Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Letters... Don't Get Me Started

Have you written your Christmas letter this year? Hmmm. Some people do and some don’t. I have to admit, I have issues with the traditional Christmas letter. In retaliation and a joking mood several years ago, I posted the Christmas letter I’d sent only to my sister. Amazingly, it’s had more hits than any other blog I’ve posted

Why? Maybe people are searching the Internet for examples of traditional letters because they’re not sure what to write. I mean honestly, what do you say about a whole year in one page? Or, maybe they’ve shared my letter with others because they thought it was funny. It’s anything but conventional. Here it is:

Greetings to you this holiday season! I wanted to share our year with family and friends.
New Years - surgery, yada, yada, yada.
St. Patrick's Day - son's surgery, wheelchair, therapy three times a week.
Easter - family fight.
Fourth of July - blah, blah, blah.
Thanksgiving - turkey, baking, lots of stress.
Now it's Christmas.

Happy Holidays, everybody!

Personally, I’ve received some pretty annoying Christmas letters where they just went on and on…and on about all the wonderful things each family member had done (and even bought…and even said). I guess they hadn’t figured out that if we really wanted to know, we would've kept in touch maybe once through the entire blooming year! J  Let’s face it. Nobody’s year could be that good, and who are they trying to impress anyway? Get real.

Whoa. Sorry about that. I have issues with gloating Christmas letters. How about you? Are you a Christmas letter writer?  Do you like to get the long (several pages long) letter from Cousin Hildy and hear every detail of every family member’s life over the year? (Save it for your diary.)  What's your view on Christmas letters?

Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Humor, Suspense…and Dogs!
Fly into a good book at:


  1. The wife makes me do it. One page. Frankly, I'd rather not. I do, however, enjoy reading letters from old friends ... as long as they fit on one side of one page. I might use your example letter this year.

  2. Thanks, James. I guess I just believe in honesty. ")
    Not sure your wife will appreciate my sample letter, but I agree with you about keeping the length short. We just got a four-page letter, and I didn't even know 85% of the people they were talking about. Good luck with your letter and Happy Holidays!

  3. Thorneanderson@hotmail.comDecember 13, 2011 at 8:19 AM

    I've been getting a long typed, single-spaced letter from an old college roommate. I haven't seen her in over 20 years. She writes about her most amazing husband (not) and two sons that she goes on and on about-- expensive vacations, private schools.. You're right. I never hear from her except during the holiday season. My husband never liked her and the letters even less.

  4. Cindy, I clicked over b/c your title made me laugh. I've been known to go off on a rant about the CHRISTMAS LETTERS. I think the intent is good, but the problem comes in when they read like a family resume. Then there's the false sense of close friendship. Which makes us all feel somewhat bad that we're NOT that close ... or maybe it doesn't.

    Regardless, have a great Christmas, with or without the letters.

  5. I used to teach with a lady who received the "Christmas letter from hell" every year -- four pages single spaced, every sentence filled with over-the-top gloating about the incredible brilliance and fabulousness of their family. They made even the most mundane event sound like it deserved a Nobel prize. These people were so pompous it was unbelievable. My coworker passed out photocopies of the letter and we did dramatic readings of it in the staff room during our lunch breaks.

  6. Haha, I'm going to write one like this for my husband's family. We get one from a relative I've never met,and from his old college buddy. I just look at the pictures if there are any and don't bother to read. I'm happy that their families are doing well, but I don't want to read a 3 page letter about it. I can read fiction in a novel, thanks.

