(The Johnson's family Christmas card, right)
New York, NY: The gasps in the home office quickly turned into an internet roar.
The Delilah and Bill Johnson family's Christmas card-- 4' x 6', gilt-edged, and glossy-- has on its front a picture of the Blessed Mother and baby Jesus.
What disturbed recipients was the 10 point bulleted section on the inside, titled "Why I am not sending you a picture of my family and you shouldn't either".
The points begin softly, noting "1. I just saw loads of your pictures on Picasa," "2. Little Joey is having a bad hair month" and "3. I never know when I can take your picture off my fridge and not feel guilty about it anymore, so I'm begging you to take my feelings into account."
But people began sputtering over some of the others: "6. In an age of self-glorification, I can do without saying I'm so obviously the reason for the season." "8. Look at an icon, for crying out loud. It's a freaking RELIGIOUS HOLIDAY" and "10. Joy to the World! The Lord Has Come! Wait, where's Jesus? Oh right, I CAN'T SEE HIM BECAUSE I'M FLOODED WITH PHOTOSHOPPED CHRISTMAS PICTURES OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS DRESSED IN MATCHING RED AND GREEN SWEATERS!"
The Johnsons' second cousin, Miranda Twatterchit, posted the card as a photo on facebook and noted "it's soooo rude. I've got Jesus in my heart but my little sweetie pie is only three once. Deal with the cuteness, people. You're just jealous."
Within three hours, the photo was "shared" 13,549 times by similarly outraged Christmas family pictures aficionados. The Johnsons shut down their facebook account after getting over 2,000 family pictures posted on their facebook wall.
"It's crazy," said Delilah Johnson, who admitted her family never got her sense of humor. "I'm just asking people to send cards that are about Christmas. I'm at the point where I'll settle for winter and chilly looking cardinals in the snow. But about Christmas itself would be great. I mean, did the shepherds send a card with their posed grinning faces to the infant Son of God? I don't think so. I hope they said 'Happy Birthday"--or maybe 'thank you!'"
Although Delilah admitted there was no going back from that card all other the internet, her husband Bill Johnson explained the family now has an outgoing message on their answering service that apologizes for any misunderstandings that have come from the "cheeky but reverent" card. "We just want you all to know that we love you and like seeing your faces, in person and in photos. Next year, we'll chisel our Christmas greetings into small rocks, which you can use to throw through our windows. Thank you, and Merry Christmas, everyone!"
p.s. yes, I send family pictures.
p.p.s. yes, I enjoy seeing pictures of family and friends.
p.p.p.s. yes, I'm going to catch heck at the next family gatherings for this post. It's called "low hanging fruit" people....