Sunday, December 25, 2022

Eric’s Holiday Letter 2022

Dear friends, family, and advertisers,

As I’m sure you have heard, Eric’s Holiday Letter LLC was recently purchased by Elon Musk for 44 billion dollars. I know. It seems like a lot of money. I asked if he was sure he didn’t mean 44 million. But, no, the offer was 44 billion. With the rising cost of crudités, I kind of had to say yes.

I can see the appeal. This letter goes out to dozens of people every year. But it’s not as profitable as you might think. Elon must have realized this because the deal almost fell through at one point. He made the claim that I was vastly overreporting the number of recipients who actually read my letter and underreporting the number who find it too long and silly. But I proudly stand by my reported metrics: over ten percent of recipients read my letters and almost five percent enjoy them! Any claim otherwise is baseless. I had to go to court, but Elon eventually followed through with the purchase under the original terms.

The day Elon took over, the first thing he did was fire me. The second thing he did was rehire me because he realized I was the only employee and I had the mailing list and the stamps. He then sent out the following email to all the employees (again, it’s just me): Going forward, to build a breakthrough Eric’s Holiday Letter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world of holiday letters, we will need to be extremely hardcore. This will mean working long hours at high intensity. Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade.

If you are sure that you want to be part of the new Eric’s Holiday Letter, please click yes on the link below. Anyone who has not done so by 5pm ET tomorrow will receive three months of severance.

Whatever decision you make, thank you for your efforts to make Eric’s Holiday Letter successful.

I clicked yes. Here are some of the changes coming to Eric’s Holiday Letter:

1) I now have to pay $8 a year to get the blue check mark that my readers count on to ensure authenticity.

2) I will retain editorial control and have complete freedom of speech, as long as I never criticize Elon Musk.

3) My letters must now be 280 characters in length. (Note: the 280 characters may be repeated an unlimited number of times.)

4) I can no longer squeeze the Charmin.

5) There will be no more telecommuting. I must now go into the Eric’s Holiday Letter headquarters to write this letter. When I explained to Elon that the Eric’s Holiday Letter headquarters are actually located in my home, he got angry and used some words I can’t print here.

6) The public relations department at Eric’s Holiday Letter has been eliminated.

7) I must be willing to work at least once a year. This is part of the new “hardcore culture” at Eric’s Holiday Letter.

8) Eric’s Holiday Letter will have to fully move its operations to Mars by 2050 at the latest.

9) I have been encouraged to wear adult diapers while writing this letter. Apparently, my insistence on taking bathroom breaks every eight hours was deemed excessive.

10) I am not allowed to form a union.

11) In the near future, Eric’s Holiday Letter will have the ability to write itself when in autopilot mode.

12) I am no longer allowed to write my letter in the form of lists, which is a lazy way to fill space.

In closing, I am sharing the following letter (slightly edited) from Elon Musk to the advertisers:

Dear Eric’s Holiday Letter Advertisers,

I wanted to reach out personally to share my motivation in acquiring Eric’s Holiday Letter. There has been much speculation about why I bought Eric’s Holiday Letter and what I think about advertising. Most of it has been wrong.

The reason I acquired Eric’s Holiday Letter is because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common written town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence.

In the relentless pursuit of readers, many traditional holiday letters have focused on personal events and important milestones of the previous year, as they believe that is what brings in the money. But Eric’s Holiday Letter stands apart by providing no useful information at all.

That is why I bought Eric’s Holiday Letter. I didn't do it because it would be easy. I didn't do it to make more money. I did it to try to help humanity, whom I love. And I do so with humility, recognizing that failure in pursuing this goal, despite our best efforts, is a very real possibility.

That said, Eric’s Holiday Letter obviously cannot become a free-for-all, where anything can be said with no consequences! In addition to adhering to the laws of the land, our letter must be warm and welcoming to all, where you can choose your desired experience according to your preferences, just as you can choose, for example, to see movies or play video games ranging from all ages to mature.

I also very much believe that advertising, when done right, can delight, entertain, and inform you; it can show you a service or product or medical treatment that you never knew existed, but is right for you. For this to be true, it is essential to show readers of Eric’s Holiday Letter advertising that is as relevant as possible to their needs. Low relevancy ads are spam, but highly relevant ads are actually content!

Fundamentally, Eric’s Holiday Letter aspires to be the most respected advertising platform in the world that strengthens your brand and grows your enterprise. To everyone who has partnered with us, I thank you. Let us build something extraordinary together! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Eric and Elon

Friday, December 31, 2021

Eric’s Holiday Letter, December 2021

Dear friends and family,

What a year. I feel like I fell out of the lucky tree, hit every branch on the way down, and ended up in a pool of cash and Sour Patch Kids. After my recent success writing a local American holiday letter, I was invited this year to edit an English Premier League letter in London called KFC Twickenham. I originally assumed, as you probably did, that KFC stood for Kentucky Fried Chicken, but it doesn’t. It stands for Keepers of Festive Christmas letters, which, now that I think about it, makes more sense.

