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Pet People

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What do you think of Christmas Newsletters?


I'm not a big fan of the annual Christmas newsletter.

We've all received one of these letters at one time or another. You know the type — the happy letter full of wonderful news letting family and friends know what happened in the lives of the wonderful family during the wonderful year.

Of course, I've received some decent letters over the years, but others are filled with shameless bragging: The husband got a big promotion and a big raise. The wife also is doing a bang-up job at work and travels to exotic locations on business trips. They just bought a lovely summer beach house with all the dough they're raking in. The son is getting all A's, is the shining star of the football team, and in his spare time takes piano lessons and is in the French club, debate club and leader of a group that helps non-wonderful students with academic and personal problems.

The daughter also gets all A's, is the head cheerleader, takes tap, ballet and swing lessons, volunteers weekly at the homeless shelter and received a national Who's Who award for all-around wonderfulness.

The family also enjoyed a wonderful three-week vacation, where they went skiing and had a wonderful time sipping hot cocoa in front of the fireplace in their wonderful 10-room chalet.

Even the family dog, a purebred of course, is wonderful. He placed first in obedience class, visits old people in nursing homes and saves drowning children from neighborhood swimming pools.

So, in honor of this annual tradition, I thought I'd pen one of my own.

Dear Friends and Family:

Well, I've been at the newspaper full-time for just over a year now. I like the work, but the rest of my life went downhill. I've gained five pounds because I can't find the time to exercise or do yoga much any more, and my healthy diet has bit the dust as I grab bad-for-you food out of vending machines. I've got four new wrinkles, the old ones are deeper and my hair is grayer.

Since I work nights, I don't see The Boss four days out of the week, but since we've been married 16 years that's actually a blessing. We are happy to report we now annoy each other less.

The Boss is stressed by work and counts the hours until he can retire and sit around the house doing nothing other than work the remote.

The dogs are happy they're not alone too long between my leaving for work and The Boss coming home, but get antsy because they haven't been taken for a long walk lately.

I tried to bring in a stray cat, but Tarzan and Catfish attacked it merciliessly, so I had to find her a new home. We had a few dog and cat fights that drew blood, but nothing serious enough to require an expensive trip to the vet.

The house is dusty, the closets cluttered, and the home-improvement projects still aren't finished because The Boss prefers staying in his garage fixing up old cars and dreaming of retirement. Heck, we've lived for two years without gutters on the apartment addition, so what's a few more?

My mother, now 76, is doing fine and still enjoys her favorite hobby, complaining about my sister, with whom she lives. I call her every day for a report on the latest worry, crisis or umbrage at what my sister did or didn't do. She often says she'd love to go to an assisted-living facility, but when sis and I offer to sell our blood or unneeded organs to help pay for it, she finds a reason why she can't move.

Nobody won any awards, got promoted or got a raise. In fact, we are both totally unappreciated.

And for the sixth year in a row, we haven't gone anywhere for vacation because I have yet to find a replacement for my pet sitter who stayed at our house to watch our babies.

We didn't do anything special for any holiday, because I work on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day and all the rest.

But our lives are truly wonderful because we have pets. Pets love us no matter what we look like, what we do, or what we earn. Plus, they are cheaper than a psychiatrist and always make you feel wonderful at the end of a not-so-wonderful day. And since they can't read, they are never bothered by Christmas newsletters.

Picture above is Peanut with one of his new Christmas balls his Auntie Stacy got for him. He has lots of balls, but he LOVES getting new ones. Since he got his presents, he carries one or the other of the new ones with him everywhere he goes, even when he goes outside to do his business.

posted by Sandy at 12/26/2007 10:42:00 AM

26 Comments:

Blogger jdt said...

