Thoughts from the Treadmill: The Dreaded Holiday Letter
The Kindle version of Driven to Matrimony is currently available for $2.99 on Amazon. The digital version of And He Cooks Too is currently 25% off at The Wild Rose Press.
Every year at this time my husband and I debate whether this is the year to discontinue the holiday letter. We love to receive them from others but hate to write our own. Although it’s that standard stuff our friends and family want to read about – moves, promotions, new activities – every time I write about those things, I feel like I’m bragging, probably because I tend to skip past the negative aspects of the year being chronicled, so what’s there sounds so false.
A few years back, a Christmas episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond” really drove home that point. If you’re not familiar with it, the story begins with the daughter-in-law, Debra, reviewing her mother-in-law, Marie’s, Christmas letter, not liking the part about her family and revising it. As the other members of the family see the parts about them, each has his own negative reaction – one didn’t get enough air time (Robert), one thought his career aspirations had been challenged (Ray) and the father, well, if you’re familiar with the character of Frank Barone, he didn’t want a thing to do with it. The end of the episode is what really got me thinking: they all sit around putting down all the Christmas letters they have received.
It also has become a bit of a competition with me, though I try to stifle that reaction. Some of the letters we receive are so clever and creative, especially as word processing and graphic programs have become more sophisticated. I really don’t have the time or energy to come up with a 12 Days of Christmas-theme, or letter in rhyme, or picture album. My creativity goes into my other writing.
All I planned to do yesterday was write the opening few paragraphs. Before I knew it, I’d written several paragraphs, and in general, I liked what I’d done. I think writing this blog every week helped. Besides becoming acclimated to producing 500+ words every week that actually say something, I have over six months of personal reflections I could simply refer the readers of our holiday letter to, so I didn’t have to repeat them.
I’m well aware that not everyone agrees with me. They like the idea of receiving a physical card with a letter enclosed. As much as I’ve enjoyed purchasing new Christmas cards each year, I’ve pretty much transitioned to an electronic letter. Almost everyone we know now has access to email. The more I focus on electronic delivery of information, the more I hope I’m building the case for the acceptance of digital books. And to be frank, once I’ve spent the time building a distribution list and writing the letter, the rest is much faster. I can hold off until a day or so before Christmas, if necessary, and still get the letter there in time.
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Driven to Matrimony http://amzn.to/1aowiJ2