Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Joy To My World!

T'is the season for Christmas brag letters, and they have started to arrive in sickening splendor.

I thought I would write one of my own. I don't know the people I'll be writing about, but since the letters I receive never bear any resemblance to persons living or dead, it shouldn't matter.


As another joyous year draws to a close, I want to share our good fortune with all you less fortunate beings so that you can eat your collective hearts out rejoice with us.

The first major event of 2007 was that I finally changed my name legally to the name I have used forever, as Donna was not nearly fabulous enough for the exotic creature I have become since I hitchhiked away from the family farm and never looked back. I am now Marcella in both word and deed, the name by which most of you know me, and which suits my fabulousness so perfectly.

In September, James and I bought the ketch of our dreams and look forward to sailing around the world with a small crew of 100, including a manicurist, of course. There was some tough competition for this boat, but we outbid that upstart Donald Trump and the entire Hilton family, and she is now ours. Bon voyage to us, darlings! We have christened her "The Odyssey," of course, with many gallons of the best champagne.

Our eldest son, Lafcadio, the Captain of Industry, was lauded by Business Week as a Superstar Businessman. His Fortune 500 Company is indeed fortunate to have him. His filly, Heart O' Gold, won the Triple Crown this year as well, and his lovely wife, Loma Linda, gave birth to a baby with two heads, both of them gorgeous, proving the old adage that two heads are indeed better than one.

Our second son, Olfactorio, the perfume industry genius, launched his new fragrance in Paris and Milan, named for his loving mama, Marcella. He confided to me that he always knew that if what I have could be bottled, it would make billions. I'm so proud.

Our daughter, Cinderella, who washes dishes at the best five-star restaurant in New York, caught the attention of Georgio Armani and will be modeling in his next show. Even a jealous mother dishpan hands can't keep a beautiful woman down.

Finally, our youngest son, Destino, who is twelve, has received early acceptance to Harvard. By a wonderful coincidence, he also won the Nobel Peace Prize, the Pulitzer and the Library of Congress Living Legend Award. It's been quite an exciting year for our 7th grader.

2007 saw my wonderful James installed as President of the World, and if I may be immodest for a second, yours truly was featured in a delightful spread in Town and Country for my work with starving orphans in Rwanda. I am told that my generous gifts of designer clothing, worn only once, were much appreciated, and I plan to continue sending them all the jeweled evening purses their little hearts desire.

Our Christmas roundup letter would not be complete without mentioning that our French Poodle, Marie Antoinette, won Best in Show for the 4th time at Westminster this year.

The Ming vase I dug up while vacationing on the beach in Aruba has been added to the vast collections at the Louvre, and darling James surprised me with the Hope Diamond for our anniversary, just a little something to flaunt wear while sailing the Southern Seas in our ketch.

Our main residence, Valhalla, is being photographed for the March issue of Castle Homes Magazine, and we're all so very excited. Our racing silks won the Grand Prix at Monaco in April for the first time, and we donated the specially-built mechanical marvel to the Smithsonian amidst tremendous international brouhaha.

My toenail clippings were sealed into a Space Capsule to be opened in 100 years, along with photographs, of course, and I owe it all to darling James, without whom I would still be a little farm girl from a Red State, trying to become Miss Rheingold. It makes me humble.

From our houses to yours, I wish you all a healthy and prosperous New Year. Ciao, darlings!

Oodles of love,


thailandchani said...

That sounds painfully like the brag letters my parents used to get.

It scares the life out of me to think what they might have been writing.

No doubt it would have received some sort of fiction award. :)

Donna to Marcella, indeed! LOL

EsLocura said...

with tears of joy, I am so touched by your bragging, I mean joyful holiday letter, I can't believe you have time to remember the "rest" of us but I am truly touched. BTW ... Can you spare a cool million or two?

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I thought this might strike a chord with you after your childhood in Beverly Hills.

What fiction award did you have in mind?