I hate to break the news, but I am one of those Christmas letter people. My parents always did it so I thought it was what you are supposed to do at Christmas. I have to say, I don't think we spend the entire letter bragging and boasting how wonderful we are. My hubby and I tend to not do very well keeping in touch with people throughout the year so we (by we, I mean I write it and he kind of scans it and says "good job babe, I couldn't have done that good.")write and send a Christmas letter. We cover the good and bad in our letter and of course talk about the monsters. Their picture is always the cover of the letter. I think the Christmas letters are nice to receive if they are realistic. I agree no one has a perfect life, yet sometimes the letters make it sound that way. I hope our letter doesn't make people think that.

By the way Sandy, I liked your letter, you really should have sent it this year in your Christmas cards.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

I did mention I've gotten some GOOD letters. But I get one every year from someone who lives out of state that is just filled with pretty much all the things I've mentioned! No humor about the BAD things that happen to all! Maybe I'm just jealous? LOL. :) They are a good way to keep friends and family up to date; they just need to be REAL!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger B said...

Here's what mine would say:

Hello:

Still alive, still working, not much time for anything else. Send money!

Happy Holidays!
Brett and Jeremy

Wednesday, December 26, 2007 1:08:00 PM  
Blogger Daisylouu said...

Of course mine would be a combination of Sandy's and Brett/Jeremy's although I like to keep it short and sweet.

It's nice to read about those you don't see often, but sometimes it feels like they are struggling for things to say about each person, so it can be a bit painful to read. Of course they can't write about the *real* happenings in the household (gasp) that wouldn't be politically correct.

It's a good time to remind all your family and friends that there are many wonderful pets sitting in shelters at Christmas time, and even worse, those sitting in abusive homes and neglectful situations. We can encourage everyone to commit to making their lives better in the New Year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007 1:42:00 PM  
Blogger Alice said...

I don't send any of those letters and I don't get any! Anyone I need to keep in touch with, I do and vice versa.

Roxy is HERE!!!!!!! She is ADORABLE and SO sweet!!!!!!!!

Yes... too many !! Suzanne (I hope that's how it's spelled) came by with her and gave me all of Roxy's info. She was squirming to get down and explore. After Suzanne left blocked off the bedroom from the dogs and let put Roxy on the bed. Larry, senior cat, was napping a woke up sensing something NEW. He spied little Roxy and got up to check her out. He sniffed her as I cradled her in my arms... just in case Larry got mean. He sniffed her and hissed, Roxy cringed and I soothed her and let Larry sniff, hiss and look displeased. Larry licked her a few times as if to see how she tasted, turned around and went back to sleep. I put Roxy on the bed again and she walked a tiny bit away, Larry raised his head and hissed again, I petted him and he went back to sleep again. Herbie jumped up on the bed and has been stalking little Roxy as she explores the bedroom. They have hissed at each other and Roxy has reared up and thrown a few boxing punches at Herbie. Scooter finally came out of hiding from when Suzanne was here and approached Roxy with great trepidation. Roxy reached out and thwapped Scootie and Scootie looked confused and has kept his distance since then. Herbie is still watching Roxy like a hawk but has not been overly aggressive or mean. I think things will settle down with time.

The dogs were curious but then lost interest when they discovered she wasn't a toy or edible... at least not in THIS house!

Roxy will be loved and cherished if not by all the rest of the fur kids but absolutely by me! She kind of reminds me of when Trouble was this age.

A special and very grateful thanks to Pam and Suzanne! They both went above and beyond by facilitating and delivering of new baby! Pet people and CAT people are so very wonderful! Thanks so MUCH, Pam and Suzanne!!!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007 2:29:00 PM  
Blogger B said...

CONGRATS on the addition to your house hold ALice!!!! Roxy is so sweet and I am sure you will give her all the love she could ever want!!!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007 4:11:00 PM  
Blogger tina said...

I like JDT's view of letters and how she is unable to keep in touch with people so the letter is an alternative way to keep in touch. I can certainly see that point of view but I HATE those letters and I will tell you why.

It is not so much all the bragging as it is the fact that if the information is important enough to be shared once a year in a Christmas newsletter, why not share it monthly in a phone call or email or my space or whatever with your friends and family? The personal sharing is so much more meaningful than the once per year newsletter.