I started the year leading the staff remotely via Zoom, but over the summer we started a hybrid work plan. I would work from home in Burbank, California, on Mondays and Wednesdays and commute to London, England, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I always used to complain about my commute here in Los Angeles, but, let me tell you, commuting from Los Angeles to London is somehow even worse! I’m glad the letter-writing season is over.

It was not always smooth sailing. When I first started editing the letter, my writers did not immediately accept me. They complained that I used Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary instead of the Oxford English Dictionary and said I didn’t belong there. But I gradually won them over with my relentless positivity. And cookies. I handed out cookies. Honestly, I just bought shortbread cookies at Marks & Spencer and repackaged them. They were perfectly fine. But, for some reason, people went crazy for them, shoveling them into their mouths like they hadn’t eaten anything in a month. I don’t know what that was about.

It took more than relentless positivity and cookies, though, to win them over. It also took charm. This mainly involved insulting their tea. The British love that. When I was asked “how do you take your tea?” I would say, “Well, I usually take it right over to the sink and pour it down the drain because tea is horrible garbage water.” Charm.

I had several challenges to overcome. My star writer, Jimmy Torte, refused to share writing credit with the rest of the team. The gruff but loveable copy editor, Ray York, was a longtime veteran of holiday letters, but he was having a little trouble keeping up with the younger writers. His elbows just weren’t up to the grueling writing schedule anymore. My newest recruit, Tony Velas, seemed like a breath of fresh air, with his constant refrain of “Metaphors are life!” But then he suffered from a severe case of writer’s block known as the yaps. And, as if that weren’t enough, I had to find a new sponsor for my letter, because my previous sponsor, Exoskeleton Oil, was polluting the ocean. Finding the right sponsor meant attending a lot of branding meetings. I always feel so bad for the cows, but you have to do it, otherwise they get lost.

I don’t blame my writers or the fans for doubting me. There really are differences between holiday letters in the US and UK. For example, in the US you put a holiday letter in an envelope, but in the UK you put it in the boot. In the US you write holiday letters in an office, but in the UK they are written in a lift. And lifts can be different sizes! Letters in the US always end in a win or a loss, but in the UK a letter can also end in a tie! I kept forgetting that! But the most important thing to know is that in the UK the Premier League letters don’t necessarily stay in the Premier League. If the letter isn’t good enough, it can be relegated to a less significant holiday. Instead of writing for Christmas, you might get stuck writing a Summer Bank Holiday letter. It’s humiliating.

And that brings me to the biggest shocker of the holiday season. It turns out my boss, Susanna, didn’t hire me because she thought I was the best editor. She hired me because she thought I would fail and the letter would suffer relegation. I know, right? Who would intentionally sabotage a holiday letter? Well, it turns out this holiday letter was the only thing her former business partner ever cared about and she wanted to destroy it in an act of revenge. She set up a newspaper interview for me, knowing that I would make a fool of myself. I fell for her plan and agreed to the interview. So I met the reporter at a restaurant and ordered the wrong thing, as I always do. But a funny thing happened. The reporter, Trevor Grims of The Independent, ended up writing a positive piece about me:

TREVOR GRIMS: “Trevor Grims, The Independent.”

Yes, we know. I just said that.

TREVOR GRIMS: “Right. Sorry. Whatever you think of Eric as a writer of holiday letters, I assure you the truth is harder to swallow. And swallow you must, because Eric is out there either bravely or stupidly writing this letter. That’s for you to decide. And yes, he’s in over his head. He started writing this letter and now has no idea how to end it. But if the Eric way is wrong, it’s hard to imagine being right. In a letter that’s supposed to be about the holidays, Eric makes everything about himself. His style is never subtle. It hits you over the head. Whether that means referencing twelve hours of television that may mean nothing to many people or eating food so spicy it’s sure to wreak massive havoc on his intestinal system. And though I believe this letter will be a disaster, I can’t help but root for him.”

OK, well, the part about the spicy food was maybe a little more detail than we needed, but other than that, I think those kind words were just what we needed to get through this letter. Writing this letter this year has been a real rollercoaster. After a bad start to the year and losing the Valentine’s Day letter to Crystal Palace, things looked like they were going well in the spring, when we wrote a better Easter letter than Everton for the first time in 60 years. By summer, though, we weren’t making as much progress as we’d hoped, with a string of ties so long that it threatened to tie the record for the most ties, which is currently a tie. Then, at the end of the season, just when we thought our defenses were strong enough to save us from relegation, we were hit with a series of surprise trick plays, including the Midnight Hyperbole, Loki’s Euphemism, and the Omicron Variant. But we aren’t going to give up. We have work to do. Next year we’re going to come back from relegation, get promoted back to the Premier League, and then we’re going to win the whole darn thing!

TONY VELAS: “Metaphors are life!”

