The New York Times published today the holiday cards of several Democratic senators and the C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S cards of their Republican counterparts. They basically look like the cards you get from your non-politician friends: some of them are lovely, and some of them suck sooo bad. We have ranked a select number of them below, to help you in voting and in life.

Winners’ Circle

A good holiday card starts with a photo of people. A card with a photo of a snow-covered tree? Forget it. People have Google and can look at snow-covered trees whenever they want. Holiday cards are for showing off your beautiful children, which Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) did this year in a truly stunning season’s greeting. The no-doubt countless hours his wife and kids spent uncomfortably posing for a professional photographer to produce this perfect vision were worth it. This is what the people want to see:

The card might only be improved if it included a dog. Rubio, get your kids a dog. It will be nice to have when you are not president.

Another great card comes from Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), who made the crucial decision to include babies in his photo.

Who are these babies? Grandchildren? Maybe, who cares. Imagine this photo without babies. Don’t want to!

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) is among the winners this year for one reason only. Cat.

The number one card, however, comes from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California).

The only thing better than a beautiful child is a beautiful dog.

Points for Theme

Sen. John Hoeven (R-North Dakota), Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire), and Sen. Steve Daines (R-Montana) all submitted to the Times cards that feature photos from their children’s weddings. I love to look at photos from any wedding, so these three get honorable mentions.

Needs Improvement

Some Senate holiday cards were absolutely beautiful, save for one toxic element. In Sen. Ted Cruz’s case, that element was Ted Cruz.

A holiday card from Sen. Tom Carper (D-Delaware) was undone by its accompanying newsletter, which states that his son Chris recently moved from Hell’s Kitchen to a “really nice neighborhood” in Brooklyn.

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota) simply has a lighting problem.

What is up with that lighting, man.


Obviously all the senators who submitted holiday cards to the Times are looking to promote themselves to the public. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) took that way too fucking far by including a lengthy quote from his own poorly selling book on the back his card.

With his card, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) has illustrated an important lesson for middle-aged men everywhere: if the best you can offer is a photo of yourself, skip it.

Finally, Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) submitted this:

Come on.

The stealth winner of this contest is Bernie Sanders, for this note from the Times: “Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, did not respond to requests for a card.”

Photos from Senate campaign offices via The New York Times. Contact the author at