Are you a Rwandan orphan? Of course I can. I might even adopt you. (Alert the media!)

seventh sister said...

I love it. Of course, what with sending them sailing on a ship named "The Odyssey" and putting the Hope diamond on board with them, you have effectively killed them off so you will never have to hear from them again.

furiousBall said...

I for one am glad you went with "The Odyssey" instead of "F The Homeless"

yinyang said...

I am so glad we don't have friends who sends us those stupid letters anymore. If people really want someone to know they did something, they should call when it happens and see if anyone care.

meno said...

I always wanted to write one of these too.

Very funny, Now send it out.

Mariposa said...

Your Highness Marcella,

Oh, It's such an honor to be a receipient of this I would love to live for the next 100 years to be around when that sealed toe cliipings of yours will be opened.

In an awe,

Mariposa ;)

Irrelephant said...

Oh my stars and garters. I just laughed so hard I peed. Not just a little, either.

Lex said...

I started getting these from a cousin a few years back and every time I read one I think, who the hell does this,? Apparently she's not the only one?

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Well, yes, the Hope Diamond does tend to bring non-optimal events into the (shortened) lives of those who own it. :)


"The Homeless" would never work for these people unless they were in the hold, pumping out the bilges.


We don't get as many as we used to, maybe because we are not properly impressed.


Posting it here doesn't count?


I am most gratified that I could give you something to live for.



Well, just have the servants mop it up. No big deal, really.


I had no idea Marcella was your cousin. I'm so sorry.

RED MOJO said...

Thanks for the Holiday Letter Dahling. I'm certain it's just packed with delightful little fun-facts about you and your brood, but I am far too busy and important to read it right now. Perhaps I can puruse it later. I'm being summoned to dinner with the international snooty patoody foundation.


Liz said...

I hate to break it to you, Marcella, but that Hope Diamond you can I put this delicately?

This is so awkward, but yours is a fake!

I have the real one right here in my jewelry chest. I happen to be personal friends with James Cameron and lent it to him for the filming of Titanic.

I'm sorry you had to find out this way but I'll let you borrow it if you want since I'm getting the Conde Pink diamond for my birthday.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I assure you that my brood and I will survive very nicely without your attention.

But do enjoy your little snooty patooty affair in your doubtless borrowed finery.



What you tell me is deeply disturbing because if I determine that James knew he was purchasing a fake, that would mean the end of marital bliss and the beginning of the Divorce of the Century.

My one unbreakable rule is that I AM THE ONLY FAKE AROUND HERE. The jewels must be real.

I sincerely hope you are wrong in what you conjecture.

Jocelyn said...

This reminds me of your Oscars acceptance speech from last Winter/Spring--so funny.

I have to admit: I do about three things well in life (#1, I understand apostrophes; #2, I make normally-reticent people want to talk; #3, I write a pretty damn good Christmas letter...'course I don't so much brag as point out our collective foibles).

At any rate, blogging has taken the place of my desire to write that yearly letter. So I'm off the hook this year. Part of me is sad about that; the other part of me wants to tell people: Just read my blog if you want to know about my year.

I've loved following along with your year.

Rebecca said...

Oh, darlink, sounds like you and your brood had a FABULOUSLY successful year - your offspring almost (but not quite!!!) as accomplished as mine.

But then, mine, of course, are EXCEPTIONAL.

Jay said...

Wow, you really do that shit up right!

Oodles right back at you, lovie.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I channeled Marcella and the movie star.

I'm not surprised that you understand apostrophes. For years, I've been collecting misuses of quotation marks which both infuriate and delight me.

Reading your posts is a pleasure that I expect to bring into the new year.


Ah. Exceptional. But I bet mine have funnier names.


It's the Christmas season 'n' shit. And of course my charitable spirit.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I used to get upset by letters like that but the I learnt, don't get angry,get even. And so i tried very hard to be as rich as I could. Having failed, I have now learnt, don't get even, get revenge. So I no longer try to be like them....No! Now I spend all my time trying to make them as poor as me ! hahaha! Viva the Revolution! Off with Trump's head. In keeping with the season, Ivana can keep her's's mostly plastic any how.

the walking man said...