Nowadays I want to hear the voice of the person who thinks enough of me to send me a "newsletter" and not receive the letter! I want my friends to call and talk and not save it for once a year. If they can't call then I can call and the telephone call is free.

Just my two cents because I loved this column Sandy! I'd like to print it and send it to a few people but truly newsletter senders don't mean any harm.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007 5:30:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Alice, I am so thrilled you have your Roxie! I was bound and determined we'd get her to you as soon as possible! Isn't Suzanne wonderful? I wish I could have been able to bring her to you myself but as you know I couldn't do that part but--- we got her to you and that is the important part! I know she is loved and now has a fantastic family, what a great feeling that give me! You and the Professor are so good to adopt her and be her forever family! Bless you both Alice! And I love her name!!!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007 5:30:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Ok, guys I am one of those people who sends out the Christmas letter but only because of the pain I have in my hands so much of the time. I can type for a longer amount of time than I can write. It's the motion of the writing that hurts me. Of course even typing hurts after a time so that is limited too but it is still the only way I can stay in touch with friends and family that I don't talk to on a more regular basis. I try to do as little bragging aspossible but with the grand kids that is hard to do. I really don;t go on and on like some of my other friends do though, that can get a bit gaggy. Oh yea we had some friendds who we ahve since lost touch with who used to do the utmost bragging and Flyboy and I had the biggest laughs from thier newsletters. One in peticular was hilarious and one of the funniest was where the wife said she was eternally greatful to her husband for being such a wonderful husband and on and on and on,etc,ha. It ws pretty out there.
I just try to tell a little bit about how our year went and for those of you who got one from us this year you see how 2007 was a very difficult and challenging year but we experienced some wonderful blesssings from God and we are thankful for each and every one. One blessing we recieved is the wonderful friendships we have developed with all of our pet people and we are very thankful for every one of you! God bless you all! We love you!

Sandy thank you and The Boss for having us in your beautiful home and being such great hosts for the party Sat. night. In spite of the major pain I was in from the pulled muscle it was a fantastic time! Fly Boy and I thank you again so much for having the party at your home, it was great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

P.S. We missed all of you who couldn't be there and you all missed a good party!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007 5:42:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

One more P.S. Sandy, I loved your letter!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007 5:43:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

One more P.S. Sandy, I loved your letter!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007 5:43:00 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

As a person who receives those letters and refuses to write them... I honestly wish people would not send them. The plane Happy Christmas is fine with me. I keep in touch with the people who are important to me, so I usually know how they are and whats new.

It might sound like I'm being horrable about it, but that's just how I feel.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007 6:10:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

For those who hate the newsletters there are as many who love them. I get requests for our yearly newsletters because it updates people on what has been going on the past yeat. If you who don't know what a year Fly Boy and I have had knew whawt we went through you would know that it wasn't possible for us to call the 60 or so people that do want to get our newsletters. Now I'm not trying to defend them all because we get some taht are so full of bragging that it's irritating too but we have so many people that live far away and we do want to feel like we've shared some of the year with them by hearing thier news as well as telling them what went on with us. I'd love to be able to have the time to call each and every one and a few we do but it isn't possible to call the many friends and family we ahve. I feel so blessed to have that many friends too because I know not everyone does. So anyone who I send cards to on here wheter I sent one this year or will next, just let me know if you want to recieve a letter or not and I will do as you request and I won't be offended if you say don't send one I promise! Actually anyone on here wouldn't get a letter when I think about it because we talk on a regular basis on here as well as get togethers so woldn't be any need for a letter, ok that's resolved,ha. Everyone have a great day!

