blog in the new year. I miss him sooooo……”sigh”. Every time I see that little tart, Justine Beiber, I mind-shop (psychic photoshop) Don’s head on his body.
    Merry Christmas to COF and Erskine!

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