So Saddam Hussein told his trial judge to go to hell. Of all the things going on in the world (tax and otherwise) and in this trial, this caught my eye. Why? Because a similar quote leads off our annual Christmas letter.
No. We are not quoting Saddam Hussein. I said “similar” quote.
Yes. We are one (well, my husband and I, so I guess we are two) of those: People who stay blithely out of touch with far-flung friends and relatives for the better part of a year and then in December presume that they want to hear all about our last 12 months. But in our case, we think that’s true. Why? Because we long ago learned that with an annual holiday letter, you never, ever let the truth get in the way of a good story.
We don’t exactly lie about what went on and is still going on in our lives. But for us (and our readers), the jokes accompanying the carefully parceled out facts are more important than the actual details. (That’s what the blog is for!) We collect funny items, strange occurrences (that happened to us as well as strangers), goofy comments and general observations of absurdity throughout the year, jotting them down on scraps of paper and throwing them in a box. Come November, or any time during the year we feel like fiddling with it, we pull them out and try to assemble an entertaining letter that will brighten the day of those on our holiday card list.
Some years the letters seem to write themselves. Others, it’s a struggle to string together coherent, much less amusing, words. But we continue. We have to. We started this ritual before we were married, when we were dating and spent a few days with my family. It’s generally a good group, loving and giving and inordinately interested in the lives of each other. To keep from having to repeat the same things over and over to my numerous relatives, we came up with a form letter that we handed out to each of them. It introduced my then not-even-fiance to the gathering, filled them in on what had been going on in both our lives, announced the status of our relationship and, most importantly, was full of wisecracks. A few things were true, but mostly it was a way to divert them until the food was served. It was a big hit and a tradition was born.
We skipped a couple of years when one or the other of us was really sick. And we’re missing a few letters that were on our very first PC and somehow didn’t get transferred over to its successor or saved in paper form. (The library that will house my writings will be so sad. Maybe one of the original letter recipients will find the absent editions and donate them.)
And this relates to taxes how? Well of course this year we’re pimping the blog in the letter, urging all our friends and relatives to click and click and click. I’m thinking that since it’s related to my paying gig covering taxes (which also gets a mention), the letter actually is a marketing tool for my self-employed writing efforts, meaning I can write off the cost of producing it. It’s not precisely mentioned in this story on overlooked small business deductions, although it kinda fits into the entertainment and gifts category, so …. OK, maybe that’s stretching the tax statutes a bit, but we’ll see what happens in April!
Addendum: This post was selected to be a part of the Inaugural Carnival of Christmas! Merry Blogging to All and to All a Blogging Good Night!