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My Christmas Letter

Saturday, January 26th, 2008

Okay, some of you requested that I post my Christmas letter on this web site since I was too cheap to direct mail it to you, but you found out somehow anyways.  Enjoy.

Holiday Winter Season December 2007


Dear _________________


Well hello!  It’s been a long time (possibly) since we last kept in touch.  And because of this overlooked fact, this year I have decided to provide you, my very good friend, with one of these annual letters that seem to be all the rage these days.  To assist you with understanding why this is such a brilliant idea, my customer service team has put together this helpful FAQ:


– Why the Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanzaa/New Year’s letter?

            The simple answer is because this is much more personal!  I mean, why go to a Hallmark store and spend $ on some cheap generic card with a picture of a snowman and a bunch of spoiled rotten kids playing in some white blanket snow meadow that we know doesn’t exist because of the plight of our earth’s core due to uncontrolled logging, emissions, lead-toy garment sweatshops in Canada and Flavor Flav reality TV!  I mean, come on!  This letter shows my true compassion to letting you, _____________, a truer glimpse into my real life over the past (day, year, decade, lifetime) and sharing the joys and successes of such a wonderful life (that doesn’t involve inhaling scented highlighters).


– What’s up with all the fill-in-the-blanks?
Easy!  It would not be very personal would it if this entire letter were printed off on my 10-year old ink-jet printer (with $50 rip-off black cartridge refills) without an afterthought to personalizing it.  So, again to prove how thoughtful I am _____________, I provide the blanks to communicate to you __________ directly. 


– But what about the cute jingle-slogan-special card greetings in italics?

            Excellent question, my you do have a bunch of them.  Fortunately for you, off the top of my head I have come up with this one:

            “At this season and throughout the new year, may every happiness be yours.  Celebrate the season!  May the joy of this holiday season fill your home with happiness!  Let your light shine brightly, carrying happiness and good cheer with bold red hues in a unique holiday design.  Cover: Be a torch. Be a spark. Be a candle in the dark.  Inside: Make the season bright.  18 cards, 19 envelopes.”

            As you can see, the message I bring to you is longer than a short sentence that most of those generic cards contain. 


– What about frogs?

            I like frogs.


– Is Michael Jackson creepy weird, or what?

            Michael is my friend and friends don’t tell other friends that their friend is being questioned by the friend that is I.  At any rate, he tells me that his kids are doing super fine and they are healthy because they wear surgical masks in public and everybody should do that because is hypoallergenetic clean.


Please, please no more questions my friends and countrymen and (to steal a line from another friend), my constituents.  As you can see, I’ve already brightened your life and wasted 4 minutes of your valuable time with my ramblings that have suddenly taken up most of this page!  No more wasting time, let’s move on shall we, and rediscover just exactly what Edwin has been up to!


I was born back in the 70’s, a product of FDR’s Great Deal and a member of the Atari generation.  I never received any money from the tooth fairy,  I always seemed to get only socks and underwear from Santa Claus, and I was probably the best freakin’ dodge ball and 3-step player back in the 5th grade.  Ah, the good times!  (does anyone else remember the Kodak disc camera?)  In the late 80’s I entered high school and because quite the adept unlucky loser of betting on greyhounds at the Multnomah Kennel Club, in which today it is a Lowe’s and Fred Meyer.  The 90’s saw me take off to Europe to rebuild the Wall that came crumbling down, but the Germans didn’t want to have some Asian-American doing that, so I ended up bussing tables at a small restaurant in Dublin, Ireland called ‘Boss Crockers.’  I don’t know if that’s how you spell it, but that’s how it sounds like.  I lasted 3 shifts before I quit.  On to AmeriCorps, then college, then marriage and 2 kids.  Wait, scratch the kids.  No kids.  Not then, and not today.  And for those of you lucky enough to receive my Christmas card from last year, yes, that newborn infant in the picture is just a doll.  So no kid, or kids, more me. 


