The year 2013 for the Saunder family of Springfield, Illinois, was self-admittedly “a real twelve-month downer.” In order to bolster their annual Christmas letter, the Saunders have announced plans to include mentions of their loved ones’ setbacks.
Following a year in which father Ted Saunder did not get a promotion, mother MaryAnn Saunder gained 30 pounds, and the couple’s children once again failed to bring home one goddamn ‘A’ on their report cards, the family of four has gathered juicy tidbits from within their social circle, ranging from friends’ poor credit to relatives’ terminal illness.
MaryAnn explained, “Our kids definitely peaked in high school. I mean, in 2011, Sarah’s mock trial team won regionals and Ted Jr. was voted Best Smile in his senior class. And after delivering great news like that to our family and friends, where do we go from there?”
“But, thank the Lord, we just found out that Ted’s old college roommate is being charged with public intoxication, so that should take the edge off our kids’ mediocrity.”
The holiday letter, which is currently in its first draft stage, includes information on MaryAnn’s sister’s affair, Ted’s boss’ hernia, and the elderly woman from church who slipped on ice in the parking lot last Sunday. Lacking that one bit of gossip to “really knock the letter out of the park” though, the Saunders have been frantically searching for any hearsay about their pastor.
“As it turns out, he and his wife actually took a trip to the Dominican Republic last June to renew their vows,” Ted reported. “And then afterward, those bastards, they went over to Haiti for mission work. That’s sure as hell not making us look better.”
Nevertheless, MaryAnn has made a weekly habit of sneaking handfuls of money from the collection basket into Pastor Dan’s coat pockets during Sunday’s silent prayer and meditation. It is unclear whether this will be discovered and turned into a public controversy by the time the Saunder family letter is set to be mailed. The Saunders, however, are hopeful.
Looking to the next year, Ted and MaryAnn pledge to find boast-worthy success of their own. But for now, the couple says, they simply want to relax and enjoy the magic of the holidays. “‘Tis the season to be jolly!” concludes the letter, “unless you’re Chelsea from next door, whose son just got rejected from Northwestern and is also suffering from seasonal depression!”
Originally published Dec 2013.