Christmas cards really shouldn't be my thing. I hate the idea of forced correspondence when I may or may not have anything to say. Perhaps that's why we approach the Christmas card tradition with such gusto. It's a chance for us to make fun of a quaint, lovely tradition and infuse as much sarcasm into the season as possible. And since most folks know, our marriage is pretty much based on sarcasm, so it's something The KingofHearts and I can share together. It's as close to a Norman Rockwell Christmas as we're ever going to get, let's face it.

We started with a very simple holiday letter a decade ago and this became a holiday tradition that evolved into one in which we now spend a ton of money and time on supplies, cards, photographs and other materials to make a wholly original Christmas card each year (if some years the idea is "borrowed" shall we say from something else). We never miss a year. Our Christmas cards are legendary and sometimes offensive, but either way, they're talked about for years to come. I bet people don't remember your Christmas cards that way.

Since our Christmas card tradition pre-dates this blog, I thought it would be fun today to try and find all our old Christmas cards sent from the past ten years and share them with you, dear reader. I'm gonna quantify right now and say that some of them I may or may not be able to find and/or were three dimensional in a way that makes them impossible to post on a blog, also I'm gonna have to go back and change the names to protect the innocent, but for posterity's sake, and my own amusement, I'm gonna make the attempt today. If you're enjoying time with family, away from a computer good for you, but if, like me, Christmas Eve is a time to turn random animated Christmas specials on the television and take the laptop into the bathroom to steal a few minutes away from your children, today's series of blog posts are my gift to you.

Our first Christmas in our house was our second Christmas married, so we decided to send a Christmas newsletter like all those Christmas newsletters out there that everyone complains about, but then writes themselves anyway. We were broke, so I found leftover holiday paper at work and "borrowed" it (I was gonna return it all, honest!) and used the work computer to print them out. I no longer have the holiday paper, or even the clever font I'm sure I searched out to use for just this particular purpose, but I do have the words. Merry Christmas from 1998:

Holiday Greetings from Our Family

December 10, 1998

Dear Friends,

Holiday greetings from Washington! We hope this letter finds you well. We are looking forward to celebrating our second Christmas together and since you all are in our holiday wishes, we would like to follow that time-honored tradition of writing an impersonal, uninteresting letter to people we haven't seen in months so we can continue to boast about how terrific our lives have been in their absence. Here's what we've been up to lately:

Buying the house was a great adventure! Of course, it took some time to move the grave and chase out the emu population that had taken up residence in the basement, but now we're happy with our new domicile and plan to replace the roof any day now. It's just a good thing that policeman never saw what was hidden in the walls.

After the accidents, we took in a border to help with the mortgage payment. She lived in our basement for the summer, but our two cats (of course, you remember Lizzy Borden and Hannibal Lechter) kept getting sick from the lizard tails and trails of bleu cheese she'd leave about. So when the neighborhood watch committee asked us to make her leave, we obliged.

The KingofHeart’s enlistment was up in September and he and the military mutually decided that for everyone's benefit, he would not reenlist. They have agreed not to press that nasty court-martial business if he promised to destroy the photographs of Colin Powell and Madonna and he was happy to do so. For awhile after that, he was unemployed and having a difficult time dealing with all the free time until he hit upon a terrific business opportunity which not only uses his skills but also allows him time at home to take care of things around the house. His goal is to have at least 100 whores working for him by this time next year.

I've been staying very busy as well. My loansharking business practically runs itself so I've had lots of extra time to develop some new hobbies: latch hook rugs, cooking, sewing and making those little cranberry Christmas trees they have on the Martha Stewart show. Currently, I'm embroidering a new truck that The KoH can use at work (it's a Christmas surprise, so don't let him in on the secret!). I've also begun performing on the violin again - this time with the group Smash Mouth. They still aren't sold on the idea of a classically trained violinist in their group and they haven't yet seen fit to mike me or allow me to actually stand on the stage with them during a concert, but I think they're starting to see what an asset a violin could be to their sound. I see good things in our future!

Please stay in touch and let us know how you are. Look us up if you're coming out this direction anytime and as they say at Christmas time in D.C. "Drop your pants and give me all your money!"


The Wonderland Household