Festive holiday tip: I bought one giant roll of good-quality neutral paper to wrap presents in this year, and it was approximately 9285 times better than wrestling with foil-y themed paper. I always think I’m going to enjoy wrapping presents until I do two or three in a row, then I’m like WHY GOD WHY, but this paper (which came from Target, as all good things do) helped keep the Santa-throttling feelings at bay.



A snarky, ridiculous holiday letter has become a tradition in our household—if doing something two years in a row can be called a “tradition,” anyway. I have the sneaking suspicion several relatives do not even remotely get it. In fact, we just received a holiday letter from a family member who formats the page to look like an actual newsletter and is extremely earnest and exclamation-pointy about their children’s various achievements and I can only image the pitying look on their faces when they read our letter.

Hello family and friends!

Another busy year has flown by and the Sharps household can hardly believe it’s December already! It seems like we were just sitting down to write last year’s holiday letter, and hoping that this year’s would involve a humble description of our enormous lottery winnings.


We’ll start by calling attention to our holiday photo, not that we need to! We’re sure you noticed the creative elements such as the visible power lines, which we feel is an homage to the Great Masters. (Of ART, that is!) Linda also wants to point out that she’s hunched over not because of, ha ha, crippling gas, but because John is holding a cattle prod to her back in what ended up being a grim, hours-long attempt at getting a family photo if it KILLS US BY GOD.

2010 has been another exciting year, with John’s business, Vioguard, continuing to provide all kinds of excitement! Why, it’s almost been like one of those horror movies from the 50’s! WILL Vioguard founders collapse, grey-whiskered and wrinkled, of various stress-related conditions before they’re able to enjoy the fruits of their labor? WHAT fanciful, anatomically-incorrect term will John use next to describe the FDA? WHEN will Vioguard’s all-male company finally replace the toilet paper roll in the restroom?

This year Linda made the big leap from full-time office employment to a freelance career, and she couldn’t be happier! She also couldn’t be more lacking in personal hygiene, increasingly socially impaired, addicted to sloppy yoga pants, and embarrassed by the growing butt-shaped, laptop-warmed dent in the couch, but YAY for working from home! (The best part is how there are NO vacation days!)

Riley is 5 this year and he is so smart! He’s doing school at home until kindergarten next year, and guess what—according to him, he can make the best machine gun sound in the whole world! Also he can spell “poop” with basically no problems whatsoever. (Move over, “honor student” bumper stickers! HERE COMES RILEY!)

Dylan will be 3 in February and we can’t believe how fast he’s growing! Just the other day he woke up howling at 2 AM because he couldn’t get his blanket re-arranged over himself. Why, we remember when he woke up at 2 AM because he was hungry! SO MUCH HAS CHANGED!

Our dog Ashley is . . . well, she doesn’t smell very good, that’s for damn sure. But she hasn’t DIED, despite more than one touch-and-go night involving explosive diarrhea! HIGH FIVE ASHLEY! GO TEAM SHARPS!!

Happy holidays to one and all, and here’s to another thrilling new year!

John, Linda, Riley & Dylan

(You just hush about the bangs, now.)

We’ll be traveling to Oregon this week and I am sincerely looking forward to the downtime, cookie-binging, and kid-present-opening. I hope you guys have a wonderful, wonderful holiday.


58 Responses to “Holly jolly”

  1. Laziza on December 20th, 2010 1:45 pm

    I love everything about this post. Happy everything to you, too.

  2. Ashley, the Accidental Olympian on December 20th, 2010 1:45 pm

    I love that letter more than I should… I might have to steal that idea some time in the future to mess with the uptight relatives.

  3. Beach on December 20th, 2010 1:49 pm

    I would love to get a holiday letter like that. So refreshing and funny, and unlike the “we are so fabulous” ones I used to use to line our hamster cage with. Enjoy your holidays. Your kids are at that great age….and ok, I’ll shush about the bangs. :)

  4. Jane on December 20th, 2010 2:05 pm

    started to comment, but then was distracted by the ‘4 Hour Body’ link, but I’m back.

    Anyways, I too love everything about this post, including the bangs. Have a great holiday!

  5. Marie Green on December 20th, 2010 2:13 pm

    Awesome letter. I usually write a smart-ass draft and then David vetoes it. His family (most missing the “laugh” gene) would definitely NOT get it, but I’m going to do it one year, I swear to blue Jesus.

    Doubt mine will be this funny though, you wordsmith, you!

  6. Carol on December 20th, 2010 2:19 pm

    I love this holiday letter…its the best. I would so much rather read one like this than the typical running on of all the wonderful accomplishements and trips of the year. Way to go. :) Have a wonderful holiday.

