1. The horribly lit picture hastily taken in the living room 15 minutes before it was printed
“Is it December 22nd already? Crap, guess we’d better gather the kids in front of a blank wall before Costco closes today.”
These cards usually feature a visibly annoyed cast of kids, wives, and husbands who have been trying desperately to get their self-timer to work and get this card out. No one’s ready, and you can tell because they’re all wearing t-shirts and comfy stretch pants. Did the flash even go off? Who cares?
(A telling marker of this card is its arrival in your mailbox on December 29th.)
2. The one with 29 pictures on it
Vacation! Regional dance competition! Dog! This family couldn’t decide on just one bad picture, they had to have 29 super small ones crammed into a Word document complete with Comic Sans captions.
“Thanks for all those 100×300 pixel glimpses into your life, Uncle Jerry. Have you heard about Instagram?”
3. The five-pages-long, double-sided, 8 point font, self-congratulatory newsletter
These letters are the absolute worst and are usually written by a retired couple, an unmarried woman, or parents with kids applying to college.
The retiree newsletters tend to highlight the most mundane events that have happened to them this year. Their kids visited, they visited their kids, they made a pot roast. Typically, the letter ends with the death of their beloved pet.
The single lady’s just writing to say that she’s just fine and sassy all by herself, thank you very much. She doesn’t need kids or a man to send out a thoughtful life update. She remodeled her house BY HERSELF. She climbed the Great Wall of China Topless. BY HERSELF. (I actually received that newsletter once. Thankfully, she did not include a picture.)
And guess what? Johnny, that kid you will always think of as 6 years old, is applying to Harvard, Columbia, and Yale. His backup schools are Stanford and Berkeley. Everyone must know that Johnny, the fruit of his parents’ loins is going to cure cancer one day, and you heard it here first in the Winter 2013 Johnson newsletter, you lucky dog.