  7. Ha, ha! My husband feels the same. He would rather chew nails than read a Christmas "brag letter" as he calls them:-)

  8. You guys are SO funny! I'm really enjoying your posts. Love the dramatic readings, Gail.

  9. It was hysterical, Cindy. Definitely the highlight of the season!!!

  10. Cin,
    hahahahahahahaha I LOVED your Christmas Letter this year. Yada, Yada, Yada!!! LOL No REALLY, I do agree with you 100%. Scott and I have almost quit mailing Christmas Cards ALL together except to just a hand full. We do a Video Clip now and than send that out to everyone that has e-mail. But, I do agree with you. NO ONE has that GREAT of a year. EVER!!! Unless you won the Lottery or hit it big somehow. :-) I remember, the episode of Everybody Loves Raymond Christmas Letter of the Family. hahahahahaha LOVED IT!!! Our Family has had more problems in the past 8 years, now that is it awful. And I guess people stretch the truth about the Family because of ALL the BAD things that has happened that year. If it was up to Scott and I we would NOT do Christmas at all. UGH!!! It has gone way to Commericalized and not personal and just getting together just with family and talking and playing games like we used too. Now it's all about what am I going to get and my Pet Peeve is I thought we were in a Recession????????? WOW!!! I can't even step into my own dang yard without getting run over. REALLY!!! We do NOT need ALL these GIFTS. WE LOVE homemade stuff or just a Hello through e-mail will do us just fine. :-) Well, gotta go write our darn Christmas Letter of the Family now. Blah, Blah, Blah!!! Same old crap!!! :-) Love Ya Cin,

  11. Cin: Loved your blog, and we are still laughing over Gail's dramatic readings at lunchtime! I started the Christmas letter tradition after receiving one from a friend over ten years ago. It seemed like a great idea, and in defense of the Christmas letter, I have two comments: The year my daughter graduated from high school, I made a scrapbook of her school years from preschool through graduation. It wasn't easy to remember events from her early school years, and fortunately our Christmas letters were a great source of information! Secondly, I have saved Christmas letters from friends and recently reread them, and it really gives perspective to the passage of time. If nothing else, some letters may be good for a laugh! I'm still enjoying your original letter to me!

    "Have a Very Merry--"
    Your Sister Deb

  12. Nancy,
    I ABSOLUTELY love that episode of Everybody Loves Raymond! Good luck with your Christmas letter. (lol)

  13. Deb,
    Don't get me wrong, some Christmas letters are great, especially like James says with the shorter letters. I think it's great to reflect over the year and the good things. But come on. Some people go WAY overboard. You'd just like to shred their four-page letter into little pieces and stomp on it. ")

  14. "I guess they hadn’t figured out that if we really wanted to know, we would've kept in touch maybe once through the entire blooming year!"

    EXACTLY!! Great post, Cindy! And Merry Christmas! :)

  15. I thought your Christmas letter was Hilarious!. My Mom started writing a Christmas letter because our family is spread out all across the country and every year she would get inquiries about what was going on with the family. She was the contact person for all family members (for emergency info; you know like hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes etc.) Any way she wrote a 1 page brief letter summarizing info, like who graduated, got married, had children etc.
    She got very sick back in 2004 and made me promise to continue the Christmas letter if she passed away. She passed away in 2005 and that Christmas letter for 2005 was the hardest thing for me to do. I sent out that letter to everyone she had on her list, letting them know she had passed and asking if they wanted me to continue the letter each year. (She was very organized and had a word doc with all the names of the people she sent letters to) I have been doing a Christmas newsletter every year since and only send it to family and close friends who have requested to be on the "Christmas Letter List". I made a promise to my mom and I'm keeping it, even if sometimes there is nothing to say. I'm gonna use parts of your letter next year since I just sent out this years letter. It will be a big help when there is nothing new to tell. <^_^>
    Thank you for making my day and I really needed that laugh cause I get very sad missing my mom around the holiday.

  16. Nay, Nay! Glad you could get a laugh. We all need one. I lost all my close family this time of year - Mom - November, brother - December, Dad - January (not all the same year). But, I'm like you. You just have to find something to laugh about and enjoy. Wishing you a very merry Christmas and keep your chin up. ")

  17. I’m sort of ambivalent about Christmas Letters but I have a friend that finds them so offensive and ridiculous and she’ll TELL me every year what she’s going to write in her Christmas letter... she never does write and send these, but she has me in stitches every time she starts one of her hubby lost his job, kid is in jail, diagnosed with a dread disease, lazy do-nothing family letters. It’s so funny! Loved yours too. Had me laughing. Yada, yada, yada. Heehee!


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