A Christmas letter question — The Bump
Stay at Home Moms

A Christmas letter question

It appears that a lot of people on this board don't like receiving letters in their Christmas/holiday cards, so this seems like a good place to ask this.

What do you have against them? Is it because they are essentially bragging? I mean, isn't the point to let people know what's going on in your life? Of course people are going to include the big, exciting things. No one wants to read about how someone does 3 loads of laundry every day or washes the dishes. 

FWIW, I love getting letters, especially from people that time/distance prevent us from seeing often. I like knowing what's gone on/going on in their lives. (Keep in mind that we are a FB free family.) 

And if people don't want to read the letter we send (which I always do - my family would be offended if I didn't), I don't really care. 

Just thought I'd ask as I don't understand the Christmas letter hate.
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Re: A Christmas letter question

  • When we were young my grandma used to send out a letter about us her kids and grand kids to her relatives that lived in florida. But that's the only time I've heard of people sending out letters. I've never received them. I think that's what Facebook is for now. Lol.
  • What kind of things to right in the letter? What kind of things to people receive that seem braggy? I mean I would really hope that people did right that dh got a 50,000 raise and you bought a brand new BMW this year..
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  • I must be in the minority if everyone hates them, because I don't mind them.

    I'm kind of ambiguous about them, but I certainly don't hate reading about people and their events in their life.  I've gotten some that are really "braggy" but I've also gotten ones that are very short and sweet and not too elaborate.  I would choose the latter if I were to write one.

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  • image LalaMama81:

    I think they generally are braggy and impersonal. If I really cared about this person, I'd connect w/ them another way. I like the warm holiday wishes - I don't need to know what award Little Suzy got or what fabulous vacation you took. If I'm close w/  you, I know this already. 

    I agree.  This is why they bug me too.

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  • We like to play "read between the lines" with them at CHristmas dinner.  My brother is the best at that, he comes up with some hysterical stuff

    Really, no one's life is as sickeningly perfect as these letters make them out to be and it's just eyeroll worthy.  I have gotten a couple funny ones which I don't mind

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  • I don't mind them. There are some people that I roll my eyes at, and there are others that I look forward to their letters. I am on FB, but not everyone I get letters from are, so it's fun to see what is going on in their life. For the others of my friends that are on FB, there were things in their Christmas letters that were not on FB.

    Growing up, there was a family that intentionally wrote silly letters, and to this day it is fun to read that family's letters. They also had a goofy picture too. Just fun.

     Since my DH and I have been married (4 years), I haven't written one about us as I felt like I had nothing to write. "Gee...we go to work, and we come home, that's our life". This year, I will write one as our lives have changed quite a bit since our child arrived.  It won't all be about what my child does. I find those letters annoying. It won't be written from the point of view of my son, either. :)

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  • Are these a regional thing? I've never seen a letter like that before, growing up or now! Most people I know send out unsigned photo cards of their cute kids and/or pets and I'm thrilled to hang up the card and call it a day lol!
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  • image eaglesfan700:

    We like to play "read between the lines" with them at CHristmas dinner.  My brother is the best at that, he comes up with some hysterical stuff

    Really, no one's life is as sickeningly perfect as these letters make them out to be and it's just eyeroll worthy.  I have gotten a couple funny ones which I don't mind

    This is why I wish my family did letters.  I think it would be so funny to pick them apart and read the "real" meanings of what our family members would write :)

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  • image eaglesfan700:

    We like to play "read between the lines" with them at CHristmas dinner.  My brother is the best at that, he comes up with some hysterical stuff

    Really, no one's life is as sickeningly perfect as these letters make them out to be and it's just eyeroll worthy.  I have gotten a couple funny ones which I don't mind

    What kind of letters do you get that are sickeningly perfect?  I get plenty of letters every year and none are about a perfect life.  They all include real life things like "kid is good but being a typical 3 year old and driving us crazy" type thing.

    I do a letter every year too (well every year except the first year we were married because everyone knew the big thing that happened that year) and always include things that are normal or challenging in our year.  I'm not writting things like "my 2 year old can read, write & play every piece of music that I put in front of her" it's more like "2 year old is a typical 2 year old.  She loves these things and we love her".  I do a brief blurb for every person in the family and then an overview of the year for things that don't fit into a specific person.

    Daughter #1 - February 12, 2010 

    natural m/c March 11, 2011 at 8 1/2 weeks 

    Daughter #2 - January 11, 2012 

    Ectopic pregnancy discovered November 6, 2012 at 6 weeks

    Daughter #3 - January 19, 2014

    Started our exploration into the world of international adoption June 2012.  We have no idea what this is going to look like but we are excited to find out!

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  • I only get one letter every year from the same family. They are older, so it usually talks about what health problems they've had. It's not a tradition I am used to, but to each their own.
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  • I also think they are braggy and impersonal.  I mean, I am the person who loves photo cards, which are also impersonal- but at least no one is trying to remind me for the 10th year in a row that they, in fact, have a PhD.

    If people wanted to give me real information about them they'd call or e-mail or otherwise contact me personally.  To me, Christmas cards are just a quick "I'm thinking of you" not a "Hey!  Look at all of the things I accomplished this year!"

    I don't really care if I get them.  As others have said, DH and I tend to mock them.  But that is our idea of quality time together:-)

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  • I do enjoy making fun of them.  My all time favorite was my now sister-in-law's when she was dating my husband's brother. 

    Her spin on events:  What a whirlwind year, Al and I had our beautiful second child.  It was the perfect age gap with our DD.  Al was lucky to have the opportunity to work on his Masters.  With some much needed time off of work, we were able to go a much needed vacation to reconnect.