Thursday, December 27, 2007 8:23:00 AM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

The Saint and I are back in Georgia again! We had another Great Tennessee Christmas with our family. Not sure how we fit all 24 of us in the house but it sure was fun with Big Daddy and his usual fun gag gifts... Cannot believe we left two 5 year old cats in a house filled with 5 decorated Christmas trees and they did not touch one thing on them! My babies are such good girls and I love them to death! One thing was out of place and it was a trivial item that probably got knocked over while exploring out of boredom! I am so proud of my girls!!! Cheetah will not let me out of her sight today! Sheba is doing her usual hiding and napping thing…

Alice, I am sooooo happy you were able to get little Roxie. Will you keep that name or name her yourself in time? I was loved that little kitty from the moment I opened the door into that part of the facility! Such a sweet little baby that was trying desperately to work us each and every one! It worked and now that baby has a new home!!! Hurray for us Pet People! We did our good deed by getting her a clean kennel that day and a good home with Alice to love and cuddle on her. I am sure in time your brood will accept this baby into the fold..... Congrats on your new baby she holds a special place in my heart and I am glad to know she got a great home!

On letters. I started those letters a while back due to how easy they are to sit and make one verses 20 individual letters in cards. I was not the bragging type though. For Example, the Saint got a new position at work. I said,” he is now manager at work, if only he had gotten a pay raise to reflect his new responsibilities”. Now that aint bragging when I say he did not get a pay raise! Ha, I am still waiting for it too.... Anyway, this year, I decided those letters can be too impersonal so I took the time to sit and jot a letter to each card sent, which was less then 15 this year. It took way to much time to write the letters and next year I just may go back to a simple one page universal letter. I love receiving letters from our friends each year. We may only hear from them once a year but we know they still care enough to send us an update. I hate it when I send one and it was returned due to them moving. Those people are off my list for good as they did not have the decency enough to let us know they had moved and to me that is news enough to share before the end of the year! Oh well, one year I may just go back to not sending cards as they are a lot of time from my busy schedule that time of year….

The Saints sis dog Minnie arrives today! She will be with us for about 2 weeks while his parents run off to TX for a little New Years vacation. The Saint and I have plans to work with her on her training. Hopefully our cats will not kill her or us before her visit is over! I am headed to Petsmart for a clicker today per Adrienne’s advice… Will let you know how that goes Adrienne as it unfolds… I may be calling you for additional advice in the days to come… Yall say a prayer that the dog will not wreak too much havoc upon my girls!

Thursday, December 27, 2007 9:44:00 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

The problem is not newsletters, it's the letters that aren't REAL. They never mention anything BAD or disappointing that happened, just happy happy happy Stepford family news. And what are people who get these supposed to do? Tell them they hate them? That will never happen, so you get them year after year. LOL.

Letters can be funny and entertaining if people keep it real, that's all. A guy at work was telling me about one he got from a relative and the things that he said were in it were FUNNY. About how their cat always butts his head in its water bowl spilling it everywhere and the wife tries these things to prevent it from spilling.

It's all about authenticity, whether it's a presidential candidate or a Christmas newsletter, don't you think?

So Pam, as long as yours aren't all good news about how perfect your life is, then don't worry! :)

Thursday, December 27, 2007 9:51:00 AM  
Blogger k9rescue said...

I started our annual Xmas newsletter the year Mark & I got married (1996), and it is a heavily requested item. In fact, after I started sending mine, my mom, both sisters & a few other family members started sending their own versions. The entertainment factor is what does it... you can't have just 2-1/2 pages of straight text. YAWN!! I incorporate clipart & photos (good & bad) to go with the text. It's real, funny, & informative since many of my family members are NOT email people... and I hate talking on the phone most of the time, unless you're on my "A" list, which consists of about 3 people. LOL So, how is THIS for bragging - if you need help putting together a Xmas newsletter that family members will look FORWARD to, contact me! LOL I know a lot of people that would be soooo disappointed if they didn't get my Xmas letter. On the other hand, I do get several that bore me to tears. But, I suffer through them because I know they put some EFFORT into it... which is far more than I can say for those that send a card signed, "Love, Us." Why even bother? I harrassed my mom this year because she didn't even SIGN her cards... she just used a LABEL!!!!! So, she sent me a new one personally signed & with a big lipstick smudge of a kiss!!! LOL Man, I have the BEST mommy in the world! Happy New Year, everyone!

Thursday, December 27, 2007 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Alice said...