That’s right, Tony! It’s good to have you back! In the letter industry, the term “bend it” means to put a twist on the story, as in “bend it like O. Henry.” So I’m going to end with this:

You know what the happiest animal on earth is? It’s a goldfish. You know why? Ten second memory. When a goldfish experiences disappointment, it immediately forgets about it. And doesn’t learn anything. And then eats so much it explodes. Don’t be a goldfish. But do have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!



Thursday, December 31, 2020


Recent photo of those damn bears who refuse to shit in the woods

Eric’s Holiday Letter 2020

Dear friends and family,

In these unusual times, at least there is one thing we can count on: we still have to sit through advertisements for Viking River Cruises every week on PBS, even though we can’t go on Viking River Cruises.

I’m sure many of you were wondering if it would be possible to produce Eric’s Holiday Letter during a global pandemic. Well, thanks to millions of dollars in federal grants and small business loans, the answer is yes.

I am pleased to tell you I have not had to lay off any of the medieval monks who hand transcribe each copy of my letter that is sent out. I never paid them anyway, but I do provide room and board.

I have been working closely with city and county officials to create a clear set of guidelines for producing and reading this letter. These guidelines will vary depending on your location, so please consult your own local officials before reading.

First, the most important thing is to make sure you thoroughly disinfect the outside of the envelope before you open and read this letter. I recommend using a solution of 70% alcohol and 40% bleach. Don’t worry that it adds up to more than 100%. Math has been cancelled this year.

Next, make sure you wash your hands. I’ll wait.

That was not twenty seconds. Try again.

OK, good. You should read this letter outdoors and at a distance of at least six feet. Use binoculars if you need to. Please don’t read this letter in person to a large group of strangers. Read it to members of your own household, whether they want you to or not.

The stamps and return address labels used for this letter are self-adhesive. The envelopes were sealed using a damp sponge. I did not lick any part of this letter, even though I wanted to.

In order to get through the reading of this letter safely, California has developed a simple roadmap to recovery that uses color-coded tiers. Once you meet certain benchmarks, you may move into a less restrictive tier. If you fail to meet those benchmarks, you may be forced back into a more restrictive tier.

The colors California has chosen for the tiers don’t have immediate associations for most people, such as red, yellow, and green. We try to be a little more creative here on the Left Coast. So, for those of you not living in California, I thought I would share our color-coded tier system with you:

Cerulean: This is either the first tier or the last tier, depending on which direction you are facing. It really does make a big difference, so try to face in the right direction.

Classic Blue: Pantone color of the year for 2020 is Classic Blue, intended to promote calm reflection, which perfectly captures the essence of the past year. In this tier everyone must watch Tiger King and then regret it.

Teal: Nobody knows exactly what this tier means, but we’re pretty sure it’s not good.

Dusty Rose: In this tier you should avoid elective surgery. In the next tier, though, you can get surgery just for fun!

Salmon: Is this the darker orange color of raw salmon or the lighter pink color of cooked salmon? You will be stuck in this tier until you figure it out.

Medium Gray: If you print out the California tier system on a black-and-white printer, every tier will be this tier. In this tier you must stand by your door 24 hours a day waiting for Amazon packages.

Burnt Umber: Don’t ask.

Midnight Pink: This is the tier in which pink becomes so dark that it is not actually pink anymore and should really be renamed. In this tier you are allowed to eat at outdoor dining venues and get a tattoo. But you have to do both.

Corduroy: This isn’t even a color so you don’t need to do anything special in this tier.

Lemon: This is basically yellow. In this tier you should still be able to buy toilet paper but it won’t be a brand of toilet paper you would ever want to use. You will buy it anyway and stick it in the back of your garage with the thought that you will only use it if you exhaust all other options, such as using actual sandpaper.

Lime: This tier is kind of a light green. OK, so remember that emergency toilet paper in the back of your garage? You’re going to have to use it now.

Lymon: This tier is the portmanteau of lemon and lime that was coined for the soft drink Sprite. Sprite is completely clear, so that is the color of this tier. In this tier you are advised to just forget that toilet paper was a thing that existed. Have you ever used a bidet? It’s pretty nice.

Fire Engine Beige: Imagine if fire trucks were beige instead of red; well, that’s the exact shade of beige that this tier is. In this tier you are allowed to shower and put on pants. In fact, you have been allowed to do that in every tier. You know that, right?

Frequently Asked Questions:

1)      Q: Wouldn’t it make more sense to use numbers for the tiers, instead of random colors? A: Yes, that would make more sense.

2)      Q: When will there be a widely available vaccine to protect us from getting these holiday letters? A: Sadly, even when a vaccine becomes available, it may not provide permanent immunity, meaning you will probably get another letter next year.

3)      Q: When this is all over, will I be able to play the piano? A: Could you play the piano before? Q: No. A: Then you will still not be able to play the piano.

4)      Q: What should I do with this letter? A: For the sake of humanity, the CDC has recommended that you destroy this letter. Just like every year.

Stay safe and wear a mask! Happy Holidays! Wishing you all the best for 2021!



Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Recent Photo of Judge William Stoughton


Dear friends and family, I would like to wish you a good Christmas. Please indulge my preference for using the word “good.” Merriment can sometimes imply partying or tipsiness and wishing people a drunken Christmas is considered just a tiny bit incredibly blasphemous here in 17th-century New England. I almost went with “happy” but that means good luck or good fortune and I was afraid I might be jailed for the promotion of gambling. You can’t be too careful these days. Well, what a year. Witch hunts, am I right? They seem to be getting out of control.

I heard that the witch hunt started earlier this year when some young girls were caught dancing around in the woods. I think we can all agree that this was dangerous behavior. It is well understood in the alchemical community that dancing around is a gateway body movement that can lead to ballet or even worse. But come on, people! This is 1692! We should be able to find a way to appropriately punish people for dancing without completely destroying the colony in the process!

Now it seems like wherever I go someone points at me and screams that they can see the devil whispering in my ear and I’m like, What? That’s terrifying! I don’t see anything! I’m starting to think they are just making it up. And why are people always asking me to name all the other witches? So, just because I’m a witch and another person is a witch, we must know each other? That’s offensive. Also, I did not put any spells on your livestock. If your cows are hovering a few inches off the ground or your chickens are composing poetry, it has nothing to do with me. I understand it’s annoying. Some chicken poetry is, frankly, not very good.

This summer we entered into a new phase of the witch hunts. A new royal governor, William Phips, was appointed by the co-rulers of England, King William and Queen Mary. Phips arrived from England in July and met with Lt. Governor William Stoughton, a colonial land developer and reality star turned judge and politician. Stoughton became famous as the owner of the Miss Colonies competition and a series of trials called “The Apprent-Witch,” in which he would end every trial with his favorite catchphrase “You’re guilty!”

I became aware of the transcript for the meeting between Stoughton and Phips. I believe the transcript demonstrates undue pressure on the newly appointed representative of the English crown to announce phony investigations in order to further Stoughton’s own personal interest in prosecuting witches at the expense of the common good. I decided to become a whistleblower, despite the Puritan sumptuary laws that list whistles as unnecessary luxury items, along with lace and buttons.


William Stoughton: Wow, can you believe this witch hunt?

Governor Phips: Your witch hunt has been very impressive.


Governor Phips: Yes, it’s awesome.

Stoughton: By the way, congratulations on England’s Glorious Revolution of 1689. We all watched from the colonies and you did a terrific job. The way they came from behind, and then William and Mary ended up winning the monarchy easily. It’s a fantastic achievement.

Governor Phips: You are absolutely right. William and Mary did win big. I’m able to tell you the following: the first time we overthrew King Charles you wrote to congratulate me and then when we overthrew King James you are now congratulating me again. I think we should overthrow more kings so you can keep congratulating me and we can talk more often.

Stoughton: [laughter] That’s a very good idea. I think England is very happy about that.

Governor Phips: Well, yes, to tell you the truth, we are trying to work hard because we wanted to drain the swamp in England. We brought in new monarchs. Not the old monarchs, not the typical monarchs, where we only had one at a time. No, now we have two co-ruling monarchs at the same time, because we want to have a new format and a new type of government. And the Massachusetts Bay Colony is very important to the crown.

Stoughton: Well, it’s very nice of you to say that. I will say that we do a lot for England. We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time hunting witches. Much more than the other colonies. Virginia does almost nothing as far as witches. When I was speaking to the governor of Virginia, he talks about witches, but he doesn’t do anything. A lot of the colonies are the same way but the Massachusetts Bay Colony has been very good for England as far as hunting witches. I wouldn’t say that it’s reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good but the Massachusetts Bay Colony has been very very good to England.

Governor Phips: Yes, you are absolutely right. Not only 100%, but actually 1000%. And I am ready to continue to cooperate with you on the next steps in the prosecution of the witches. That is why I commissioned a Special Court of Oyer and Terminer to handle the large number of accused witches. But, here’s the thing: you are a wealthy real estate developer in the colony and I just arrived from England as the newly appointed royal governor, so I really need your strong support or I won’t be able to stand up to our adversaries. And I’m really relying on defense spending for Maine, which has been invaded by the French.

Stoughton: I would like you to do us a favor, though.

Governor Phips: Does it have to do with witches?

Stoughton: Absolutely. I would like you to find out what happened with a ship called The Crowdstrike. They say there is a secret chest full of letters and the chest was sent on The Crowdstrike to England. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation. It has to do with the Clintons, as most things do. I am of course referring to Lawrence and Rachel (née Haffield) Clinton. Rachel Clinton was accused of witchcraft in March in the neighboring town of Ipswich. Clinton holds no public office, but I am still completely obsessed with her and want to lock her up. It is vitally important that Clinton’s missing letters be found. I would like to have Rev. Cotton Mather talk to you and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. Cotton Mather is a highly respected minister from Boston who literally wrote the book on witchcraft. He is the major figure pushing the theory that the devil can only take your form with your permission. Mather very much knows what’s happening with the witches and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great. The accused witch--the woman--was bad news and the other witches she was dealing with in Salem were bad news so I just want to let you know that.

