And the doctor says ???
All Shook Up

In defense of the Christmas Letter

I love checking my mail. Always have. But I especially love it this time of year because this is when I'm most likely to get actual mail. Not bills and crap from companies I've never heard of but real, juicy mail with the handwriting of people I adore on the envelope. And if I'm really lucky? Pictures!

When I found out I was pregnant I made a list of things I was most excited about. Getting to write an annual Christmas letter made the top 10. Sure I could've done one before I had a kiddo but Sam gives me more writing material.

I know the Christmas letter gets mocked but I - for one - love, love, love them. I practically skip to the post office (well, now I just kind of limp on in with the sciatica and the baby bjorn) in anticipation of getting a card with news from friends and pictures of loved ones.

Thinking of writing your own? Consider a few of my tips on how to write a good Christmas Letter:

Unless you're writing to people who've never met you, we know you're not the Cleavers for Christ's sake so cut the crap and tell us what really happened this year. Sure it's natural to want to focus on the highlights but really an all-around banner year? Who are you kidding?

On the flip side letters that list medical maladies don't work either. We don't really want to know about every ache and blister you've had since we rung in the last new year. I'm all for keeping it real, sister - but go ahead and spare us the contents of your medicine cabinet. 

Sharing the year's highlights isn't being braggy. Being braggy is braggy. Don't do it.

We love to hear your good news. However do not, for God's sake, reveal any family secrets (good or bad) in the letter. I was once at a close friend's house admiring her collection of Christmas greetings and was just at a really juicy part from her mother-in-law when my friend leaped in front of me and said, "Wait! I have to tell you something!" Too late. I got the great news of her pregnancy from the card hanging on the wall. They just weren't planning to tell everyone yet. So, I repeat, skip the secrets, especially if they aren't yours to tell!

And remember when I said to keep it real? I didn't mean veiled references to the ways your children have disappointed you. Avoid sentences like: So-and-so still isn't married or So-and-so is still finding themselves. We all know what that's code for.

If that's too much for ya, I suppose a simple Merry Christmas and best wishes for the new year will do. And a picture. Pictures are good.

p.s. Before you check your mailbox for this Yuletide opus of ours, you should know it won't be arriving in this year's mail. But it's not that I'm behind or anything. I'm just planning ahead for next year!

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