    Reality:  She had one kid and met my BIL in November.  In January, we met her and they announced their pregnancy.  Baby was born in early August.  She quit her job because it wasn't child friendly and my BIL was fired for missing too much work.  Then they moved in with my MIL who provided free child care while they charged a trip on their credit card.

  • image amy052006:
    I don't get the letter hate. nbsp;I love them sending me a holiday letter is an open invitation to mock you, and I gladly accept! nbsp;I wish I got more letters!

    Yup this exactly. I looooove them.
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  • image amy052006:
    I don't get the letter hate.  I love them -- sending me a holiday letter is an open invitation to mock you, and I gladly accept!  I wish I got more letters!

    We get one every year from our friends who are a little nutty. I love to hate it. One year they told us all about how much the wife was enjoying breastfeeding their first child.  

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  • image I Heart The 80s:

    I have also read some like this: "Bob started a new job in January. He was promoted over 50 people and is now the top earner in his division. We were so proud. We celebrated with a 10 day trip to Hawaii. He also surprised me with some huge diamond studs. We are so blessed and I am so lucky. Oh, and did I mention that Bob Jr. was voted President of his class? His classmates adore him and look up to him for leadership. He is the king of 1st grade". 

    I have gotten this exact letter. 

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  • image Hav=Fath:
    image KateB1984:

    I love getting Christmas letters. We have a large family, and I really care to hear about what's happening in my dad's cousins' families. They're not all braggy - they're full of all the events. I find out what grades my 2nd cousins are in, when adult children move out on their own, when people get new jobs or lose jobs, when relatives are diagnosed with cancer, and when relatives have plans to visit our area in the new year. I post the letters on my fridge, and then actually tuck the letters behind the family photo in my photo album because I enjoy them and never want to throw them away.

    Like many things, before TB it never occurred to me people actually didn't care about other people's lives if they're not close enough to be in the know on every little thing. It certainly never occurred to me that people would mock the letters. Well, that's depressing.

    This is very, very well said. 

    I second that.

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  • I don't write them...but my grandma does. And sends them.to.everybody.

    I wouldn't mind, but they're always negative...and about me! Fill in every closely scrutinized parenting decision, and that's what she sends to 100 plus people.

  • image amy052006:
    yeah, we need to declare a day where we all write our own holiday letters to the SAHM board.  That would be a riot.

    I think we should create AE's, post our Christmas letter and then have everyone guess who we are.

     

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  • image KateB1984:

    Like many things, before TB it never occurred to me people actually didn't care about other people's lives if they're not close enough to be in the know on every little thing. It certainly never occurred to me that people would mock the letters. Well, that's depressing.

    This for me!

    We got a lot of them growing up and I always liked them. Usually ours were from college friends of my parents they only spoke to occasionally, friends that have moved away and we had a hard time staying in close contact with, or similar people. My mom still loves getting them because she doesn't use Facebook or email to keep in casual touch with people and this is her way of keeping up with people she's not close to (and has no real desire to be) but likes knowing what is happening in their lives because they used to be good friends before drifting away. Sometimes it is fun to just see what people are up to.

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  • image Kimbus22:

    My problem with them is that I have never once received one that wasn't a 3 page long condescending bragfest about how amazing the letter writer and their family are.  And they contain WAY too much information no one cares about. I really don't need to know about all 7 vacations you took or about how your 6 month old can do backward handsprings while reciting the US Presidents in order.

     

    I DO dislike those. There was one family that sent out a 7 page extravaganza of how amazing they were. It was...special. Especially when you knew how miserable everyone in the family was. I am much more excited to read the short, nice ones that are clearly trying to just be a summary of what they did that year.

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  • I think it's all in how the letter is written.  IMO, I like getting them because we've got such a large social circle and let's face it, they're a great bathroom reader!  More importantly, it's a chance to connect with people we don't get to see or have much contact with because of distance and many still don't have internet. 

    There's one that I'll miss getting though...  A friend of ours passed away a few weeks ago.  He was 100years old, only had one hand, and typed a Christmas letter every year until he was 98 and went into a nursing home that the letter was so thick it had to be sent in a manilla envelope (~16-18 pages, single spaced, typed by hand on a typewriter)..  He kept writing them because when everyone he sent them to would ask him in September if he'd started on the letter yet and how much they legitimately loved being on "the list" to get one (some would call him up if they hadn't gotten one by mid-January to ask if he had decided to pack it up).  I learned more about Minnesota history in his letters (he was a farmer and legislator until he retired in the 80's) than I ever could from a textbook.  And yes, he even poked a little fun at himself telling people to use it as a "bathroom reader"!

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  • image Kimbus22:

    My problem with them is that I have never once received one that wasn't a 3 page long condescending bragfest about how amazing the letter writer and their family are.  And they contain WAY too much information no one cares about. I really don't need to know about all 7 vacations you took or about how your 6 month old can do backward handsprings while reciting the US Presidents in order.

     

    Yeah I try to keep mine to one page single sided, so 3 pages would be a bit much really!

    Daughter #1 - February 12, 2010 

    natural m/c March 11, 2011 at 8 1/2 weeks 

    Daughter #2 - January 11, 2012 

    Ectopic pregnancy discovered November 6, 2012 at 6 weeks

    Daughter #3 - January 19, 2014

    Started our exploration into the world of international adoption June 2012.  We have no idea what this is going to look like but we are excited to find out!

    image              image

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  • i think, in general, people don't like to see others happy -- which is really, really sad...i think kate said it best. personally, i like to hear what's happening in my friends lives. i've never read one that's obnoxious, and i respect good writing and the work that goes into sharing these letters!
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