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Have you ever wanted to not read a Christmas letter?

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It arrived in the mail yesterday. I saw the return address and briefly considered not opening it. The letters in the past usually contained an overwhelming amount of her children's successes and wonderful family travels. I silently chastised myself for being petty and proceeded to open it. Once again it highlighted their family's accomplishments and travels. Ugh. My response was still the same. I definitely don't feel better having read it and it reminds me why I left Facebook. I prefer a balance of the beautiful and not-so-great in life. 

I find writing Christmas letters hard because I don't want people to cringe from the content (just the grammatical errors, ha ha). I haven't written any for several years because of this and life's busyness. 

What about you? Do you dislike reading some people's Christmas letters or does the cheese stand alone?

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We get one every year that I struggle to read.  It's hard because I do believe we should be happy when other people are successful, happy, etc. But hearing about kids' academic and sports accomplishments, great college acceptances, career successes/promotions and the associated trips, new cars, remodeled homes... it just gets to be too much.  I am a bit ashamed to admit that I am so nasty I can't be happy for them. 

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I don't know what I think about Christmas letters.  My mother spent hours and days writing individual letters to many people.  They were not form letters or the same letter copied over and over.  She made it personal for the person or family she was sending the Christmas card.  She included life...the good and the bad.  It was a genuine communication of life, not an advertisement of "look how great we are."  She inquired about the people to whom she was writing.  And she would include a personal note about that family.  For instance, I remember one letter sent to a family friend whose son graduated from college that year. Mother included in that letter a note about how pleased she was to receive his invitation and was hoping he was doing well in his new job.  She shared her struggles and well as her joys and asked about their lives. 

I also remember reading the Christmas letters we received.  Again, they were personal...sent to us, not copied from a letter sent to someone else.  They included good, bad, happy, sad events that happened over the past year.  Some had recipes or poems or book recommendations that the sender knew would interest my mother or other members of our family.  Those letters were like visiting with old friends.

No one's life is perfect.  No one is happy all the time.  No one achieves all the time.  People have struggles and sadness as well as victories and joy.  Today's Christmas letters seem to reflect only one side. 

Edited by HollyDay
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Oh yes, absolutely!

We get one every year with the margins at 1/2 and single spaced to fit it all into one page, front and back.

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We get one every year from DH's aunt. She talks about this wonderful family life that they have.  Except 2 of her 4 children are estranged for incredibly good reason.  And there are more skeletons in the family closet than you could shake a stick at.  But the letter paints this oh, so wonderful picture.  Honestly, I read it to laugh at the hypocracy of it all.  The rest of DH's family members just throw it in the trash and don't even bother to open it.

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Yes, for the same reasons others mentioned. Does anyone not have perfect children, etc.?  It hurts my stomach, to be honest...makes me wonder why I didn't make my own year so fabulous.

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58 minutes ago, HollyDay said:

<snip>

No one's life is perfect.  No one is happy all the time.  No one achieves all the time.  People have struggles and sadness as well as victories and joy.  Today's Christmas letters seem to reflect only one side. 

I don't disagree with this exactly, but over the course of a year or even multiple years people can have all success, joy, happiness.  I think there was a period of about 10 years in my life where everything was pretty great.  I got married, had a great job, my husband had a great job, we got to travel, we had two healthy kids despite my advanced age.... the only bad thing that happened during that time was that my mother died, but even that happened in a nontraumatic way - she was 85, she had heart failure, she was up and about enjoying life one day and gone the next.  

So my Christmas letters, if I had written any, would not have reflected any struggles or sadness. There just weren't any at that time. (Totally different story for the next 10 years!  So maybe I am a little bitter, I hope not, but I'll cop to the possibility.)

And I know people who lived 'charmed' lives for many years - people I know intimately who really don't have any troubles (not just faking it in their letters).  It does happen. 

Edited by marbel
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I enjoy Christmas letters, though I don’t receive any like you described. Some of them bore me. I write a Christmas letter each year and I do try to put the year’s highlights in it and make it as amusing and self-deprecating as possible. We have had a lot of trouble with oldest DS this year and I didn’t put that in, but I did mention losing 2 of our cats. So, life isn’t totally rosy. I do try to put myself in the mind of the reader and hope to write an interesting newsletter and not just a list of accomplishments. 

