Typo Kills Off Husband in Annual Christmas Letter

December 21st, 2009

I originally posted this letter two years ago – but it is worth a repeat.


I just recently received my mom’s annual Christmas letter. It is as usual, chock full of tantalizing tidbits about the lives of my parents including a detailed description of my parents’ morning routine which I now know includes two cups of hot tea for my mother – one before she attends her “Shape Up Sisters” workout class and a second cup when she gets home from her “Shape Up Sisters” workout class. I was also interested to discover that my parents’ breakfast menu offers a choice of either cold cereal or hot cereal along with that second cup of  tea. While my brain was doing backflips to try and keep up with this fast-paced, endearing, yet strangely riveting letter I came across the following paragraph …

The last 2 years have also brought a different chapter in our lives as Harry and my Dad are rejoicing in heaven. We have also said farewell to very dear people in our lives Aunt Ruth and Uncle Wilbur. We both know it is selfish to wish for them to still be here on earth with us when they were so ready to go

As I mentioned, my mom is writing the letter so when she writes “my dad” that would be my grandpa. And, yes, he did pass away this year. But the MORE startling information is the name that precedes “my grandpa” which says “Harry”. She writes Harry and my Dad are rejoicing in heaven. What the… Harry is MY DAD and if he has “passed on” it is news to me!!!

I frantically called my mom to find out if Dad was still among the living and if he wasn’t, why exactly she chose her Christmas letter to deliver this tragic news to me!

“Mom! Mom!  is Dad dead?” I yelped into the phone.

“No, Your father is not dead, he is watching “The Biggest Loser” on television with me.”

Then I told her about the letter and how it says that Harry is dead, and she said…

“It must be the way you are reading it.”

No, mom it is not the way I am reading it… You said that Dad is dead!” 

“Well your father proofread the letter, so how could he have let the letter say he is dead?  

“I don’t know mom, but it clearly states that your Dad… and Harry are rejoicing in heaven, and I am pretty sure you have to be dead to do that!”

“Your dad is not dead because he eats too much to be dead… and he also complains too much to be dead.”

I was very relieved to hear that my father is still “with us”. I mentioned that mom might want to send out a little note to all her Christmas letter recipients and let them know that Harry is not dead.

“That’s ridiculous! I’m NOT going to send out 60 notes to people to tell them that Harry is not dead.

So – if any of my distant kin and far flung family read this blog – my dad, Harry, is NOT dead. Repeat NOT DEAD. This was just a little mistake in the Family Christmas letter.


On the off, off chance that this post has ONCE AGAIN served to send my mom reeling in electrifying shockwaves of loathsome grief over her delinquent daughter posting awful things on the internet for the entire world to read – I offer up a few pics of her adorable grandchildren as a sweet salve.

KeeeeeeeRipes! He’s six now.

How long has it been since you were THIS excited about opening up a present?

He made it in kindergarten. It still tops our tree with pride.

This one’s for you mom. I love you. Even if you did try to kill dad off in the Christmas letter.


  • Cynthia:

    too funny!

  • Dawn-Enigma Artist:

    you mean your Mom doesn’t say during your conversations…Are you blogging this? You are not blogging this. Do NOT blog this! Moms are so much fun.Gorgeous photos of the boys!

  • Dawn-Enigma Artist:

    And Happy Birthday to your kiddo!!

  • Dani:

    Cute story! Merry Christmas!

  • Mary:

    Hey, at least there was no mention of panties in the letter. There wasn’t, was there?Love the kid’s pictures — so cute!Have a great Christmas!xoxo,Mary

  • Jenni:

    I’m so glad your dad is not dead. Dawn Enigma’s comment made me laugh because my MIL says that all the time.The Kool-aid grin is too stinkin’ cute!

  • Renovation Therapy:

    I’m glad that I’m not the only one who gets grief from their family for blog posts!! I think my sister is still not talking to me because she’s p-o’d about the compost cabinet in my backyard that Mom made…when I asked her 3 times not to…that I blogged about. I’m babbling.