Governor Phips: In regards to the witch named Clinton, it was great that you were the first one who told me that she was bad because I agree with you 100%.

Stoughton: Well, she’s going to go through some things. I will have Cotton Mather contact you and we will get to the bottom of it. I’m sure you will figure it out. The other thing: there’s a lot of talk about Cotton Mather’s father, Rev. Increase Mather. The father has been publishing a lot of FAKE NEWS about how spectral evidence should not be used to convict witches. A lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do would be great. The father is going around bragging that he can stop the witch prosecutions and that would be bad for me, so if you could announce an investigation into him, it would really help me out.

Governor Phips: Okay. Maybe we can meet again in Boston hopefully. We can either take my ship or we can take your ship, which is probably much better than mine.

Stoughton: Sure, we can work that out. I look forward to seeing you maybe in Boston and I will have Cotton Mather contact you.

Governor Phips: Thank you very much. Merry Christmas. Bye-bye.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Christmas 2018

Eric testified Thursday in front of the Senate Correspondence Committee about accusations of forgery leveled against him by the late Peggy Schuyler, sister-in-law to the famed politician and rap sensation Alexander Hamilton. The following is the transcript of Eric’s opening statement, as prepared by The New York Times:

Mr. Chairman, readers of my holiday letters, and members of the Senate Correspondence Committee, thank you for allowing me to make my statement. I wrote it all by myself yesterday afternoon and evening. Nobody helped me. Nobody has seen it, other than Amy and Julie and Laura and Karen and Susie and Maura and Megan and Nicki. The list goes on. Yes, I was drunk when I wrote it. I like beer.
Last year, after I sent a holiday letter purportedly written by Peggy Schuyler in 1773, I was publicly accused of forging the letter. I denied the allegation immediately, categorically, and unequivocally. Most of the people who read the letter said they don’t recall that it was a holiday letter. In fact, many said under penalty of felony that they do not even know me! And that includes Amy and Julie and Laura and Karen and Susie and Maura and Megan and Nicki. The list goes on. Think about that fact.
The day after the allegation appeared, I told this committee that I wanted to write another holiday letter as soon as possible to clear my name. I demanded that Christmas be held again the very next day! Unfortunately, it took an ENTIRE YEAR before we could have another Christmas. In that very long year, as was predictable and as I predicted, my name has been totally and permanently destroyed by vicious and false additional accusations. The year-long delay has been harmful to me, to holiday letters in general, and to the country.
I have been accused not just of forgery, but also of plagiarism! It’s been suggested that my holiday letters are nothing more than stolen movie scripts, song lyrics, or transcripts from Senate hearings that have only minor changes. These reckless accusations have ruined my reputation. I will now never have the opportunity to pilot a Boeing 747 or coach women’s basketball, two things I might have enjoyed. Now I’ll never know. It’s so unfair. Interestingly, nobody ever mentions all the authors who I haven’t plagiarized. And there are many of them! To my knowledge, I have never stolen the work of Tennessee Williams. OK, that was a shorter list than I thought it would be, but I’ve made my point.
Since I wrote my last holiday letter, there’s been a frenzy to come up with something--anything--to block me from writing another one. One recipient said he would “oppose me with everything he’s got.” Another reader said, “Eric’s holiday letter is your worst nightmare and will threaten the lives of millions of Americans for decades to come.” That’s probably an exaggeration. And then, as no doubt was expected, if not planned, came a long series of false last-minute smears designed to drive me out of the letter-writing process. This whole effort has been revenge on behalf of the Clintons, who have never forgiven me for that time I attended a fundraiser and stole a decorative soap from their powder room. This is a circus! Yes, I drank beer with my friends. Almost everyone did. Sometimes I had too many beers. I liked beer. I still like beer. But I did not drink beer to the point of blacking out and forging letters. If every American who drinks beer and writes letters that are supposed to be by someone else is suddenly presumed guilty of forgery, we’ll be in an ugly new place in this country.  

