Christmas Letters from Hell: All the News We Hate from the People We Loveby Michael Lent
Who doesn't love to open the mailbox during the holidays and find a newsletter? Whether it's a juicy missive from a college roommate inadvertently revealing her husband's wandering eye, a self-congratulatory account of a cousin's rise to power at the local fast-food joint, or a mind-numbingly detailed account of a year's medical ailments (including photos) from a
Who doesn't love to open the mailbox during the holidays and find a newsletter? Whether it's a juicy missive from a college roommate inadvertently revealing her husband's wandering eye, a self-congratulatory account of a cousin's rise to power at the local fast-food joint, or a mind-numbingly detailed account of a year's medical ailments (including photos) from a coworker, they're always entertaining.
Christmas Letters from Hell skewers holiday letters of all shapes and sizes, from the ones that come crammed with cheesy graphics or written from the perspective of the recently neutered family dog to those filled with stories of "perfect" family vacations that were clearly anything but. Here Santa uses his holiday letter to let the elves know that he'll be outsourcing to China effective immediately; a bipolar mom tells two very different versions of the year's events; and Osama bin Laden touches base with his high school host family in Minneapolis.
Christmas Letters from Hell serves up a steaming, savory blend of the holiday cheer, humor, and twisted truth in our well-intended attempts to stay in touch gone horribly, horribly wrong.
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Read an Excerpt
'Tis the season to put aside petty differences, like restraining orders and outstanding warrants, in favor of the time-honored tradition of sending and receiving Christmas letters that truly reflect the spirit of the season.
Spanning the generations, it's easy to imagine our founding fathers taking time to pen a report on the accomplishments of, say, their livestock, with a Jefferson Family News Roundup. Certainly, what better way than amateur journalism to chronicle in detail the big summer vacation RV excursion through thirty-eight states, who in the extended family has taken up tap dancing, got that all-important promotion to waste-treatment-plant supervisor, or is heroically battling a bladder condition?
More than just a braggarts' trip to bountiful, where even middle schoolers are touched by greatness at the science fair, only Christmas letters can serve readers a steaming, savory holiday blend of family news, holiday cheer, stretched truth, and alleged humor that can depict all of the pulse-pounding excitement of day-to-day life in North Dakota, or the indomitable spirit of a distant relative's neighbor who recently conquered shingles. These Yuletide epistles ask us to look deep within ourselves, and take inventory of our lives. Often, the result is some boldly crafted, hard-charging, if highly fictitious, alter egos printed on red or green paper.
What follows is a collection of the best of the best collection of do-gooders and go-getters of the past, present, and future. So, sit back, relax, and ask yourself, "What if my Christmas tree were home to killer bees?" or "What if dear old Saint Nick presided over a multinational corporation?" or "What if bin Laden had been a high-school exchange student in Minnesota?" or "I wonder what Global Warming has been up to?" Indeed, "What if Thoreau wrote a holiday blog from Walden Pond?" or "What if a child's letter to Santa crossed paths with that of a Nigerian scam artist?" And, while you're at it, "What if the family dog used the Christmas letter as a platform to discuss his recent neutering?" And, of course, "What if Satan kept everyone abreast of his latest goings-on?"
I'm not saying none of these events actually happened, although the killer-bee scenario grows ever more likely. No one can say for sure. I'm just saying, "What if?"
Copyright © 2005 by Michael Lent Copyright © 2007 by Con Leche, Inc.
Meet the Author
Michael Lent is an award-winning screenwriter, movie producer, and graphic novelist. He lives with his wife and children in Los Angeles, California.
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