Fast forward to 2007.  Here’s where it gets really good and you should now snap out of those sleepy eyes and look of boredom on your face!  Let’s start with January, and my 33rd birthday!  I didn’t go to that all-u-can eat Chinese/Japanese/Sushi buffet where you get a free dinner on your birthday (as long as you bring 13 other people and then you get a voucher good for a free dinner on a future visit on an August Tuesday only), and I did not get my free rental from Hollywood video.  Instead, I saw the flick “Children of Men” (10 thumbs up!  Go rent it now.  Or buy it and support those producers, but not the writers because they don’t get a cut because they are not important.  Writing is soo overrated and should only be taught for, like, 2 grades or something).  I also registered my team for an adult basketball league, where we only lost one game by 98 points.  That’s right!  Try beating us by 100 points, you can’t do it! (in 2 quarters).


In March I bought my first horse.  His name is Gus.  I had a dream that I owned a horse named Gus and he won the Triple Crown.  I then retired to the Bahamas, bought a private island, then 2 months later a hurricane destroyed it and it now lies under a sea.  I liked that dream, except the last part.  So that’s why I bought a horse.  Saw an ad on Craigslist.  Montana.  Drove to Montana with my girlfriend Lisa.  Bought the horse, but didn’t have room in her Civic.  So we tied it to the back and drove really really slowly (no animal cruelty here!).  Unfortunately, it gets super hot in Montana the first few weeks of March.  It was like 120 degrees.  The horse melted outside in the non-air conditioning.  I tried to get a refund.  But the owner skipped town.  Fortunately, his ranch hand was around and helped me get another horse.  I named him Gus.  Not Gus like the first one, as in ‘bus.’  No, this Gus is pronounced ‘Gus,’ like “goose.”  It’s French.  Long story short, we went to FedEx and had him delivered.  Longer story shorter, and many of you already know this, but I got ripped off.  This second horse I bought was not a horse at all.  It was a donkey.  Donkeys can’t win the Kentucky Derby.  So I reposted on Craigslist Portland, and found a lady who was looking for an animal that produced wool so she could make a quilt for her granddaughter.  Thus, end of story.


I work for the school district now, as a teacher’s aide for special education students.  I make just about $1000 a month, not really enough to keep up with my jet setting lifestyle, so I’ve turned to credit cards and lottery tickets.  The lottery tickets are a good thing because I am contributing back to Oregon’s education and prison system.  The credit cards?  At least I’m racking up airline miles.  The nice thing about my job is that I get the summer off.  So this past summer, Lisa and I drove up to Alaska to experience the very famous Alaska Highway and the state bird, the mosquito.  I bought a car for $600, drove up to Anchorage, and sold it for $900.  We took a cruise back to the lower 48, where I promptly gained 14 pounds in one week.  As you all know me, food is my vice, my weakness, my gluttony of choice.  One month roadtripping on P&J, Vienna sausages, canned tuna and Velveeta pasta shells can do that to a person.  It wasn’t very hard.


Back to school in September, and all I’ve done is work work work work work and create my Ultima online character “Luna” in Second Life.  It’s my avatar!  Cool word, huh?  Avatar!  It’s like ‘Minotaur’ or some character from He-Man.  Well, that’s about it for my exciting life.  You can always read more on my internet blog Most of this I’ve told you is true, especially the part about the donkey.  I’ve recently applied to law school at Columbia State College University, based in the Philippines.  It’s a correspondence course and I’ll be specializing in International Organic Dairy Law.  If that doesn’t pan out, I’ve decided to open up a museum dedicated to me.  2nd grade art work.  Pop Warner football trading cards.  A replica of my broken Tyco Turbo Hopper R/C car.  Cool stuff like that. 


So that’s it for now, until next year.  I hope you can appreciate all the time I’ve put into communicating to you, my dear friend ______________ in this letter.  Instead of enclosing some old scratch off lottery tickets, World Championship Wrestling trading cards, or a Wrigley’s gum wrapper, I am providing you with a holiday gift that goes beyond all of those trivial, materialist things put together.  You see, this year, on my limited income of $1000 a month, I have decided to make a donation.  In your name.  (_______________)

I have contributed a $75 donation in your name (_______________) to the Human Fund.  That, along with some more contributions to the state of Oregon’s very many important government systems.  I wish you a very happy holiday season, a fantastic and healthy New Year 2008, and encourage you to bring your own bags to the grocery stores to haul your food items and just say no to plastic and paper bags because they are harmful to seagulls, mooses and luck dragons.  Peace!

From Edwin