I am an optimistic guy. I always try to be on the sunrise side of the mountain. But today, I have to say that I fear for the future of holiday letters. Allegations of forgery must always be taken seriously. At the same time, the person who is the subject of the allegations also deserves to be heard. Due process is the foundation of holiday letters. I’m not questioning that Ms. Schuyler may have had a letter forged by some person in some place at some time. But I have never forged a letter by her or anyone. That’s not who I am; it is not who I was. I intend no ill will to Peggy Schuyler or the Schuyler sisters.
First, Peggy Schuyler’s allegation stems from a forgery that is alleged to have occurred in December of 2017, when I was only fifty years old. Just a child, really. Second, Peggy Schuyler and I did not travel in the same social circles. It’s possible we met at some point at some event, although I do not recall that. In fact, it is very unlikely that we ever met at all, because she died in 1801. To repeat, the very person whose letter I am accused of forging has not confirmed any of this because she is dead. These allegations are uncorroborated. Further, nobody mentioned in the letter has come forward to support the accusation. This includes Alexander Hamilton and King George III, who are both also dead. Coincidence?
Third, I have submitted to this committee detailed calendars recording my activities in December 2017. Let me explain to you the very special way I use calendars. Sometimes I write something down in a calendar to remind me to do that thing on a specific date in the future. But--here’s the exciting part--I can also look at a date from the past and see if I wrote down something for that date. If I did, it could offer a clue about something I did on that day. I know. I’m a genius, right? So, the forgery described by Ms. Schuyler presumably happened on a weekend because that is when I do my forgeries. Well, if it did happen on a weekend, my calendars show that I was too busy to have forged any letters. Especially such a high-quality and hilarious letter as the one I am being accused of writing. My calendar shows that I was busy almost every weekend night in December. I spent one weekend night at a small holiday gathering at Becky’s house with Matt, Denise, Lori, and Jenny. Their names are all listed on my calendar, which is not weird at all. All we did at that gathering was sit around and talk and drink a few hundred beers and forge letters. So let me emphasize this point: if the forgery described by Ms. Schuyler happened in December of 2017 on a weekend night, my calendar shows all but definitively I could not have done it.
The committee also has a letter that I forged from 65 writers who knew me last year. They said I always plagiarized them with dignity and respect. One of those writers, Gertrude Stein, sent me a text last night that read, “Deep breaths, you’re a good man, a good man.” A text I received yesterday from Jane Austen read: “Eric, be strong. Pulling for you to my core.” Or read the op-ed Eleanor Roosevelt wrote about me in 1936: “Eric was an advocate for young women like me. He encouraged me to take on more responsibility and to feel confident in my role. Eric gave me the opportunity to help with the preparation and review of the president’s remarks, something I never would have had the chance to do if he had not included me.” Wow. Powerful words from Eleanor Roosevelt.
As I said in my opening statement the last time I was with you: Cherish your friends, look out for your friends, lift up your friends, love your friends. And that includes Amy and Julie and Laura and Karen and Susie and Maura and Megan and Nicki. The list goes on. I wish all my friends and family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

[Happy New Year! This year Eric3000, Certified Archivist, presents a long-lost manuscript recently discovered in the church archives of Our Lady of Perpetual Deregulation. Enjoy!]

The Schuyler Sisters’ Holiday Letter 1773

Dearest friends and neighbours,

I embrace this opportunity to enquire as to your health and happiness and, if it should amuse you, communicate a few sentiments to you as well as inform you of some of the events of the past year. This year ‘tis I, Peggy Schuyler, who shall endeavour to write on behalf of the Schuyler Sisters and I pray you do not protest this imposition or take offense at my musings.

First, I should be obliged to you for humouring me as I recount the events that granted me the liberty of a free afternoon to place quill to vellum. My sisters, Angelica and Elizabeth, have gone downtown in search of a “mind at work.” Yes, that is apparently a thing that people do now. They have been embarking on these expeditions for well-nigh a fortnight. I expect they think it sounds better than “flirting with sailors,” but we all know what they are up to. I had actually gone after them this morning and they were all astonishment when they saw me. They asked how it was that I should be there. I told them that I had taken the 405 to the 101 to Laurel Canyon and then taken Sunset to Vermont. They stared in disbelief and then said, “Dear sister, you were a fool not to have taken San Vicente.” I had to explain that I was making a small joke. I reminded them about the pantomime troupe that performs skits on Saturday nights in what will become Rockefeller Centre. They do a skit called “The Californians,” which pokes fun at the Spanish for constantly complaining about all the donkey traffic when traveling about the pueblo of Los Angeles. As usual, nobody knew what I was talking about. 

Anyway, I expressed that their imprudent excursions were causing a perturbation of my spirits, to which Angelica hastily responded, “You are free to go.” So I was like, “whatever.” I told them, “Sisters, if you wish to see me gone, I shall avail myself of the opportunity to write a holiday letter.” They graciously informed me that Michealmas was long past. I said that they knew full well I was referring to the holidays that occur at the end of the calendar year, such as Christmas, Chanukah, New Year’s, and Saint Wiggin’s Day. They said anything that would get me to leave them in peace would be to their satisfaction and that I could write the letter and then they would sign their names to it when they returned home. Oy, with those two. 

Before I took my leave, Elizabeth reminded me of the need to procure stamps. I told her stamps had not yet been invented. She asked why there was a Stamp Act if there were no stamps. I tried to explain that it had to do with taxes and she said, “Oh, yes, just like when the king put the tax on tea, causing the revolt in Boston.” I told her that was a common misperception but that parliament had actually refunded an import tax on British tea in order to make it competitive with smuggled Dutch tea and that was a vexation to the smugglers. So the Boston Tea Party was really in response to reducing taxes, not raising them. I supposed she would find that amusing, but instead she told me, “Peggy, you ruin everything.”