  7. AndreAnna on December 20th, 2010 2:27 pm

    I may have you use your wrapping trick as to “how Santa wraps” since my 4-yo saw the wrapping paper we were planning to use and I think she’s too much of a pain in the ass to let me explain that away.

    And yes, your letter definitely trumps mine. I never had to do one before because we were always so close to family but having moved so far away and having so many who are, um, OLD and don’t use FB or “That Silly Interweb Thing.”

    Maybe next year I should throw in a “Well, at least the dog is not dead” yet line. ;)

  8. Anna on December 20th, 2010 2:38 pm

    Love, love, love your holiday letter. That laugh is exactly what my afternoon needed!

  9. Jessica on December 20th, 2010 2:39 pm

    I love that paper, I should have known that Target would have it! Walmart does not!

    I love that card, I’ve yet to write one but mine had better be good and funny and not ridiculous and full of bragging. Merry Christmas!

  10. Donna on December 20th, 2010 2:44 pm

    I’d LOVE to get that letter – I try to make mine entertaining and get/give a few chuckles — not like the Christmas letters from a friend who, this year, finally stopped recounting how many people they knew had died the previous year! Merry Christmas, Linda and family – I hope the new year is prosperous in many ways for all of you.

  11. Courtney on December 20th, 2010 3:01 pm

    I’m pretty sure you should add a “let Linda write your holiday greeting letter” button to your freelance opportunities. I’d pay (not very well, probably) for you to write ours!

  12. Brenda on December 20th, 2010 3:19 pm

    That’s the kind of letter I would love to get instead of the “my kids are so much better than yours” letters we get. Happy Holidays to you and yours!!

  13. Becky on December 20th, 2010 3:23 pm

    I love your letter.

  14. Junni on December 20th, 2010 3:24 pm

    Oh the love I have for this perfect-stranger family is just a little bit ridiculous.

  15. melanie on December 20th, 2010 3:25 pm

    the best letter EVER, I so need to do that!

  16. Becky Mochaface on December 20th, 2010 3:25 pm

    Merry Christmas!

  17. D'Ann on December 20th, 2010 3:44 pm

    I heart that letter! Merry Chrismahannukwanfestivus!

  18. WCG on December 20th, 2010 4:01 pm

    Oh sweet Jesus I’m SO totally writing our family Christmas letter like that. Merry ChristmaHannaKwanzikaa!!!

  19. ginger on December 20th, 2010 4:25 pm

    JB looks oddly like Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Malcolm in the Middle) in that photo.

    I like the halo effect of the power wires in the background – a little beatification for Christmas!

  20. Deb on December 20th, 2010 4:32 pm

    Best. Letter. Ever.

  21. Kari on December 20th, 2010 4:35 pm

    Please please PLEASE tell me that you really sent that letter!! Awe-SOME!

  22. Joy on December 20th, 2010 4:43 pm

    Love this post. I needed a laugh right now, and as I suspected, I got one from your post. And the picture is beautiful. Happy holidays to you and your family!

  23. Kirsten on December 20th, 2010 5:24 pm

    You are damn funny. I WISH we would get more letters like that!

  24. Donna on December 20th, 2010 6:03 pm

    I show your photo and letter to everyone who comes in my house, and everyone LOVES you!
    You guys are the bomb diggity, and you’re right, GO TEAM SHARPS!!!
    Happy holidays from us too, although I didn’t get any cards out this year, I am blaming it on finals….and it doesn’t mean I don’t love you,(like the note from my aunt said)!

  25. Eric's Mommy on December 20th, 2010 6:13 pm

    Your letter is freakin hilarious!

    Happy Holidays to you and your beautiful family :)

  26. Danell on December 20th, 2010 6:22 pm

    Happy Holidays to my very favoritest writer ever in the history of writing stuff and your totally awesomest family. And a Happy New Year, too. I hope you get everything you wish for and more. Xoxox.

  27. Shawna on December 20th, 2010 6:24 pm

    “You just hush about the bangs, now.”


    It was your twitter post that alerted me to the “bang furor” last time you put up a holiday pic. Let’s see if those people who “feel they know you well enough to tell you” people emerge again…

    I sent my cards out a bit, erm, late, but they’ll get there eventually. No awesome letter inside, unfortunately.

    You’re hair is great, by the way.

  28. Jeamette on December 20th, 2010 6:45 pm

    Best holiday letter I ever read!!

  29. Kami on December 20th, 2010 7:03 pm

    Your wrapping looks great. Love the letter, you crack me up. Zippin it about the bangs. haha no–seriously you would look good no matter what ;) Adorable family pic.

  30. Lesley on December 20th, 2010 7:51 pm

    So many newsletters are dull. Yours is not.

    Also, the bangs rock, as does the rest of your hair. Love the colour and wish I could rock blonde hair. Alas, only the blessed have the skin tone for it.

