Curtis Dahlgren
Seasonal-affected greetings; in lieu of a year-end brag letter
By Curtis Dahlgren
December 28, 2014

"There is [definitely] no God." – Freedom From Religion Foundation

TIS SEEMINGLY the season for gift-giving and I recently received a fund-raising letter begging for a gift. The words that follow are the exact words of their introductory remarks:

"Please accept with no obligation, explicit or implicit, our best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, mellow but non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice, practiced within the most appropriate preferences of your religious persuasion, and/or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or practices of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

[Happy Holidays]

"We also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the generally accepted calendar year 2008, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great (not to imply that America is necessarily any greater than other countries, nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere – nor to imply that unequal financial gain is necessarily a good thing) without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, political persuasion, or sexual preference(s) of the wishee – unless of course you are a member of a minority race or majority gender (female), or any other victim of American imperialism; in that case, you should multiply this wish by a factor of 1.759331. AND DON'T START WITH US!

[Happy new year]

"By accepting these greetings you are accepting these terms: This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the 'original intent.' It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of no more than one year, while supplies last, or until the issuance of a subsequent greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher. Wishees are likewise advised to exercise mature reader discretion.

"This wish may be copied only in its entirely, with explicit attribution. Any personal misuse of the descriptions and accounts of this greeting are, well – DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT, OKAY?"


P.S. This letter must have been approved by the "Risk Management" team (lawyers), but it is probably still too "offensive" for the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Seriously though, "folks," this is actually a shameless reposting of my "First annual solstice letter" from past years:

And I sort of stole some of those words from an anonymous Internet thing that had come in over the transom (with a few embellishments added of course). I would have vetted this proposed opinion piece with my personal Risk Management team, but they refuse to take my calls. I'm working harder than I've ever worked to try to give credit to the original author of this piece.

PPS: To go out on a limb, I want to wish a happy new year to the human race, to which so many of my readers belong. I borrowed that line from somewhere too, and by the way – satire is not supposed to be taken too literally – unless, of course, you WANT TO. Pretty soon giggling will be a misdemeanor and laughing out loud will become a felony, given the way things are going. If you don't believe humor belongs at a serious web site, let me mention three important people: Mark Twain, Art Buchwald, and Jim Murray (boyhood heroes of mine).

And where is Andy Rooney, now that we need him?

© Curtis Dahlgren


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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


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