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47 minutes ago, Okra said:

Oh yes, absolutely!

We get one every year with the margins at 1/2 and single spaced to fit it all into one page, front and back.

 

LOL, we get one like that, too!  There's so much on there that it's hard to read!  

 

 

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it's someone who doesn't know how to write a christmas letter, and only uses them to brag.  they get really tiresome.

while sil loves to brag - at least she will include family anecdotes that are entertaining.  this year, she admitted leaving her dh on the floor for several hours because she thought it was just a not-serious medical condition that resolves on its own, and then he'd get up on his own. he had a stroke.  (he's doing well.) then proceeded to share stories about his recovery

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9 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

it's someone who doesn't know how to write a christmas letter, and only uses them to brag.  they get really tiresome.

while sil loves to brag - at least she will include family anecdotes that are entertaining.  this year, she admitted leaving her dh on the floor for several hours because she thought it was just a not-serious medical condition that resolves on its own, and then he'd get up on his own. he had a stroke.  (he's doing well.) then proceeded to share stories about his recovery

Humorous anecdotes definitely make better reading that just a list of “things we did this year.”

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DH has a cousin-in-law like this - his twins are number 1 in everything they touch, it would seem, and "the most Godly young people I know." He usually begins with something like, "Once again, God has blessed our family with so much..." - like God's mission is to make sure his kids are co-valedictorians.

I would toss but a) it's DH's family and b) the cousin herself is a lovely, unassuming person. She is appalled by the letters and has tried to revise them with no luck. And the twins are actually pretty nice, down-to-earth kids.

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I received one just yesterday that made me want to crawl into a hole and never leave. We've been dealing with mental illness, traumatic events, and the corresponding money issues, especially since my present budget conked out yesterday at only 1 gift for each of my kids. I have to break out the credit card for MIL's gift today, since the money didn't stretch that far... There is no way I can even get a family picture this year, and our plans are only made day by day depending on energy and emotional levels. 

It's from a lady who I know deserves all the joy she's worked very, very hard for over the years. But I found it difficult to see the happy shiny faces of her super-cute kids (it was one of those collage cards with silly pics, and serious pics, and kissing siblings, and, and, and) and read about their trips to Disney and New England, their anniversary trip to Jamaica, her time to train for triathlons with her son, and all the fantastic things her kids are involved in (baseball, violin, dance, swimming, etc). 

I realize that it says a lot more about me than about her, but yesterday was just hard. 

Edited by beckyjo
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9 minutes ago, beckyjo said:

I received one just yesterday that made me want to crawl into a hole and never leave. We've been dealing with mental illness, traumatic events, and the corresponding money issues, especially since my present budget conked out yesterday at only 1 gift for each of my kids. I have to break out the credit card for MIL's gift today, since the money didn't stretch that far... There is no way I can even get a family picture this year, and our plans are only made day by day depending on energy and emotional levels. 

It's from a lady who I know deserves all the joy she's worked very, very hard for over the years. But I found it difficult to see the happy shiny faces of her super-cute kids (it was one of those collage cards with silly pics, and serious pics, and kissing siblings, and, and, and) and read about their trips to Disney and New England, their anniversary trip to Jamaica, her time to train for triathlons with her son, and all the fantastic things her kids are involved in (baseball, violin, dance, swimming, etc). 

I realize that it says a lot more about me than about her, but yesterday was just hard. 

I'm so sorry things are so hard right now. I pray that they improve in the New Year. I hope you have some way to take care of yourself in some small way each day.

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I understand the pain. My life is very hard right now in a lot of ways and it gets tiring seeing everyone living their best life when mine just seems to get harder. 

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I have never ever felt this way. Christmas letters are generally there to tell the good things that happened that year, not to depress the reader with gloom and doom. One year I got one Christmas letter from an elderly relative talking about those who died, those who were sick, and those who had strokes, and those who had to move to nursing homes and such that year.  She never sent an actual letter again.

 

If I dreaded reading about the good things happening to someone, I would give some serious thought to how I feel personally about this person. It sounds like you do not like this person much. Try stopping sending them cards and they will probably stop sending you ones and the problem will be solved. 

