Midlife Mom

Navigating the teen years… and beyond

The beloved (and hated) holiday letter!

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Are you checking items off your holiday to-do list?

I’ve got many tasks to finish before our family spends Christmas away from home for the first time ever. And high up on that list is sending out our holiday greeting cards, which means writing the annual holiday letter.

It’s a subject of controversy, I know. People either love them or hate them. Of course, many of these letters can come across as elitist. We’ve all seen them. “Suzy had yet another year of all A’s, making Honor Society. And we’re so proud that she won first place in All-Around at the state gymnastics competition, which we were afraid she was going to miss after she sprained her wrist while helping victims of Hurricane Sandy dig sand and mud out of their basements. And did we mention, she was accepted to Harvard!”

Please!!

We try very hard NOT to make our letters sound like this (not that our kids have done any or all of those things), but at the same time focus on the good stuff that’s happened in the year since we sent our last holiday letter.

Some years, though, I draw blanks and pass this task to my husband. I think he’s better at summarizing the family’s high points and knowing just what to share with others. And why is that? After all, I lived through the same year with the same people. Why can he remember things I can’t?

Some years I’ve debated nixing the letter. A signed card should be adequate, right? Especially since our kids are grown and it’s no longer necessary to include that cute group photo like when they were little. But then other people’s cards start to roll in, most of which include these family letters and many of which tell me they’re looking forward getting our family update.

So I cave.

Of course, it’s early. We’ve only gotten two holiday cards. But I know they’re coming!

That holiday letter is on this weekend’s to-do list.

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