Speaking of which, can you believe George III is still the king? What a nincompoop. He is no better than a common mountebank. An acquaintance actually said to me once, “Well, he had to have done something right if he became king.” I told the person that King George inherited that title and it had nothing to do with his accomplishments. The only thing he knows how to do is colonize a country, slap his name on it, and then run it into the ground. Everything seems to have the royal warrant on it: King George steaks, the Province of Georgia, which is actually not all bad, and, of course, King George University, which is an utter sham! The lessons are just sales pitches to get you to buy a timeshare in the territory of Florida, whatever that means.

Well, other than the constant duels, life has been pretty good. I confess to being a little weary of everyone breaking into song all the time, though. ‘Tis like a def poetry slam every time one walks down the street. Rhymes be the hottest commodity at the moment and ‘tis making fortunes and ruining lives. People have invested their entire life savings in a word and when the rhymes run out, they have been known to jump off a building. Fortunately, our tallest buildings are two stories high and our streets are paved with only the highest quality horse manure, which breaks the fall. But I still wonder when this madness will end. The other day, there was panic and chaos when it appeared that there were no more rhymes for the word “sir.” Experts said it would be worse than the tulip mania of the 1630s or the South Sea bubble of 1720. But then, out of nowhere, Mr. Burr, whose name coincidentally rhymes with “sir,” realized that the word “bursar” would work. We held a parade in his honour.

And Mr. Burr is not the only politician to be speculating in rhymes. I am not at present able to think of another more agreeable than Mr. Hamilton, who has mad rhyming skills and a face straight out of a ten pound promissory note. Elizabeth formed a particular attachment to him and it is now commonly believed they have an understanding. Correction: in the time it took to write that sentence, they became engaged and were wed. Events are full of expediency here. Angelica gave the toast at the wedding and sang a song about how she was secretly in love with our sister’s new husband and that she had actually let her have him. Then she asked, “Oh, did I just sing that out loud?” You can imagine my vexation. I have not the least doubt as to our lack of wanting for all the silliness of a Mozart operetta.

Our compliments to you and yours, &c., &c.,

Your devoted and faithful friends,

Angelica and Elizabeth Schuyler (and peggy)

Monday, January 02, 2017

Eric playing the theremin

Making Eric’s Holiday Letters Great Again! 2016

Let’s be real, folks. Eric’s Holiday Letters have been a complete disaster. Sad. Pathetic. But I’m here to tell you I’m going to make them great again! They are going to be amazing! Huge! And I’m the best person to do this because I have the best words. Also, I have the best holiday spirit. And if you disagree, I will take you to court and you will be sorry. Believe me. Let me tell you my plan:

But first, let me just answer the most common question I get about these holiday letters. A lot of people ask me – and these are tremendous people, by the way – they ask, “Eric, how can you even type these letters with your tiny, tiny hands?” Well, let me just assure you that my hands are a perfectly normal size. I can reach all the keys on the keyboard, if you know what I mean. So don’t worry about that.

Now on to my plan to make these letters great again. And can I just say how amazing you all are? You are the best people in the world. And I’m not afraid to say it. Unlike those other people. You know who I’m talking about. The ones who ask, “Why would anyone read this? It’s not even a real letter. Eric is just writing it to get attention. He has no idea what he’s doing. In fact, he’s dangerously incompetent. We’re terrified.” Don’t listen to those people. They’re losers.

You know, many people are saying that the Dutch are receiving all our best holiday letters now. Many people are saying that. We are getting killed on this, folks. The Dutch are killing us. Kill. Ing. Us. And what do we get in return? Cheese. Really good cheese. But that’s not the point. The point is I’m bringing these letters back.

Specifics? You want specifics? I’ll give you specifics. I’ll be so specific your head will spin. The first thing I’m going to do is order stamps. That’s right. I’m just going to do it right away. That’s how I get things done. By just doing them. And you know what? I don’t just order stamps; I order extra stamps. More than I actually need. But here’s the best part: I don’t throw away those extra stamps. No, I use them to mail bills the rest of the year. It’s so simple. See, this is what holiday letters need: someone who isn’t afraid to shake things up. I’m not being braggadocious. I’m just telling you I’m the best.

So, if I send out these holiday letters – and I really hope I do, but if I don’t it isn’t my fault – I’m going to have my stamps ready on day one. Envelopes? No, that’s the old way of doing things. I’m eliminating envelopes and replacing them with something amazing. I’ll be releasing the details soon. I’m going to keep you in suspense. But believe me, you’ll love it. You’ll wonder why nobody did it before.

OK, remember when I said I didn’t need envelopes? Well, I never said that. Obviously, I need envelopes. Whoever said I don’t need envelopes is not very smart. Well, don’t worry. I’m going to fix this mess someone got us into. I’m getting envelopes. I know. It’s an amazing idea. You’re welcome.

Wait, so this is actually happening? I’m really sending out these holiday letters? Are you sure it’s not a mistake? I know I talked about it, but I didn’t really think it would happen. OK, I can do this. I know more about sending letters than the Postmaster General. Believe me. Yes, of course I have return-address labels! I have the best return address labels in the world! (Note to self: look into this return-address-label issue.)

