I received another one of those Christmas letters that make me feel like going outside and banging my head on the mailbox for 30 minutes because they remind me of all the things I should have been doing throughout the year to enable me to send a letter that sounds as sublime as the ones I receive.
Nobody goes to jail, nobody’s on drugs, everyone’s excelling at something or other from 8-year-old soccer league champions to valedictorians; the pets have all been neutered or spayed, vacations have taken place from Hawaii to Maine, oil was discovered in the back yard and “due to really smart investing” money has been made at record levels enabling the “retirement years” to be spent volunteering, mentoring and directing the church choir.
Yes, after reading one of those letters a mailbox pounding session is definitely in order, but first, a “pay it forward” reply to any of those whose intent it is to mail a “Christmas Letter” to my address. Written to that old Kristofferson song, “Why Me Lord,” this offering from a “Scrooge” is meant to be funny. I really do enjoy and look forward to the letters.
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“Why me friend, what have I ever done,
To deserve even one, of those letters you send?
Tell me friend, was it something I did,
When we were both kids, did I somehow offend?
Why me friend, what did I ever do,
To be reminded of you, in those letters you mail?
Tell me friend, why I’m still on your list
Aren’t there others you miss, maybe someone in jail?
Please forgive friend, ‘cause there’s no other way
To reclaim this fair day, than be finished with you
Friend your letters are sweet, but they leave me replete
Thinking thoughts of the things I should do
Lord help me dear friend, there’s so little time
And I’m spending all mine, reading you
And now with the fire glowing, surely you see
That this letter must go up the flue.”
I suppose, if I could compose a timely letter, one that says it all, it would have to be a poem about what all we did during the last year. No holds barred, pure and eloquent in its honesty it might go something like this.
Well, it’s that time of year again. I thought in lieu of a letter, I’d write you a Christmas/New Year’s poem of sorts, letting you know how the year went. In full disclosure, what you are about to read is an actual, factual, account of the year ‘16 in my house.
We’re another day older and deeper in debt
Our best dog died and we all wept.
Eggnog’s in and we’re all getting fat
Truth be told, we like it like that.
Got another grandchild on the way
Better postpone retirement day
Hillary lost and Donald Trump won
Some of us get to keep our shotguns
Getting harder to sleep, need those pills
Worry about Medicare, paying those bills
Aches and pains in the strangest places
Feels like a hand of 8’s and aces
The good news is, I got a new truck
A Ford F-150, spent a few bucks
Asked the wife, she said OK
But you’ll have to postpone retirement day
Sixteen’s been good, to me and mine
A good cold beer, a glass of fine wine
Wrote this poem, for each of you
If you find it offensive, just use the flue.
Sonny Harmon is a professor emeritus at Georgia Military College. Visit his blog at http://sharmon09.blogspot.com.