Holiday Chain Letters

They come around again and again. It seems people forget they have already received or even re-shared them the year before, and the year before that.

This explains why the same old Halloween and Christmas jokes, stories, cautions, religious rants, and any type of holiday chain letters explode onto the internet every year. To a slightly lesser extent, Easter, American Thanksgiving and other holiday chain letters do as well.

Unfortunately, Christmas is the holiday that gets the biggest wallop from memes.

Don't believe or spreadthat mewling chain letter telling you which charities not to give to. It's packed with exaggerated, outdated, and outright false nonsense.

Silly students try to make it snow with chain letters, spoons and pajamas!

Then there's the notorious cyber snowball that has been sploshing its way around the net for years, thrilling some newbies, and irritating the living daylights out of people like me.

No, Virginia, Santa is not dead. The pictures are fake and from chain letters and got a news outlet in trouble No good comes of a bad joke.

Email Scams and Security Threats at Christmas

Holiday memes - if anything, the rate and number of chain letters go up around holiday time, especially Christmas.

Archive of some Christmas jokes passed around in chain letters The Ultimate Drunken Fruitcake Recipe Chain Christmas Carols for the Chemically Imbalanced joke chain posted on Necrosys's Livejournal

a doggy Christmas video chain letter made the rounds in the 2008 Christmas season.

Ho Ho Holdit! What's wrong with Santa's laugh?

In 2007, a rumor went around, claiming Santa's laugh was forceably being changed from "Ho ho ho" to "Ha ha ha" to avoid frightening children and offending North American women.

Bollox. There's nothing the matter with his laugh, it is not being forcibly changed. Don't let any chain letter tell you otherwise.

Rudolph's Story on Wikipedia can save you having to read a mushy meme re-share and give you the real story all at the same time. Remember that the next time someone posts that chain letter on a social network or sends it to your email.

It seems everybody makes up or at least passes on so many different take-offs on "Twas the Night Before Christmas" Some are meant to pull the heart-strings and others to put you in stitches.

Soldier's Night Before Christmas is just one of many Night Before Christmas chain letters to go around every year.

Soldier's Night Before Christmas chain posted on

Julie Chaterbox's Wordpress blog.

Miss Ginger Grant's blog

Redneck jokes are among very commonly shared memes, and yes, we get a dreaded combination here of the Redneck Night Before Christmas!

There are different versions, and one of them was actually featured in the skit part of our church Christmas banquet in 2012, much to my suspicion, only to be confirmed when I looked it up on the net the next day. Urgh. The other Redneck Night Before Christmas is among the list of NBC parody chains on The UrbanLegends.about.com site. run by a liberal. They can rant all day about political chain letters but boy oh boy do they love their joke chain letters!

Politically Correct Santa's Night Before Christmas is just another one that unfortunately gets conservatives laughing and spreading it every year. I was one of the laughers the first Christmas I was on the net, but a couple of Christmases later, having received/seen re-shared by so many different sources, and I was ready to put myself in an induced coma to stop the pain!

The more these chain letters are passed around and reposted, the more one may begin to appreciate the original "Night Before Christmas" poem. All copycats have definitely lost their charm.

Twas The Month Before Christmas

This blog has a fantastic entry concerning the dreadful poem. Julianne responds with an absolutely brilliant poem of her own!

No, You Can't Send Holiday Cards to Any Wounded Soldier at Walter Reed But this site tells you what you can do to show support instead.

The 12 Days of Christmas is the subject of many chain letters. One of these is a myth going around claiming that the song was actually a religious song written in code, the idea was again that Christianity was being outlawed, banned, not allowed, and the song was written in code to secretly keep Christianity alive under the Christmas ban.

Not true.

The story just doesn't make sense since Christians were not outlawed in England in the 15th century, and it would've made more sense to have a song in code for the whole year, not just at Christmas time. If there was any sort of ban on public festivities, it would've been political, not specifically persecuting Christians.

The origins were more likely from a French children's game.

First article.

