It seems with each passing year I receive fewer Christmas cards, and even fewer Christmas letters. You know the sort: a folded colorful paper falls out of the card evoking trepidation of feeling obliged to read the darned thing.
When I was young I used to hate them. They seemed boastful, along the lines of ‘look how busy/successful/happy we are!” If the family was well-known to me, I knew what they were leaving out viz. little Tiffany’s unwanted pregnancy or Mr. Purdy’s bout with binge drinking. We never got a letter saying it was a bitch of a year but somehow we managed to get through it without killing each other. If the family was unfamiliar to me, I didn’t much care what happened to them. Mother would send out one of her own. I would go over them with a divining rod and not find myself.* Facebook has its faults, but it provides continual updates on friend’s and family’s frolics, so by the time Christmas rolls around I know what the year was like for them anyway without having to have it summarized in a treatise.
I see Christmas newsletters now in a different light. Here’s a concept I learned and thought to pass on:
As an exercise in self-exploration, write next year’s Christmas letter now. Fill it with all you hope to have accomplished for mailing next Christmas. In the composition list your (future) achievements, travels, and met goals of 2017. Obviously don’t mail it now – and perhaps not next Christmas neither. This little exercise sounds better than making New Year’s resolutions. Put up the letter where you will be continually reminded of what you want to say by the end of 2017. I plan to try this with Someone to get us to solidify our goals and dreams of the new year. We spend too much time just getting through each day only to realize another year has gone by. I hope this helps.
*In her defense she included Someone into the family photo and newsletter as soon as she realized he was sticking around. Bless her heart.