Dear Marcella, wonderful letter. Seeing as it's to late to add you to my own Christmas letter list I will post it here.

Dear Kids,
I am still alive and spending your inheritance. Thanks and Merry Fucking Christmas.


Anonymous said...

Heartsy dear, I'm so sorry you weren't selected to be on this season's "Real Desperate Housewives of Orange County". I am certain you will shine on like the crazy diamond you are as you wait for the producer's call to correct the obvious mistake in casting.

Honestly, some people wouldn't know royalty or talent if their lives depended on it, the plebeians.

Hang tough, honey. You ARE the right stuff. Everyone here at the Plams is routing for you. Muffy from the Hamptons sends regards.

Ciao, bella.
/air kiss, air kiss

Anonymous said...

Oh I am sorry, that was supposed to be "Palms". That damned litle hairless dog keeps putting his perfectly manicured toes on the keyboard.

Best to you, lovey.


WNG said...

I have never understood the purpose of those letters, but have always loved the word oodles and will now be using it for the rest of the day, thinking of you and smiling!

Boo7 said...

I can't believe those letters still exist!! My mom used to send and receive similar largely scaled down mind you!! But the impersonal, meaninglessness of letters like that.....OMG!!!

Well done though on writing this one dahlink!!! Truly an objet d'art!!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Squirrel dahling,

Your Revolution is embarrassingly out-of-date. Ivana was two or three wives ago.

They all eat cake.


Watch yer back.


"Crazy diamond" means a lot, coming from you. I am not a housewife, and Muffy is an idiot.


I think the letters are a kind of socially acceptable public masturbation. They are certainly more about the giver than the receiver.


The impersonality always offends me, as well as the bragging.

Thank you for coming by today!

RED MOJO said...

BTW, I just wanted to let you know how happy I am to have you back, and I love this holiday letter post! In case you didn't glean that from my attempt to out-snoot you :)

heartinsanfrancisco said...


And I am very happy to be back. Thank you for looking in on me.

Your outsnooting attempt was quite formidable. Marcella would have ordered a hit on you if she weren't so busy stroking her own ego.

Ian Lidster said...

I used to have adolescent sexual fantasies about certain Miss Rheingolds.

This was a brilliant spoof, my love, but could expect nothing less from you. Don't you just hate those things?

Lovely to see you here again.

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful. Painfully funny.

I must admit the Lafcadio paragraph was especially golden. What great names you chose -- Lafcadio and Loma Linda who "gave birth to a baby with two heads, both of them gorgeous."

You have a wonderful knack of writing some empassioned satirical and political pieces but doing them in wonderfully inspired and entertainly ways. Such a way with words, good Heart.

A side question -- who do you think does these sorts of letters more? Men or women?

baffle said...

Outstanding Xmas letter!

The only thing missing from yours that always seems present in the annual bragathon letters I've had the 'pleasure' to receive in past years - is the mention of how 'The Lord has blessed us' with all of this n' that.

That self righteous Holier-Than-Thou touch...

Emperor Ropi said...

I wish you good like for next year.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Oh, good. Someone actually remembers the Miss Rheingolds.

If memory serves, you, dear Ian, had adolescent sexual fantasies about nearly everyone of the female persuasion.


Thank you for your delightfully ego-stroking words.

I must confess, the Destino paragraph made me giggle while writing it. I love the idea of a 12-year old living legend.

I suspect that women do these more than men, but only because traditionally, women were in charge of sending out Christmas cards in most households.


You are so right! I really screwed the pooch on that one. Of course everything is owed to the Lord because he loves us so much more than everyone else.


And I wish you good like for the New Year, too.

PeterAtLarge said...

