Happy Holidays all!
I should preface this post by saying that it could get me into trouble. Last year, I asked my mom if she’d be okay if I blogged about this story and she wasn’t too pleased. But I just HAD to share it as it has become one of my favorite stories, ever. But I can understand why she doesn’t like it since she technically called her youngest child a “Nazi” in her annual holiday card.
Yep, you read that right.
Every year, my parents send out of those holiday letters with news about the family, including their four kids. For years, my siblings and I each had to submit four sentences about our year. It was a little sad that as I got older it became harder to do. “Elizabeth’s STILL at her same job, STILL lives in the same place…” The only thing that was ever really different was where I went on vacation that year. It was all kind of boring, but I’d prefer boring over being defamed.
My senior year of college, I arrive home during winter break. I looked at that year’s Christmas letter and read everybody’s part. Then I got to mine. Now, I went to the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. That’s Newhouse: N-E-W-H-O-U-S-E. But according to that year’s letter it said:
“Elizabeth’s finishing her last year at the Nazi School at Syracuse University.”
I lost it. “Is this some kind of joke?” I screamed in our kitchen. When my parents realized why I was upset, they were both horrified. And, of course, the letters had already been sent out to Dad’s list. So, I spent the next day crossing out “Nazi” and writing out “Newhouse” on Mom’s pile.
My mom blames the accident on spellcheck, although I have spelled Newhouse many different ways and Nazi has never come up as an option. But it didn’t really matter, the damage had been done.
I worked at my dad’s clothing store over that break. Anytime any of his friend’s came in, I was on the defensive. The following happened more than once:
DAD’S FRIEND: Hi, Elizabeth!
ME: I AM NOT A NAZI!
DAD’S FRIEND: Um, okay. Could I get this gift wrapped?
So to clarify, a) I am not a Nazi, and b) my mom didn’t do it on purpose. Oh, and a little friendly advice: always have someone proof your Christmas letter before you send it out.
While I was horrified at the time, in the end it was one of the best gifts I ever received. Because I do love a good story, and nothing can top, “Hey, did I ever tell you about the time my mom called me a Nazi in our Christmas letter?” Comic gold!
May your days me merry and bright…and without any slander in your holiday card!