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Please forgive this Grinch for her opinion, but I hate Christmas letters, and generally don't bother reading those I do receive. Here's the thing that bothers me: All of the Christmas letters that I have ever received are from so-called family and friends that don't bother to contact us at any other time of the year. Yet at Christmas, they feel the overwhelming need to send the annual, gag-worthy humble brag that isn't even really humble at all. (Our lives are so wonderful. Too bad you're not us!)

So I would very much like to see the tradition of Christmas letters disappear from the face of the earth, right along with the playing of that atrocious Christmas shoes song!

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Either we're even more introverted than I thought (and thus have a very limited circle) or Christmas letters just aren't a thing among the people we know. I tend to think it's the latter. And I'm very thankful they're not a thing. I think I've only received three or four my entire life and the entire concept seemed extremely weird to me. 

Edited by Pawz4me
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3 hours ago, HollyDay said:

I also remember reading the Christmas letters we received.  Again, they were personal...sent to us, not copied from a letter sent to someone else.  They included good, bad, happy, sad events that happened over the past year.  Some had recipes or poems or book recommendations that the sender knew would interest my mother or other members of our family.  Those letters were like visiting with old friends.

 

My mom, now in her 80s, had many friends who did these personal notes. Some of these people I never met, but I followed them from year to year. Sadly, many have passed away now, but my mom still calls me to read those that still arrive.

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3 hours ago, marbel said:

We get one every year that I struggle to read.  It's hard because I do believe we should be happy when other people are successful, happy, etc. But hearing about kids' academic and sports accomplishments, great college acceptances, career successes/promotions and the associated trips, new cars, remodeled homes... it just gets to be too much.  I am a bit ashamed to admit that I am so nasty I can't be happy for them. 

 

We get one every year and this year dh retrieved it from the mailbox, bounced through the door in mock excitement and hollered: "It's here. The long awaited brag...eh letter."

I have thought about why I dislike reading it and it comes down to "one-sided reporting." We probably all had not so good days and mountain top moments this past year. However, in these letters it's typically the most wonderful or remarkable things that get passed on. This is why it feels so fake and annoying - because we all know that there was a lot of other stuff happening that is not mentioned. I really don't think it's about your (or my) lack of feeling genuine happiness for something but when it's so blatantly "one-sided" it just seems like fiction. If someone called us with a happy event, we would most likely be happy for them...but a whole year of nothing but wonderfulness is a bit much.

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If I'm not close enough to someone to already know the goings on of the year, I probably don't care enough to get a Christmas letter from them. Rude, maybe...but just being honest. 

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2 hours ago, beckyjo said:

 

I wish we still had a hug emoji. Your scenario is one I can relate to, though not the same in the particulars. Here's hoping the new year is better for you and yours. Lots of hugs.

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I have two friends... more acquaintances, really... who send out form letters.  Both share way too much information, both good and bad, and it makes me uncomfortable.  That's not any different than in person when they overshare and it makes me uncomfortable, LOL!   

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Yes, I have a brother in law that writes the most pretentious, self aggrandizing letter every single year. He spends the entire letter congratulating himself on his big vocabulary, his historical re-enactments, and his country club crap. There is a brief mention usually of dh's sister, and that's about it. Kids are not mentioned at all.

I opened it yesterday and promptly refused to read it, turned it upside on the table, and am using it as a mouse pad since I spilled coffee on mine. Best use of one of his letters ever. 

We don't even send them Christmas or birthday cards anymore. Haven't done it for nearly a decade because they are extremely awful people to deal with, and dh limits his contact to those times he must absolutely speak to his siter about their mother. Nothing else. And yet, still the annual letter keeps coming. I don't get it.

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I get so sick of people like that, not only do I feel free to leave the letter in the envelope and stuff it under a pile, but I also unfollow them on FB. I'm done with it. Social media has produced a generation of self-aggrandizing braggarts. 

Fwiw we do get charming letters too, and I don't think it's at all essential to send them anymore. You're probably connected with most people on FB already. The ones we get are from the older generations who we aren't seeing on social media. I like the letters for that.