It's a long time since I laughed like this--at every line! I plan to forward your entry to those who bless me with their yearly boasts, for a lesson in healthy modesty. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I would laugh even harder if I could but, I feel you know my Fairfield county neighbors all to well.

jali said...

So much better than the ones I've been getting in RL - and closer to the truth!

Franki said...

In a hundred years, they might be able to clone you with the DNA in your toenail clippings!


riseoutofme said...

Santa brings bags of coal to naughty girls, heart.

Poor Marcella, she's probably taken to her boudoir with a fit of the vapours after reading your blasphemy.

Luckily this type of letter writing is'nt common practice around here, so I'll, more than likely, not be receiving a bag of the black stuff this year.

Craze said...

I LOVE IT. I don't know how lucky I am to even be allowed to comment on your blog.

Melanie said...

OMG! of course I am going to steal this idea. so, watch for mine in the up coming weeks

heartinsanfrancisco said...


A lesson in healthy modesty... oh, my, yes. Now I'm the one laughing uncontrollably.


I grew up across Long Island Sound from them so it's familiar territory.


Then your RL friends are not half trying.


Isn't THAT a scary thought?!


I've always wondered if "the vapours" were a euphemism for flatulence.

Don't you worry your pretty little head about Marcella, though. She's tough as nails.


Pretty damn lucky, now that you mention it. :)


Do you know Marcella, too?

Open Grove Claudia said...

I'm looking at the picture thinking: that's the Hope diamond. I wonder how she stole it from the Smithsonian... You do know it's cursed right? Let's kill James for the insurance money.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Oh, yes, I do know. Everyone who owns it gets ripped apart by rabid dogs or something.

Or maybe sharks, if their ketch springs a leak around the Bermuda Triangle.

Odat said...

I just love the
What a great letter!!!!

storyteller said...

I so appreciate the belly laugh my dear and feel so much better as I pick myself off the floor. Thank you.
Hugs and blessings,

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Ah yes, dearest Aunt Marcella... who is always so kind to remember me with this annual gift of holiday self love.

I am so truly thankful to hear from her, just once a year, when the golden envelope arrives and I can read about all the thrills of her exquisite life.

I appreciate the time she takes to tell me about all of the grand events, as I know she is far too busy to tell me when each one happens, so she saves them all up to grace me with the full brilliance of her collection at the end of the year; like a cornucopia of wonders.

It's such an inspiration to me that I've decided to follow her example and send out a holiday letter to every known member of our family, and to all of her husband James' large family as well.

I've included funny old stories of her being caught with Joe Bob Henry Joe Bob in the barn, and one of the judges of the beauty contest in a local motel, as well as old photos of her mucking stalls and feeding the pigs.

I know she'll appreciate my sharing these humble beginnings with all and sunder, because as she said, without James, she'd still be here with the rest of us, and I'm sure that by now she'd even have graduated high school and gotten a job at the local truck stop.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

heartinsanfrancisco said...


What's in a name? Everything! Marcella's children know that with names like theirs, (except Cinderella, of course,) there are no limits.


So glad I could help. Do you need a hand getting up?


Ah, it seems you do know our Marcella who missed out on a glorious career at the local truck stop.

Your last line is brilliant! I wish I'd thought of it.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Hearts, you started it... that is only an addition to the thread that came from you!


and what fun!!

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Molly said...

We still get a few every year, but not as many. Maybe the perpetrators copped on to how self serving they were. I get enough junk and impersonal mail without getting it from supposed "friends!"! I do still read those we get, for the entertainment value. My husband gives them a withering look and goes back to his book/newspaper/toenail clipping/staring into space, leaving them unread......

heartinsanfrancisco said...


We should conspire, I mean, COLLABORATE on something.


I'm with you. They have far more entertainment power than anyone's toenails, although I suspect that hysterical laughter (and noting grammatical & spelling errors, if any) is probably not the desired effect.

Sienna said...

Nooooooooo waaaaaaaaaaay!!!

