I’ve received multiple letters from folks this year, regarding people’s health, people moving, people’s kids, people’s grown kids, people’s work, people’s pets, people’s vacations.
This just goes out to tell you that you won’t be receiving one from me – I think this blog should cover my christmas letter allotment. You know what is going on in my life from this, no need to send it out with the cards.
Some letters give me a great snapshot of a family’s year, some just seem to ponder how one managed to stay alive. I’ve not received any that belong in this book, but I’m not sure how much farther they have to go to get there.
being subjected to having read this year’s assortment, I feel compelled to make the following suggestions. These suggestions are general and not aimed at one letter or another:
1 – READ your letter after you write it, and have someone who isn’t related to you read it too. Not just for typos, not just for run-on sentences, but for content. You need someone who is not afraid to tell you that the letter is a big pile of hooey. Call me, I’ll read it and be totally frank.
A good suggestion is that if you can’t read the letter out loud, then don’t send it – this revelation came to me while listening to Glitter Glue Princesses essay work last night when she read it out loud.
2 – Please, Please, PLEASE keep your letters upbeat – this is the season of joy and giving, and the giving part doesn’t mean giving me depression. This is Christmas time, when love, warmth and the season of sharing are the best themes of all. Use them wisely and share them freely.
3 – Don’t brag – it is not becoming of anyone. Also, I don’t participate in the “my kid has more extracurricular activities and more awards than your kid” doctrine – again, not becoming, but also teaches our children no level of modesty whatsoever. I love to hear about you and your kids and your grandkids, don’t get me wrong, but walk the fine line that keeps you on the side of being modest. When your kid is the star of every team he/she is on, I begin to worry about your sense of reality.
4 – Don’t humiliate members of your family on paper either. Again, it is not becoming.
5 – If you go on for paragraphs about your diseases, you need to be dying. You obviously have a full life that revolves around more than just complaining about your conditions. I don’t want a full page about your ailments, then you tell me you went to Disney World – unless the trip was paid for by the make a wish foundation. These letters should be telling me happy things, not about your morose existence…
6 – Three pages is too long – you lost me at the end of the first page. These letters are meant to give people a shapshot of your life, not give sermons.
7 – Write the letter in the first person. Getting letters that refer to each person by name makes me wonder who the ghost writer was and where he went after living with you for a year.
O.k., now I think I’ve probably offended every person who sent me a letter, and will be promptly removed from all card lists forthwith. As I stated before, these tips are general and not aimed at one person, but please, please, PLEASE (yes, I’m begging, on the floor, and tugging on your leg), look at the following links next year for better christmas letter writing skills:
I’m picking up my soapbox now and retreating to the corner….