I admit it, I love getting Christmas cards, and pictures of my friends and their kids, and I especially love reading the Christmas letters people share. I think I just heard a collective groan. I hear ya – why would I want to read these letters about how great everyone is doing and how your child got straight A’s and is on the football team and honor roll and the debate team and, and, and… Most of the letters we get are NOT like that.
I love receiving Christmas cards. I love to hear from people and stay in touch. I love to hear what they are up to and I love how beautiful the cards are. Some people have their cards ready to go the minute Thanksgiving is over. Not me. Since we had kids, I’ve been known to send the “Christmas” cards by New Year’s or one year, in July. Now, some people like my mom, haven’t sent a Christmas card since 1972, and won’t. She’s more like, why would I send a card to someone I see every day/week/month? I get that point, but I like to send them anyway!
I used to buy Christmas cards for the next year at the fabulous after Christmas sales. But since the photo cards are so easy to make now (and more personal), I have been doing those for the last few years. I usually think about ordering these photo cards and then by the time I get around to deciding on a picture for the cards, it is mid-December. The cards come and I’m busy doing other things by then and they sit, waiting patiently, to be sent out to friends and family.
I used to have a little ritual of sitting by the Christmas tree in the near dark, enjoying the twinkle lights and writing the cards I would send to my friends and family. I would include a personal note and inquire about the recipient. As we had kids and we got busier, this became more of a production especially when we started writing a letter. So my Christmas cards take a little more effort than the hand writing days – (updating and) printing address labels, writing and printing the letter, folding it to fit in the card, blah, blah, blah! Now, I just put on a good holiday movie and work on the cards and letter while thinking good thoughts about the recipients!
Writing a Christmas letter is a good way to remember what you actually did that year… it’s a good way to keep in touch and hear everyone’s highlights or low lights (we’re getting more of these kinds of letters involving the death of a loved one or cancer or other illness). I love to hear about where people have traveled to, what they learned, how their job is going. Although, I’ve noticed that we get fewer letters with the rising popularity of Facebook. Some people get really creative with their letters and make them into a poem (but don’t expect to see one of these from us, unless Bryce writes it), and some letters are humorous, and others are serious. Whatever form they take, I love reading these Christmas letters.
Writing the letter, not so much, Greg is a closet editor and never likes what I write, so I procrastinate about writing it. I try not to only include the good stuff. I try to include things like our multiple visits to the emergency room on the same day, with different kids. I try to include funny happenings as well as the ups and downs about our Cal football season (but no one needs to be that depressed, do they?). No matter how many times we read through it and edit it, there is always some silly typo. No matter, we just want to share a little of our life from that year with you.
Now, do you send pictures of you (with your kids, if you have them) or just the kids? I love seeing how my friends and family are, in pictures. But please, send a picture of your whole family!!! I don’t want to just see pictures of your kids or grandkids (or god forbid, just your pet…), I want to see you too! We always try to include a picture of all of us at one of the National Parks we visited that year. One of the reasons I love the photo cards (like the ones on Shutterfly) is because you can choose more than one picture. You can get a little view into life that year. It’s fun to see what everyone has been up to!
Click here -> 2007 Christmas in July and you can see what I’m sharing as one of my all time favorite letters, which we sent as a Christmas in July letter. Enjoy!