The Shapiro Files

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Holiday Letter: The Director's Cut

This year marked the first time that Marcie and I endeavored to put together a holiday letter to mail out to friends and family. After years of receiving so many of these types of letters from others, I guess I was feeling a little bit like a deadbeat for not returning the gesture. Plus, since I did write for a living until fairly recently, there was considerable expectation from my work colleagues that I would come up with some form of an annual missive. So as the old adage goes, ya gotta give the people what they want.

That much said, I realize that not everyone enjoys the written word quite as much as I. So I decided to take the less-is-more approach and limit our letter to exactly one side of one page. To accomplish this, I decided to deliver the requisite year-in-review summary as a series of tongue-in-cheek bullets. However, I did allow myself the luxury of a proper introduction paragraph and a couple of other more formally written items at the bottom of the page. But to amuse myself, I wrote the opening paragraph in a deliberately (and ironic) long-winded, formal style to create a stark contrast to the bullets that followed. Call me crazy, but there’s always been something about ironically awkward formally constructed complex sentences that always gives me the giggles.

As it turned out, some of what I initially wrote had to be edited out due to space restrictions. The result was that the ironic tone of the opening paragraph lost some of its punch. For anyone that’s curious, you can download our final letter here (PDF format). But for my own peace of mind, here’s what that opening paragraph was originally intended to be:

Yes, we’ve decided it was time to join the bandwagon and add a letter to our annual holiday card mailing — and by “annual” we mean for the second year in a row (OK, so it took us several years after getting married to get our act together enough to at least do a family portrait card...but hey, sometimes it’s good to set the bar low...and speaking of setting a low bar, this first holiday letter sure does seem to be bit on the rambling side right out of the gate...perhaps it speaks more to Steve’s love of parenthetical ellipses-strewn asides than his fondness for low bars, but then, what were we talking about?...).

But here’s the thing: We know that with each new holiday letter added to your annual collection, you have less time to luxuriously revel in the insights and literary prowess of each of these fine letters’ composers. So to help mitigate such potential enjoyment detraction (post-graduates in the hiz-ouse!), we’re going to deliver our “Year in Review” via everyone’s favorite information delivery mechanism: bullets! Here we go...

So there you have it.


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