Yes, she is going to stay Roxy but I spell it with a Y instead of ie... like the Theatre. She is a little spitfire too.... she is learning how to hold off Herbie and Niki but batting at them and hissing but I am careful to make sure that she doesn't get overwhelmed. Niki and Herbie are just fascinated with her and follow her everywhere! Roxy has discovered the big cat tree and has been batting the little mouse on a string for at least an hour now! She shimmies up the sisal legs and leaps about having a grand time! Niki watches from below and Herbie looks down from above.

She like to sleep under my bed table that I use to eat on. I will be looking for a little cave bed for her, she seems to like the overhead coverage. I plan on getting more toys and things for her to play with! This is so fun!!!!

We both watch her playing and smile. She is a little precious angel!

Thursday, December 27, 2007 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Alice, that just makes me smile! I will think of her as my little namesake! I am so happy she found your home! Hope you have some energy in you as she sounds like a lot to handle....

Thursday, December 27, 2007 3:10:00 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Alice, congratulations!!! I fell hard for little Roxy at Cats R Us on Saturday. As soon as I took her out of her kennel, she started purring up a storm and just nestled her head into my arm. I carried her around for ages, until mean ole Dragon made me put her down and go back to work. WHAT A DOLL BABY!!!! I am so glad she will have the best home with you and your brood. Send pictures!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I never even got to see the ones Sandy took of her. I know they can't do justice to those beautiful eyes though. Sigh.........

Thursday, December 27, 2007 9:53:00 PM  
Blogger B said...

OH boy is she named right!!! She wouldn't stop talking to us while we were cleaning the back of the facility on Christmas eve and Christmas day. ! HAHA Yep, she's a Roxy alright!

Friday, December 28, 2007 8:43:00 AM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Hey B...
BITE ME!!!!
Your Jeremy sure had a lot to say at the party later on that same day... Was he sporting a headache the next morning???

Friday, December 28, 2007 1:36:00 PM  
Blogger B said...

OH YEAH--He didn't get out of bed all day. It's so funny, cuz the dogs don't understand what hung over means--they just want Daddy to play with them. So they spent the day picking at him and him getting flustered at them. S finally I pulled everybody into the living room and we watched TV out there so the old grouch would sleep it off.

Friday, December 28, 2007 2:47:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

I would have let the dogs have him! Serves him right for harassing me so much throughout the evening. Ha ha ha…
Well, at least it was Scooter’s booby’s he was displaying and not mine!
I was hoping Scooter would mistake him for a piece of dropped ham… LOL

Saturday, December 29, 2007 9:08:00 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

come'on Skeeter and B cat fight, cat fight here,HSSSST. We need to get something going, we haven't had any good arguments for awhile. Dragon hasn't stirred the pot enough lately I guess. Although his comment about giving things to women to mess up didn't quite go over with me and I may have to kick his scaly a$$ for that one.
We can't let all of our dear readers ( who only some on her to see what we have to say next )think we are getting boring now can we?

Saturday, December 29, 2007 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Dragon is too busy to stir the pot. He's too busy buying Tweety PINK collars, taking naps in PINK bedsheets and playing Santa with a PINK beard. Wasn't the drink he was drinking at the party also of a Pink color?

Yes, he really is a DRAG-on. LOL.

Saturday, December 29, 2007 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Oh Sandy, I think you may be on to something here. Dragon was sooo mad at Jeremy for not letting him try the Pink drink! The Tequila Rose which is mighty pink like Pepto-Bismol pink! Ha, the Dragon got mad because he was not offered a pink drink.,.... Good thing we made sure he had a shot or he might have turned Pink on us.... hahahahah. Hey maybe we should nickname the old boy Pinky....

Saturday, December 29, 2007 5:52:00 PM  

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Pet People

Sandy Britt, an animal welfare advocate and volunteer with Clarksville rescue organizations, takes care of three dogs: Zoe, Scooter and Peanut; two cats: Catfish and Tarzan; and one husband, Glen, and according to him she takes care of them in that order.
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