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I love getting them, ALL of them! We didn't send them for a few years as we couldn't figure out how to not make them an obituary for Ed. As soon as I get through 600 swim pictures, I should write ours. Yeah, my kids have done some great things this year, but we're also dealing with terminal cancer. It's hard to write one that isn't tinged with that. The only letter I don't read right off is the one from our Navy Blue and Gold Officer--it's always pages and pages long, done by months, with their doings interspersed with national news things. He always has an interesting take on things. I enjoy it, but I do have to set aside some time to read it! We didn't splash our conservation easement all over, but I do want to share that, plus ds is now active duty, and dd has a new ship. And we have a new puppy! Doesn't everyone want to see puppy photos?

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5 minutes ago, Margaret in CO said:

And we have a new puppy! Doesn't everyone want to see puppy photos?

Yes!  I can't believe you mentioned puppy photos and didn't share one.  (Where is that stomping foot smiley when you need it??)  What kind of dog is it?  

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I need to take a new one--this is old. She's twice that size now--at 16 weeks she's the same size as our Golden! But she bounces around so much I can't get a photo of her that's not a blur. It's been a weird year, with dh's first clinical trial failing, Domino the paint mare getting eaten by a mountain lion, the conservation easement, etc. It will be a disjointed letter! But Kar (means snow in Turkish--she's an Akbash) sure is cute! She learned how to bark this week. 

IMG_2411.JPG

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I hate Christmas letters.  Thankfully, around here, hardly no one sends them anymore.     I do like the photo cards, but they still usually get trashed in a couple months.    I promise I’m not a grinch, lol.  

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2 hours ago, Pawz4me said:

Either we're even more introverted than I thought (and thus have a very limited circle) or Christmas letters just aren't a thing among the people we know. I tend to think it's the latter. And I'm very thankful they're not a thing. I think I've only received three or four my entire life and the entire concept seemed extremely weird to me. 

I’ve only ever gotten three, and two of those were from the same person.  The two from the same person were breezy and fun to read, but that is her personality.  The third was from my grandfather whom I’ve only met a few times, and it was braggy and self-centered, which is his personality as well.

I liked Breezy Friend’s letters and found Grandfather’s letter to be insufferable.

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Wow. I had no idea. We are not on Facebook, so the annual Christmas letter is how we keep everyone up to date on how we are (good & bad). Ours are single spaced, both sides like some of the ones mentioned. But, as DH writes them, they have some dry humor and include foibles of the kids along with the good. 

We enjoy getting letters from others, but sadly, many don't even send cards anymore.

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I like Christmas letters, even the mass-produced ones! Not that I get a ton of them, but I do enjoy them and expect them to be the highlights of the year. Some people definitely cross into bragging territory, of course, but even those are amusing and I try to give them the benefit of the doubt.  It can be difficult to decide what to share. Major illnesses and/or accidents, like a car wreck, usually are mentioned ime and that's appropriate. But a child's personal or educational struggles usually are not, because it's not your story to tell, so some negatives go unmentioned even if they consumed a lot of time and effort. I'm fine with that, I don't think people need to quit writing their annual letter just because much of the year was spent dealing with John's anxiety or Karen's learning disability. 

If they upset you or just bore you, it is perfectly fine to send a mass-produced communication of any kind straight from the mailbox to the trash can. It's fine, it doesn't even approach rude territory, and you don't get any cosmic brownie points for reading it. Just toss it and move on. You will enjoy your day more and like the sender better, lol. 

41 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

I'm done with it. Social media has produced a generation of self-aggrandizing braggarts. 

 

Hey now, it's the older generation that used to invite people over to see a slideshow of their vacation! Again, some people would regard that as something fun to share and enjoy it, others would regard it as boring at best and bragging at worst. But the general concept is definitely not new. Primitive cave paintings were probably the first version, representing exciting hunts and trips to the adjacent woods.

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I don't write them and I have very few people in my life who do that.  Usually they will just put a note in the Christmas card if something unusual happened - usually something sad like a death.

I do think they should be balanced, and if your negative stuff isn't fit for publishing then maybe stick to neutral announcements or skip the letter all together.