Hearts I think I met this James this morning, he is awful, what came out of his mouth was awful, his hero is awful ..

Marquis de Sade !!!

I didn't know this guy existed, he was real! a rapist and paedophile, an abuser, sadism was named after him!!


James is one big jerk Hearts,don't send him a xmas card back, stuff him.

Open Grove Claudia said...

All right, then we'll make James were the Hope diamond and still cash in on the insurance. Either way, we're taking a nice trip this winter! ;)

heartinsanfrancisco said...


You met someone whose hero is the Marquis de Sade? I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

James works too hard to send Christmas cards. His gold-digging spouse does all the bragging.


Start packing. I need a new bikini or ten. Tahiti Nui beckons.

Dave said...

Wow... I think I'll have to rewrite my "brag letter" after reading this one! LOL

Josie said...

Oh, hearts, this is too funny!

I once had a friend who wrote her Christmas letter all in poetry. Every single thing, good or bad, that had happened to her family during that year, was written in poetry.

Can you imagine trying to rhyme multiple sclerosis? She did it, and managed to elicit gales of laughter from yours truly. I don't think that was the response she intended. Her poor, unfortunate family member who had contracted multiple sclerosis must have been horrified.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Oh, do you own a sailing yacht, too? And a famous diamond?

Thanks for your visit, and please send me a copy of your new and improved brag letter.


And what does rhyme with "multiple sclerosis?"


MsLittlePea said...

Um, Marcella? Are you sure you're not one of my obnoxious neighbors?

Rachel Schell said...

lol! eat your collective hearts out. so so so true!!

Dan said...


Oh my God! You HAVE to send this to everyone who sends you a brag sheet! What's up with that anyway? And why do some people send Christmas cards that are basically just photos of their kids?? Maybe I'll send them a photo of my new desktop computer! :)

Very, very funny piece my sweet friend! {{{{{ HUGS }}}}}

blooming desertpea said...

Just brilliant. Amazing how much crap people can accumulate in one letter - LOL

The CEO said...

Dear Hearts,

I always wonder who had Marcella's children for her. She surely didn't have time for them herself. I'll bet she and her husband smoke cigars on the yacht though! Cubans, not Dominicans, naturally.


heartinsanfrancisco said...

Sweet Pea,

Marcella has asked me to tell you that she is NOT one of your neighbors, and what is more, she hates the concept of neighborhoods and thinks they're tacky.


Marcella only learned the word "collective" recently and likes to use it as often as possible.


No, no no! Send them a photo of Lulu, preferably sitting on Santa's knee or even better, clawing his beard.


I think those who send brag letter just need the validation that they really do exist, and that their lives have not been wasted.

Monty ,

You raise a very good point. I'm sure she did have someone carry and birth her children because after all, no one could possibly expect HER to do it.

If they are smoking cigars, I hope they stay far out to sea and that the wind is blowing in another direction from where I am.

thirtysomething said...

HILARIOUS! And very liberating to write I bet! An idea...send it out...
Thnaks for sharing this, I enjoyed it.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

HA ha ha!!!

We just did!

But if we did another one, it would be lots of fun.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

rachel said...

Thank god you were being facetious. Otherwise, I'd have vomited. Projectile.

As it was, I laughed heartily. :)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Thirty Something,

So nice to see you back! Glad I could make you smile.


It would for sure.


Don't worry. My name is not really Marcella but I'm ducking, just in case.

If you are not one of the two Rachels I already know, thank you for coming by!

Angela said...

Woman, you have a gift! A gift, I'm tellin' ya!

Angela said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
katrice said...

I have never heard of, nor received, a brag letter before. I am much more blessed than I ever knew!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Thank you!!


Really? I want YOUR friends. Such letters are perfectly obnoxious and always make me cringe.

I am not Star Jones said...

You are a RIOT!

the toenail clippings
line is the best.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Hey, don't you be dissin' Marcella now, or her toenails. Marcella rules. Just ask her.