  31. Taube on December 20th, 2010 8:24 pm

    Hilarious! Wish I’d read it before I sent out all our cards because I had wanted to write our first ever holiday letter, but all I could think of was that the kids started preschool, and we all failed miserably at trying to potty train them. But now I realize that the cat has finally learned how to drink from his water bowl on the floor so we have the use of our kitchen sink back, and my husband has learned a thing or 2 about what goes in the recycling and what in the garbage, and if only it had occurred to me to be snarky… well, maybe I could have made something out of a failed attempt to potty train 2 2.5 year-olds! Oh, well, I guess there’s always next year to fail at potty training!

  32. elz on December 20th, 2010 8:46 pm

    That’s how a holiday card/newsletter should be done! Merry Christmas.

  33. Stacy on December 20th, 2010 9:35 pm

    Best holiday letter ever. Being the recipient of far too many of these, getting one like this would make the rest tolerable.

  34. Farrell on December 20th, 2010 10:00 pm

    That’s the ONLY kind of holiday newsletter I would like to receive – love it and also wish I were as funny as you! Props!:)

  35. agirlandaboy on December 21st, 2010 12:21 am

    You just killed Christmas! But in the good way. I think.

  36. Page on December 21st, 2010 12:34 am

    This post, the photo and your letter are made of sheer WIN. Happy holidays, y’all!

  37. Em on December 21st, 2010 7:00 am

    Great letter! Merry Christmas to you, too.

  38. Cheryl S. on December 21st, 2010 7:15 am

    The fact that you actually sent that makes you my HERO. Merry Everything!

  39. Claire on December 21st, 2010 8:45 am

    That was the best holiday letter EVER! I can only hope to be so brave as to send something of that nature to my family. I’d probably get a whole bunch of confused responses.

  40. dorrie on December 21st, 2010 8:53 am

    HAHAHAHAHA you so funny. My husband has an all male office as well (lumber biz for the WIN) and I haven’t gone into their bathroom in YEARS. Love your letter, love your writing, love your bangs. Have a great trip! Happy!

  41. christine on December 21st, 2010 8:55 am

    Love you Linda. Thanks for making me smile time after time. I read many blogs but yours is a cut above – your honesty is refreshing.

    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. Safe travels.

  42. Melissa on December 21st, 2010 8:58 am

    The photo turned out lovely. Even with the bangs. =) Great holiday letter.

    Your wrapping is awesome. So much better than my patterned paper with the stupid stick-on To/From labels.

  43. Jessi on December 21st, 2010 12:05 pm

    Love your gift wrappings! Are those just stickers for names? (I see the elf!)

    You are so funny; have a Happy Everything too!

  44. adequatemom on December 21st, 2010 12:41 pm

    I wrapped most of our presents this year in the cheapest, cheesiest paper ever. Take brown packing paper from your husband’s never-ending influx of Ebay orders, let your kid(s) stamp and/or colour all over it, and use it to wrap gifts. Homemade, recyclable, and FREE. WIN!

    I love your snarky holiday letter. Happy Everything to you and your family!

  45. Brenna on December 21st, 2010 12:45 pm

    Love the letter, love the picture, love the bangs.

    The first thing that popped in to my head while reading your letter was “It’s like the holiday newsletter version of the ‘my kid can beat up your honor student’ bumper stickers.” And I mean that in a good way.

  46. Marolyn on December 21st, 2010 3:47 pm

    Loved this entry so much I had to read the letter to hubby. Also 20 yrs ago I did the brownpaper wrapping at Christmas and had such a great time with it we did it several years and it turned into a 20 yr stint in creative themed wrapping ever since! This year I did everything in this great heavy paper I got from Hobby Lobby… beautiful greens in fancy print (the kind that looks like velvet flocked wallpaper in that one hotel everyone has stayed in at one time or another…lol)
    Merry Christmas!!!!

  47. Andrea on December 21st, 2010 7:41 pm

    I love this post. Specifically the wrapping paper/stamps/embellishments and the letter. Happy everything to you too!

  48. Kristi on December 21st, 2010 11:11 pm

    If I received this Christmas letter I would frame it and hang it in my kitchen so I could read it all freakin’ year! You are genius!

  49. Gnometree on December 22nd, 2010 3:59 am

    I have tears of laughter rolling down my cheeks about your dog. I hope she smells better next year. Hairy Chrislebum to all your family

  50. transientxpress on December 22nd, 2010 5:56 am

    My stepdad writes a hilarious letter like this every year. His friends tell me they anxiously await his letter each Christmas because it’s one of their season highlights. Meanwhile, at least one sibling (sometimes more) is sulking at Christmas dinner because of the comments he made about them this year. Never a boring holiday when we’re all together!

Leave a Reply