I was just telling my kids earlier today how obnoxious it is when some parents brag on their kids.  We were recalling a lady we met on a cruise who went on and on about how wonderful her kids were (all our kids were sitting right there).  You all know the type.  Fact is that all parents have some things about our kids that make us proud, and some things that don't make us proud.  No exceptions.  I do think the universe / God is fair that way.  So when someone is going way overboard on their wonderful amazing children, I just stop listening.

So ... I would probably read the Christmas letter out of curiosity / courtesy and then stuff it in a file and move on.  Know that there is plenty of challenge going on regardless of whether the writer shares it with the world.

Edited by SKL
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1 hour ago, Faith-manor said:

Yes, I have a brother in law that writes the most pretentious, self aggrandizing letter every single year. He spends the entire letter congratulating himself on his big vocabulary, his historical re-enactments, and his country club crap. There is a brief mention usually of dh's sister, and that's about it. Kids are not mentioned at all.

I opened it yesterday and promptly refused to read it, turned it upside on the table, and am using it as a mouse pad since I spilled coffee on mine. Best use of one of his letters ever. 

We don't even send them Christmas or birthday cards anymore. Haven't done it for nearly a decade because they are extremely awful people to deal with, and dh limits his contact to those times he must absolutely speak to his siter about their mother. Nothing else. And yet, still the annual letter keeps coming. I don't get it.

Particularly obnoxious letters have been known to become material for dramatic readings here. (Hangs head in mock shame.)

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Oh my gosh, yes!  A couple of years ago I started to read one and I got so upset I had a little cry fest and I told my DH to hide the card somewhere so I wouldn't see it.  When I was mentally ready I did finish reading it.  The next year when that person wrote, I just didn't open it until I was in a frame of mind where I would have an easier time letting it roll off my back. 

I don't mind reading about others' successes, but when all you here is how great and wonderful things are, and you never hear any of the bad things, it can be difficult to absorb and process, especially if you're having tough times in your own life.

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Just thinking it would be fun to have a thread about what our hypothetical Christmas letter would say if we all wrote one.  I'm thinking "hey my kids got their black belts this summer.  Practicing her awesome front kick on the school door earned ___ a detention.  ___ won 6 horse show ribbons, got bucked off __ times and still has a massive bruise from being kicked.  __ is doing JV basketball and let's be real - she will never make varsity without a miracle from God.  Most of the kids' year has been spent staying up late doing homework after wasting time fighting and wrassling and practicing the foul language they hear at school.  The eyeroll has been mostly mastered as has the exasperated sigh and the offended stomp.  Earth science will probably have to be remediated in college, but at least they are retaining the science of sexual reproduction [that is their current science chapter].  You can usually tell what they are playing on their clarinet and trumpet though they refuse to practice.  __'s latest new word is OCD and __'s ... well we'd better not discuss what hers is.  Butt wiping is mastered but flushing is still inconsistent.  Still not sure if Santa is coming this year if tween attitude is any indication.  Not that they can find last year's presents in their messy rooms.  Seriously y'all, just send gift cards or nothing at all.  So how are your little darlings doing this year?"

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4 hours ago, beckyjo said:

I received one just yesterday that made me want to crawl into a hole and never leave. We've been dealing with mental illness, traumatic events, and the corresponding money issues, especially since my present budget conked out yesterday at only 1 gift for each of my kids. I have to break out the credit card for MIL's gift today, since the money didn't stretch that far... There is no way I can even get a family picture this year, and our plans are only made day by day depending on energy and emotional levels. 

It's from a lady who I know deserves all the joy she's worked very, very hard for over the years. But I found it difficult to see the happy shiny faces of her super-cute kids (it was one of those collage cards with silly pics, and serious pics, and kissing siblings, and, and, and) and read about their trips to Disney and New England, their anniversary trip to Jamaica, her time to train for triathlons with her son, and all the fantastic things her kids are involved in (baseball, violin, dance, swimming, etc). 

I realize that it says a lot more about me than about her, but yesterday was just hard

 

So sorry, I know how hard it is to deal with that kind of perfectly lovely thing, which you'd normally be happy to hear, when you've had the dramatic contrasts of illness, trauma and money problems. It's a challenge to the stretched coping skills, that's for sure. Nobody's fault, but yes, hard. Hope today brings a bright thing.

