It has been a while since I posted. I must explain… you see I’ve been fighting, er writing the annual Christmas Letter.
I see you out there, nodding your heads. You know what its like. You don’t want yours to be that two-page yawner about each and every place you’ve traveled, or the compendium of your family’s accomplishments and kids’ grades. But this IS your once a year opportunity to let Auntie Edna in Portland know that your kids DID turn out better than your creepy cousin Johnny’s… even though you learned through her letter that they’ve each mastered a foreign language, earned Eagle Scout badges, made mission trips to help rebuild New Orleans, all that AND they volunteer at the soup kitchen every day after school. OK, not bad for 6 and 8 year olds, but really, how are they going to top that next year? I mean really.
You want your letter to be amusing, or at the very least, readable to the end. If, perhaps you’ve had a messy divorce in the family, or your sister-in-law was sent to prison, or the child you’ve been raising for your deceased daughter suddenly decided to go live with her estranged father, well lucky you! There are so many things that happen in the space of a year, and so few of them, good, dramatic Christmas letter fodder! Trouble is, the people to whom those things happen, rarely have the literary skills to express the intrinsic drama and humor of those situations.
No, this year, I opted to keep our letter short, and rather traditional. And whether or not some or all of those things actually happened in our family, well, I’m saving THAT for my novel!