So read, remember what you can of the real story, and don't pass on that meme.

There are so many droll jokes about the song as well; such as the letter from one lover to another, complaining about all the gifts in the original song. Another being one of the lamest ideas yet "The 12 Days of Fast Food" has the drive-through giving the person twelve bags of pepto, 11 pounds of blubber, 10 items of fast food 9 items of fast food etc. etc. etc. all of course, based on the puritanic anti-fast food or anything that tastes good food-cop propaganda trend scares of the day, and the stereotypical beliefs that practically looking at a burger will gain you a thousand pounds - oh, please!

So, how about something a little more on track? The Twelve Days of Forwards!

The Christmas story of the White Envelopeis posted and with proper attribution in the Valley Bugler. It was a contest entry and a true story that first appeared in Woman's Day by Nancy W. Gavin in 1982. She won first prize for the story! But she has since passed away, and her son and family encourage people to read and enjoy the story. But they don't say we should pass it around in memes, especially with any "pass it on" strings and other hoax junk attached, and without due credit to the story's author.

Angels in Indianna, The glurge chain about a family getting a bunch of stuff from people they believe were angels posted on Brandon's blog Angels in Indiana or "The Big Wheel" is an unlikely "Touched by an Angel" or "Highway to Heaven" type story if you take it literally and believe there really were Angels in Indianna. Or it could be taken as a story about an incredible outpouring of generocity on the part of some unknown ordinary citizens toward one family. The problem with this glurge besides the fact that it is a meme, is also its inclusion in some versions of the "I Picked You" religious meme manipulation to get people praying an artificial prayer, and then spreading the meme further. The story is used as a means of getting people to pray more in the hopes that God will say "Yes" to them the same way he supposedly did in the story with these "angels." Used in this way, the tale becomes virtually worthless, and only the means to an end; which is always to get us replicating the meme.

Video Christmas chain letter that doesn't need to be passed on to teach people that Christmas is a time for giving. The Misha's Christmas glurge is an unverified tale about a Russian orphan boy who wanted to join Jesus in the manger to keep him warm and get some companionship for himself on Christmas. Like all unverifiable sad/touching story memes, the underlying goal is to be spread as far and wide as possible, tugging at your heart-strings to get it done..

So how about forgoing the needless tissue-drenching glurge memes in favor of watching a treasured Christmas special, spending time with the family, and giving something to the poor through a charity you trust instead?

Even businesses have got into the act of starting memes, usually this is because it's a way to promote themselves. This is called viral marketing.

Elf Yourself was a great example of this, though especially cringe-worthy for me.

OfficeMax created ElfYourself.com in November 2007. You can insert your jpg pictures and click a button to turn them into animated elves, and click another butten to send to friends. Can we say "chain letter"? That's what viral marketing is all about.

The recipient would get an elf, the note telling them you it is brought to you by Office Max, so that's the promotional bit. The chain letter part was the internet being inundated and squirming with so many people elfing themselves that by the time the holidays were over for that year, at least some of us wouldn't want to see another elf for a very, very long time. Yours truly found herself in a state of fixed cringe for quite some time.

The site had good audio, something definitely in its favor. The sleigh bells with a couple of claps thrown in every so often make a charming background sound.

But, it was a meme...!

It went away after the 2007 Christmas season, but sure enough, with the coming of the 2008 Christmas season came:

the Return of the Dreaded "Elf Yourself" - OH NO! and that is just one blog sighting.

It is likely to keep coming back every Christmas season in one form or another.

Also in 2008 came another meme that would surely pass the defences of even the most jaded netizens who are normally sick of chain letters. Pick A Cake Takes The Cake! When a great site gets the chain letter treatment.

Recipe Chain Letters, Still Not Okay

In 2012, cops started a safety Christmas card chain letter. I know they meant well, but, really? Why not just distribute pamphlets in the mail on extra safety precautions?

So, how about making it a holiday from memes instead of using Christmas as an excuse to replicate more of them? Please?


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