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Thinking about all this some more, I'm wondering what struggles, sad things, etc., people expect to see in letters?

Deaths in the family, diagnoses of serious illness, probably yes as they are important.

Does anyone want to share that their kid is struggling in school, that a spouse lost their job, that there is marital tension over money, that there was no money for a vacation this year?

I think there is a difference between bragging letters and those that just relate the positive things in peoples' lives. It's not my friend's fault if her kids are star athletes who got full rides to elite universities and her husband got a great promotion at a job he loves, while my kids have to go to community college for their first two years and my husband got laid off and has been out of work for a while. It's my fault that I can't be happy for her and her family because they have more success going on right now than we do.

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8 minutes ago, marbel said:

Thinking about all this some more, I'm wondering what struggles, sad things, etc., people expect to see in letters?

Deaths in the family, diagnoses of serious illness, probably yes as they are important.

Does anyone want to share that their kid is struggling in school, that a spouse lost their job, that there is marital tension over money, that there was no money for a vacation this year?

I think there is a difference between bragging letters and those that just relate the positive things in peoples' lives. It's not my friend's fault if her kids are star athletes who got full rides to elite universities and her husband got a great promotion at a job he loves, while my kids have to go to community college for their first two years and my husband got laid off and has been out of work for a while. It's my fault that I can't be happy for her and her family because they have more success going on right now than we do.

I guess it's not that we want to hear all the bad stuff, but the braggy stuff should not be there either.  Like instead of "Janny is still a 4.0 student and won 1st place in xyz contest bla bla bla" it might be better to just say "Janny is in 7th grade now and is enjoying middle school sports."

I do think it's appropriate to share the braggy stuff with very close family, who love your kid so much that they will be happy for you even if they are in a bad spot themselves.  For me, I brag to my mom and two sisters.  But, I also tell them the bad stuff.

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I'm gonna write my real one here, to cheer everyone up. Y'all are gotta be doing better than us!

Well, 2018 began in the fine tradition of 2017 and 2016, with dd1 fresh out of the psych ward. Dd2 left home for another city in February, where she found both her aunt and uncle, and her paternal grandparents, were bat shit crazy and impossible to live with - she got great grades in between the crying fits. In March, dh fell over and broke his collar bone in three places. It only took till July to heal! and the nights he couldn't sleep due to pain were fabulous for contemplating his still unfinished PhD. April saw us investigating a new to us psych ward - nice rooms, very modern. And by May, ds had developed a trauma based anxiety and low mood response, AND dh has been diagnosed with possible kidney issues. The middle of the year hummed along quietly with our screen door falling off, and the ll refusing to fix it, and the back step tile cracking, so that every trip to the clothesline was a death trap adventure! I continued to develop my research skills  the mental health and community challenges of young gay teens, dialysis, kidney transplant, kidney diets, shoes for kidney patients whose fit don't fit into their real shoes, and how to homeschool a teen who won't come out of his room while also running a small business and taking on a larger financially responsible role in preparation for taking it on fully. What a year!

PS. Oh, and the rent went up. Of course it did.

~

OK, feeling better ?

Here's the positive spin. 

2018 was the year dd1 finally got into a form of treatment for her mental illness that is helping; she's completed yet another year of her nursing degree and is looking forward to paid work in the near future! Dd2 went interstate for university, made many friends, loved her course, developed a lot of independence, displayed an admirable work ethic and smashed it grade wise. Ds had a few challenges, but he also wrote a number of plays this year, and performed on stage, on film and in comic/dramatic monlogues. He's had great feedback on his talents in this area, and he's continued to refine his baking skills also. I set up and ran a small business which I hope to grow next year, and which helped us meet unexpected expenses, as well as continuing to homeschool ds, who took classes in chemistry, essay writing, literary analysis, Big History, and drama studies. Dh had a difficult year health wise, with some challenges yet to come, but he is days away from submitting his PhD. We were able to stay in our convenient house/suburb this year, and spent a lot of close family time with maternal grandparents, aunt and cousin. 

I guess what people would prefer would be a mash up of the two. Acknowledgement of the challenges might make the successes easier to deal with.

