Some Families Dress Up for Halloween; My Family Dresses Up for Christmas Cards

There are a lot of things to love about the Christmas season. My sister-in-law loves shopping on Black Friday. My friend loves to host an annual cookie baking party. Ugly sweaters. The scent of pine. Eggnog. Fresh snow.

Me? I love Christmas cards. I love opening the mailbox each day in December and finding envelopes that reveal the faces of family and friends. Each one feels like a hug.

If you were lucky enough to receive the 2016 edition of the Kwasna Christmas card, you may have found yourself a little perplexed. It’s okay. You weren’t alone. Text messages to both me and my husband ranged from WTF? to Bravo!

We knew going in that there would be only a small percentage who would pick up on the allusion, but my husband argued that even if people didn’t quite get it, the picture would still be funny and awkward—his sole desire for a family Christmas card.

So we forged ahead, shopping for our outfits at Savers, purchasing the perfect wrist brace, crafting a ribbon-baton, and lovingly applying layer upon layer of red lipstick.

The result of our genius and hard work was this.


True, my mother-in-law was disturbed by it, and I’m fairly certain that there were other members of our family who found themselves scratching their heads. The last time we sent out an awkward Christmas card some relatives speculated I was drunk. Confusing the elderly was a risk we were willing to take. My husband would like nothing more than to have a secret hidden camera that records people’s reactions when they open our card.

The other night, he stopped by our friend’s house and was thoroughly amused to see all of her Christmas cards on display. Among the smiling, loving, happy families-perfectly coiffed and polished…there was ours. Like that one Hanukkah card, only better.

But our card was not just meant to be awkward. It was an homage to the Netflix series, Haters Back Off!, a show that clearly not enough people are watching. With its Napoleon Dynamite-like humor, we were hooked from the very first episode.


The main character, Miranda Sings, is a home-schooled, narcissistic, teenager who dreams of fame. Her creepy Uncle Jim reminisces about when he was a ribbon dancer in his high school’s color guard and attempts to catapult Miranda towards stardom with his 5-phase plan which starts with a viral YouTube video and ends with magic. Miranda’s mother-who works as a grocery store clerk-is a hypochondriac with “undiagnosed Fibromyalgia.” The only somewhat-normal member of the family is Miranda’s sister.

We started watching it on a whim and couldn’t stop. Some episodes left us laughing till we cried, and other times we gaped at the screen like rubberneckers at a gruesome crash. Either way, it was entertainment worthy of more than that one star it received.

If the goal of our Christmas card was to portray the show, as I finish up this post, I realize that on so many levels, we did a better job than I anticipated.

But the real goal of our card was simply to give everyone who got it a laugh, whether or not they got it. Yet for all those who didn’t get it, the next time you’re scrolling through Netflix and you see those tell-tale red lips, add Haters Back Off! to your list. After watching an episode, you might just find that our Christmas card becomes even funnier, if you’re not a hater, that is.



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