Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Christmas Letter

Thirty years ago, before ready access to technology, there was no such thing as the Christmas Letter - the one page summary of the year's activities - that has become part and parcel of sending Christmas Cards.

I have a bit of a chequered history with The Christmas Letter - having attempted one for the last few years, I've come to the conclusion that really my life is a little bit boring and seriously consistent. This year, I changed the date from 2009 to 2010 and I was done. Hubby and I are both still working the same jobs. Senior dog still going to the vet for ongoing medical problems, junior dog still trying to be returned to the RSPCA for behaviour related issues (no, we'd never send her back but we have had the conversation...)

So, do I send it with my cards? Do I leave it out and let the world wonder where I've been all year? Maybe I need to spice it up? Many years ago I worked in a small family business - the shop was this family's life. The children's homework desks were in the back room, there was a mini kitchen and the groceries lived in the shop fridge not at home. That family sent ONE christmas card every year. And it was so they could continue to receive "Aunty Pat's* Christmas Letter", a fictionalised version of what went on in a relatively close relation's life.

For example: "Peter* really enjoyed his twenty-first, especially the after-party". In reality - Peter was arrested for drunk and disorderly and no-one in his immediate family knew where he was for 36 hours after he left the party. "Sarah*, now 15, is embracing her artistic tendencies". In truth, Sarah ran away from home with a 19 year old and was living in a campervan in Byron Bay the last time they heard from her.

My personal favourite: "We will be holidaying at our beach house again this year, and you are welcome to join us over the festive season. The park across the road has ample toilets and hot running showers." I don't think my employers took them up on their generous offer. I however, was tempted as I couldn't imagine what sort of Christmas Lunch that would be.

So, what's the funniest thing you've seen in The Christmas Letter?

PS *Names changed, of course...


Eleni Konstantine said...

I only have one friend who does the Christmas letter, and I know she wouldn't spice them up as Auntie Pat did. Oh boy!

Fiona G said...


This Christmas Letter is endemic in my circle of friends and has become essential Christmas writing and reading.

Sometimes I wonder what the Christmas Letter of TV characters would be like. Think about Brooke from The Bold and The Beautiful. "Married Ridge, divorced Ridge, slept with daughter's boyfriend, married Ridge, divorced Ridge, married Ridge, fought with Stephanie, divorced Ridge. Then in February......"

anna said...
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