The disgraced-public-figure holiday form letter.

Dubious and far-fetched ideas.
Dec. 22 2009 9:41 AM

The Disgraced-Public-Figure Holiday Form Letter

How Mark Sanford, Tiger Woods, and other people who've been embarrassed this year should handle their Christmas correspondence.

Yes, it will be hard this year for you, the Disgraced Public Figure, to send a holiday greetings letter. But it may just show your friends and family that no matter what you allegedly did, things are actually still "normal." Here are some suggestions.

Dear Friends:

[Start with a light and self-deprecating tone to prove that, hey, you do still have a sense of humor. Then lead in with some positive news, if there is any.]

Happy holidays! It's been quite a year, especially if you believe my (blackmailer/wife's publicist/tabloid stories/wiretaps/text messages)! Seriously, 2009 wasn't all bad. Don't forget I did (win six PGA tournaments/get two Grammy nominations/clinch the World Series/have eight babies)!

[Be sure to get the elephant in the room out of the way early.]

Of course, I regret the (racketeering/Ponzi scheme/sex tape/award show microphone-snatching/affair/affairs/many, many affairs). I can only blame (myself/my insane Alaskan baby-grandma/that one paparazzo who looked like a zombie/the sushi-induced mercury poisoning). Certainly, I'm not above going on (trial/Larry King/I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here/methadone/Twitter) to clear my name.

[Address the family situation as delicately as you can.]

As for (justifiably angry spouse), I'm continually amazed by her (strength/loyalty/ability to wield a pitching wedge). We'll be spending the holidays in (counseling/the depths of my pathetic shame/meetings to plan our next attempt at reality television), which I know will make everyone feel better. The good news is the kids (are/seem/could be, who knows with the restraining order) fine! It will take more than the (auction of all of our belongings/constant Gawker posts/wrath of my Swedish mother-in-law/competing six-figure book deals) to get this family down.

[Attempt a positive look at the future.]

For now, though, I'm going to try to make the best of things. This year has given me a great appreciation for what matters, and I know I will never again (inject steroids/hike the "Appalachian Trail"/try to sell a Senate seat/promise someone other than my wife a rooftop wedding ceremony with the Dave Matthews Band).

[Close on a warm note, even if—face it—you may never hear from these people again.]

So here's to you and yours! I know things will get better. If I've learned anything, it's that time flies when you're (on house arrest in a Swiss chalet/dating Kate Hudson/sentenced to 150 years in prison). And it could be worse! At least I'm not (Tiger, Blago, Kanye, Gov. Sanford, A-Rod, Jon or Kate, a Madoff, John Edwards, Whitney Houston—yes, she had a comeback, but aren't you still glad you're not Whitney Houston?).

Have a wonderful 2010, and remember to hold tight the ones you love, preferably those who still live in your house.

Warm regards from your,
Disgraced Public Figure

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