Throwback Thursday! My Christmas Form Letter to You

(First posted on #ThePhilFactor  Dec. 14, 2013)  It’s that time of year again! The time for the year in review Christmas form letter. It’s always touching when our relatives treat us like customers. Typically these form letters take one of two directions. The first and most typical is the ‘What a wonderful year we had!’

“Dear ____________, 2013 was a wonderful year for my family. I started a new job six figure job, and my wife was promoted to president of her company. The kids are doing well. Johnny aced the S.A.T., didn’t miss a question! He’s now been accepted into a Ph.D program at Harvard even though he’s only 14. Susie was named Miss Junior America and will be touring the country speaking out against make up companies testing lip gloss on kittens. The picture on the front of the card is the new Bentley we got after winning the lottery.

The best course of action the next time you see these relatives is a swift, stunning punch to the forehead that will cause them to spill nog all over their tacky sweater and leave a mark on their forehead. They deserve this because either they are lying about how fantastic their life is, or if their life is that great then the bruise on their forehead will remind them that life is tough and they shouldn’t get too cocky.


The second kind of Christmas letter is my favorite. It’s the disaster letter. These are the people who make you feel so much better about yourself and your life.

“Hello everyone, it is with a heavy heart that we wish you Season’s Greetings. Sadly our twenty-seven year old cocker spaniel passed away last week. He was delicious.  In more upbeat news from our family it has been a year of triumphs! Little Johnny learned to poop indoors and that rash on Susie’s face cleared up. As soon as Obamacare kicks in we’ll get her lazy eye looked at. Home schooling is going well and they both are on track to graduate by the time they’re 21. We’re so proud! Once Trevor finds a job we’ll buy some train tickets and come visit! The best course of action with these relatives is to tell them you’re moving and you’ll forward them the address as soon as you get settled.


I would just like to note that neither of the pictures in this post are from my family. If I were to write a form Christmas letter to anyone reading this it might read:

Thank you to anyone who has read The Phil Factor even once. It’s been an amazing year for me thanks to all of you. Since I published my first book at the end of 2012 (and re-published it 8 months later) I’ve learned a lot about being an “indie author” and I’ve felt wonderfully supported the whole way thanks to the kindness of strangers I’ve met through the internet. Thank you to those who have read one of my books and those who clicked Like or shared my weekly Phil Factor as well as those that have helped by giving of their knowledge. I’d also like to thank the other authors who have allowed me to interview them for The Phil Factor.  Regardless of what religion or holiday you may be celebrating this season, thank you for every little click you’ve directed at me in some way.


As always, Happy Thursday, and if you enjoy #ThePhilFactor please feel free to share by hitting the Facebook or Twitter share buttons below. ~Phil

15 responses to “Throwback Thursday! My Christmas Form Letter to You

  1. I’ve considered writing a tongue-in-cheek newsletter but somehow know it will hideously backfire on me. Too many literal thinkers in my circle. Fun post!

  2. The family photos are hilarious!
    With so much mocking of the annual newsletter, why do some people still do it?
    … although in my circle, people wonder why I blog … 😉

  3. I need to come up with fabulously fake letter to send to my family.

    Of course, with my luck, they’d believe it. 🙂

  4. Nice family photos haha! Post made me laugh!

  5. Hah! You are spot on about ‘those’ Christmas letters. I get them both all the time. The first ones are filled with amazing things like: I split the atom while doing soduku’. And the second one just makes you feel bad and even worse for your friends/family. From one ‘indie author’ to another, I have really enjoyed your blog. Whoops, that was past tense….I am really enjoying your blog.

  6. Now this post I remember
    From last year back in December
    Which is why I’ve put together
    A depressing holiday letter
    With a family portrait to remember
    With weird smiles and ugly Christmas sweaters.

  7. It’s been many years since I read a holiday newsletter from the status-seeking Joneses, but I did get a disaster letter a few years back.
    I’d love to craft a newsletter boasting about my lotto winnings…Right after I start playing. And of course, after I win, I’ll send you a new festive tie 😉

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