So, let me just tell you with all sincerity – and I can produce a statement from my personal physician attesting to the fact that I am the most sincere person who has ever lived – that I am wishing you all the happiest of holidays! Many people are saying this is the greatest holiday letter they have ever read!

Sunday, December 27, 2015


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Last updated: December 2015

Friday, December 26, 2014

left to right: Simon Le Bon, Bob Geldof, Phil Collins, Bono, Eric, Sting, George Michael
So, I was listening to a cooking show on the radio the other day as I was driving home from work--and this wasn’t even the classy public radio cooking show; this was just the cooking show on the traffic station. Anyway, the host was talking about rice and she happened to mention that in the olden days processed rice was covered in talc to make it look nicer, but recently they stopped doing that so you don’t have to rinse the talc off anymore before you cook it. Just to recap, YOU AREN’T SUPPOSED TO RINSE RICE ANYMORE! I had no idea! I feel like such a fool! Well, as you can imagine, I’ve wasted so much of the past year unnecessarily rinsing my rice that I haven’t had time to do anything else!

And now it’s time for my annual holiday letter and I don’t have anything written. What am I to do? Well, I just realized this is the twenty-fifth anniversary of my holiday letter, so I’ll write about that. I think I wrote the first one back in 1989. I remember it well, because it was before typewriters were invented, so I wrote it by the shape of a Christmas tree. Many of you wouldn’t have received those early editions because the circulation was pretty small back then. But since then it’s been spreading. From a single, isolated copy here on my computer in Burbank, it’s been transmitted to friends and family in several states and even to other countries.

FOX NEWS: “Why isn’t the president doing anything to protect us from this growing threat?!”

THE PRESIDENT: “You’re overreacting.”

FOX NEWS: “We aren’t overreacting! We’re just reacting more than the appropriate amount! We need to shut down the entire US Postal Service until this holiday letter can be contained! It just makes common sense!”

THE PRESIDENT: “If you do that, you’ll just force these letters underground and then we won’t be able to track them. It would be counterproductive. Look, I know you’re scared. These letters get more ridiculous every year. I get it. But we have the situation under control. In fact, I’ve just appointed a Holiday Letter Czar.”

Well, that should do it. But, just in case, I think we also need a benefit concert for all the people who have had to read these letters for so many years. In honor of the twenty-fifth anniversary of this letter, we’ve invited back all our old favorites. Several versions of Eric from over the years will be joining us:

1989 ERIC: “Duuuude!”
1993 ERIC: “Dude, where’s my car?”
1998 ERIC: “Ahoy, mateys!” (Remember that year I became a pirate?)
2002 ERIC: “Whassup?!” (Remember that year I became really annoying?)

No, I don’t remember that, either. Anyway, we also have some real singers to help out:

STING: “I’m honored to be here.”
BONO: “Anything for you, man.”
ADELE: “Sorry, I can’t. I have that thing.”

What thing?

ADELE: “Dignity. But I’m giving money to Doctors Without Borders, so please stop calling me.”

OK, we’ll just have to do this without Adele. We’ll be singing the classic 1984 Band Aid song Do They Know It’s a Christmas Letter (Read the World). I hope you remember it. Please feel free to sing along:

STING: “At Christmastime, there’s no need to be afraid. You’ll get this letter, but that’s the price to be paid.”

BOY GEORGE: “And in this world of plenty, there’s so little time to spare. But you’re stuck reading this at Christmastime.”

GEORGE MICHAEL: “But say a prayer. Pray for the other ones. At Christmastime, but when you’re having fun...”

BANANARAMA: “There’s a world outside your window that endured these letters for twenty-five years. And the only water flowing was the bitter sting of tears. And the postman’s bell that rang there was the clanging chime of doom...”

BONO: “Well, tonight thank God it was them instead of you!”

CHORUS: “And there won’t be snow in Burbank this Christmastime. The greatest gift they’ll get this year is rain. Where the letters make no sense, they’re so meta and too dense. Do they know it’s a Christmas letter at all?”

SIMON LE BON: “Here’s to you, reading a letter about reading a letter. Here’s to them, let’s hope the next one’s a little better! Do they know it’s a Christmas letter at all?”

CHORUS: “Read the wo-orld. Let them know it’s Christmastime. Read the wo-orld. Let them know…”

OK, I’m going to have to stop you there. It doesn’t usually snow in Burbank anyway. And, while “read the world” does rhyme with “feed the world,” it doesn’t really mean anything. Other than that, the song was perfect and you all sound great! And we’ve helped raise awareness of holiday letters. Most important, you’ve made it to the end of another one. Wishing you all the best for 2015! 

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Sorry! Can't do it this season! I love writing these posts, but they do take up most of my weekends and I just don't have enough time right now.

"I don't understand why we need to explain ourselves to THEM!"
Well, Nina, I thought the polite thing would be to at least put up a quick post so people don't wonder what happened to me.

NINA: "Do what you like. I answer only to God."