Edited by StellaM
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Hubby and then youngest daughter usually wrote ours. The letters were only one page and included 3 highlights of the person’s year. The format was usually an outline😊 We have also received those letters were life was perfect, the kids excelled at everything etc.etc. Fortunately for us, we’d move and I’d stopped sending our Christmas letter to the annoying family. Granted, most people can’t take this step but it worked for us🎄

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4 hours ago, Janeway said:

I have never ever felt this way. Christmas letters are generally there to tell the good things that happened that year, not to depress the reader with gloom and doom. One year I got one Christmas letter from an elderly relative talking about those who died, those who were sick, and those who had strokes, and those who had to move to nursing homes and such that year.  She never sent an actual letter again.

 

If I dreaded reading about the good things happening to someone, I would give some serious thought to how I feel personally about this person. It sounds like you do not like this person much. Try stopping sending them cards and they will probably stop sending you ones and the problem will be solved. 

The top part made me laugh because it reminded me of the one year my grandmother included in her Christmas letter her uncontrollable bladder issues. 

As for your last paragraph, I actually like this person in real life, although I haven't seen/spoken to her for quite some time since I don't live nearby. Facebook and Christmas letters can just show such an unbalanced view.

 I haven't sent anyone Christmas letters or cards or pictures for years.

 

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I have never given, nor received, a Christmas letter. And after years of NOT sending even basic Christmas cards, we've finally made our way off of most people's card list. No worries here. That's not my thang. 

(I promise I'm not really such a Scrooge.)

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1 hour ago, SKL said:

Just thinking it would be fun to have a thread about what our hypothetical Christmas letter would say if we all wrote one.  I'm thinking "hey my kids got their black belts this summer.  Practicing her awesome front kick on the school door earned ___ a detention.  ___ won 6 horse show ribbons, got bucked off __ times and still has a massive bruise from being kicked.  __ is doing JV basketball and let's be real - she will never make varsity without a miracle from God.  Most of the kids' year has been spent staying up late doing homework after wasting time fighting and wrassling and practicing the foul language they hear at school.  The eyeroll has been mostly mastered as has the exasperated sigh and the offended stomp.  Earth science will probably have to be remediated in college, but at least they are retaining the science of sexual reproduction [that is their current science chapter].  You can usually tell what they are playing on their clarinet and trumpet though they refuse to practice.  __'s latest new word is OCD and __'s ... well we'd better not discuss what hers is.  Butt wiping is mastered but flushing is still inconsistent.  Still not sure if Santa is coming this year if tween attitude is any indication.  Not that they can find last year's presents in their messy rooms.  Seriously y'all, just send gift cards or nothing at all.  So how are your little darlings doing this year?"

Totally you should send that, lol! And I laughed out loud at the bolded. 

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7 hours ago, HollyDay said:

I don't know what I think about Christmas letters.  My mother spent hours and days writing individual letters to many people.  They were not form letters or the same letter copied over and over.  She made it personal for the person or family she was sending the Christmas card.  She included life...the good and the bad.  It was a genuine communication of life, not an advertisement of "look how great we are."  She inquired about the people to whom she was writing.  And she would include a personal note about that family.  For instance, I remember one letter sent to a family friend whose son graduated from college that year. Mother included in that letter a note about how pleased she was to receive his invitation and was hoping he was doing well in his new job.  She shared her struggles and well as her joys and asked about their lives. 

I also remember reading the Christmas letters we received.  Again, they were personal...sent to us, not copied from a letter sent to someone else.  They included good, bad, happy, sad events that happened over the past year.  Some had recipes or poems or book recommendations that the sender knew would interest my mother or other members of our family.  Those letters were like visiting with old friends.

No one's life is perfect.  No one is happy all the time.  No one achieves all the time.  People have struggles and sadness as well as victories and joy.  Today's Christmas letters seem to reflect only one side. 

 

I would LOVE to receive and read such letters!

I believe you’ve inspired me to go off and write some, thank you. 

As to the original question, when I see a form letter I typically just scan it and feel little if any emotional stirring. There’s one I look forward to each year, it is funny and honest. The others I wouldn’t miss if they dropped me off their mailing list. Sad, but true. 

I haven’t sent cards in years because I dislike obligatory stuff like that. But maybe this year I’ll just reply to the cards we get with a nice personal letter. 

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