You know the song… “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”… it’s played on every smooth listening channel that plays 24 hours of Christmas music this time of year. I have to say, that while it IS a wonderful time of year in a lot of respects, and for a lot of people, it’s a really crappy time of year for some people for various reasons.
Maybe you’ve lost a loved one recently, and the holiday season just makes you miss them more. Maybe you’re going through a rough time yourself – either physically, emotionally, or financially. For all of you who are experiencing those challenges, my heart and thoughts go to you. This time of year, I find myself thinking about the 3 grandparents I lost last year.
This time of year my grandfather used to sing this horrific song about a snowman who threw himself over a fire to save some kids, making the ultimate sacrifice. I cried every year he sang it, and every year I’d beg him not to, while my mom and brothers goaded him to torture me. It dawned on me the other day that I wouldn’t know the tune of that song if I heard it now, not having heard it in so long. I wish I had a video of him singing it. I’m sure that sounds crazy… it sounds crazy to me and I’m the one who just said it.
This time of year makes me excited for mail, though. I love getting everyone’s Christmas cards. I love seeing family pictures and hearing the latest news. I used to make fun of people who wrote Christmas letters every year. I remember being a teenager and reading some that people sent my parents, thinking how lame it was that people were writing about themselves. Of course, I was a teenager and everything was lame, so what do I know?
Now that I’m an adult and have kids of my own, and have friends and family who don’t see us often, who might even enjoy hearing about the things we’ve done for the past year, I see those letters a little differently. I see them as a way to connect with friends and family you don’t see often, and catch up with people. Of course, you’ll note that I have yet to send one of these holiday letters out. For the past 3 years I’ve bought cute holiday stationery for this very occasion, and yet every time I sit down to write one, I can’t think of what to write. Maybe this year will be different…
For those that love writing letters, I will offer my own thoughts on a few things to keep in mind when writing your holiday letter this year.
-Do let us know what good news you’ve had, and what projects you’re working on. Tell us about a vacation you took or a promotion at work, or a change of address or a change of occupation! Do not list every movie you watched. We also don’t need to hear about your prostate exam, or your cousin’s friend’s sister’s uncle that bought a new tv.
– Do let us know if you’ve lost someone important to you. We want to hear about your father/grandfather/friend/niece/ neighbor who died. We don’t want to hear about your neighbor’s cousin’s friend who lost a hamster. We also do not need a recap of the celebrities who have died. Unless of course they were your relative or your best friend.
-Do let us know if you’re involved in fundraising for a cause. Whether it’s for a cure for cancer or AIDS or supporting a certain political candidate, it’s all good. It is NOT good to list that the new president who was elected surely means that end times is here.
I’m sure I’ll have more holiday tips soon! Until then, I hope that despite whatever obstacles you have, whatever good news you have, whether or not you decide to put it in your holiday letter is up to you. After all, I’m just one scroogey person in the world voicing my opinion.