  • Jenny, the Bloggess:

    I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of your father.If it helps, his death did bring fits of giggles to my offic.e

  • ruchi:

    That was hysterical. I am glad your dad is still alive though. And I hope when he does pass away, your mom won’t elect to notify you through a Christmas letter.

  • Melissa:

    Why won’t you let us read all of your posts in Bloglines anymore? You and April both…I wonder if there are others like me that don’t WANT to have to also click into your site…please, please, go back to the way it was… I rarely read a whole post anymore…just the blurb I see.

  • Donna Boucher:

    What do you think your mom meant?I once bragged that we were the Super Bowel Champions in a Christmas letter.

  • Rechelle:

    Donna – what she meant to say is that her dad AND Harry’s dad both passed away this year – she just forgot to put the “dad” on their. Perhaps a freudian slip???

  • Donna Boucher:

    Ah! It happens to the best of us :o)Save that letter….Frame that letter….Thank God that letter was WRONG :o)

  • Edi:

    I love the story of your parent’s newsletter!If it’s just a matter of how it’s read – perhaps you need to add another present to your mother’s Christmas tree..the book – “Eats, Shoots & Leaves”.

  • Rechelle:

    I’ve always wanted to read that book.

  • Heather@Mommymonk:

    Oh dear, I am laughing so hard I almost peed my pants. So glad your dad is not dead, but it sure made for a funny story. My dad is very witty and once sent a Christmas letter full of farse, but grandma didn’t get it. He made goofy comments about Mom breaking her hip (she was in her 40′s at the time), and Grandma called up all frantic to see if Mom was ok. It was just a joke, grandma. But that was on purpose, your mom’s error is probably more funny.

  • toddleddredge:

    If my mom did that, it would forever after be the stuff of Christmas legend. She would tell the story bigger every year.

  • pedalpower:

    That’s great…I was LOL here at 2am up all by myself. Reminds me of another Christmas letter in which one of my relatives bragged about how both of her sons were in a bar brawl…and wasn’t it sweet how they stand up for each other!

  • Kirstin:

    Hi Rechelle,I came accross your blog via “Rocks in my Dryer”. Oh my goodness. Thanks for the laugh on your “dead dad”. That was too funny!Can’t wait to browse your blog a little more.

  • Queen B:

    That is so funny. I am glad Rocks in my Dryer suggested your blog…I look forward to reading more!!

  • Donna:

    Thanks for the morning smile! I came here from Toddled Dredge.Mothers. They’re mostly alike.

  • Antique Mommy:

    Came here via my friend Veronica Mitchell — and that indeed was a FUNNY Christmas newsletter. I normally hate Christmas newsletters but that’s because I don’t get any as “creative” as your mother’s.

  • Lori:

    That was hilarious! Did anyone ever figure out how that typo came about? lol

  • Cass:

    This is too funny. My grandparents do a similar newsletter every year…I would love to post it and point out all the hilarious things – the issue is that my Grandpa is all over the web and regularly reads and comments on my blog.

  • Anonymous:

    Oh, that made me laugh so hard! I’m so glad to hear your Dad is not dead! I wonder how many people will check on him…even if they don’t admit it.

  • Jenny:

    Sigh! I forgot my name. The above comment was me. Now it all makes sense! Forget your name, say your husband is DEAD….just a momentary lapse…

  • Oy, Christmas letters are awesome! We get cards from my Grandmother-in-law (is that a thing?) and you can get Happy Birthday! and your uncle Marty died all in the same sentence. Brilliant.

  • Southern Gal:

    I’m surprised you didn’t have a heart attack right there on the spot. Then she would have had to share that news in next year’s newsletter.

  • Marilyn:

    This is just another example of why you should never, ever send out Christmas letters – and if you do, why you should never ask your husband to proof it. Merry Christmas…love your blog.

  • Jean Baethge:

    You provided some comic relief amid these sometimes not so fun pre-Christmas days crammed with shopping and cooking. I love that you can poke fun at your mom in such a nice way. Happy holidays from my house to yours.

  • Cathy:

    This isn’t the first time you’ve made me laugh out loud while reading one of your blogs. Thank you! I needed that. Merry Christmas.

  • c:

    Oh that was great! You have such a way with writing and so does your mother!