If you haven't already noticed, my husband and I are pretty geeky. We love crossword puzzles and regularly debate whether we are using a word correctly. We actually consult a dictionary on a semi-regular basis. We like puns and laugh at dumb things. This is apparent in our annual Christmas letters. See, my philosophy on Christmas cards is I like to hear a little bit about what is going on in the sender's life. Just a picture is not enough for me. I like some information. That said, I have my limits. I think, like resumes, Christmas letters should be one page, if possible, and should be to the point. If they are funny, all the better. I don't appreciate the letters that are braggy, but prefer more down-to-earth letters.
Sometimes, though, I have difficulty writing these letters, because I don't feel like when we get to my paragraph, I have anything very interesting to say. I mean, who wants to hear how many poopy messes I cleaned up or how often I had to separate my squabbling children? On the other hand, I don't want to downplay my contribution to the family. It may be really, really mundane and menial stuff I do, for the most part, but someone's got to do it. And it does take a certain amount of panache and creativity to manage the job of motherhood, in my humble opinion.
So, last year, I was determined to not be self-deprecatory; I was going to celebrate each of our accomplishments. What resulted was we pretended to be a family of superheroes. Charlotte was Streaker because she is constantly getting naked. I was the Juggler because of my marvelous multi-tasking skills, Danny was the Whirling Dervish, because of his amazing energy and Bil was Captain Conniption because he cheered up the kids just by walking in the door each night. You get the point. Well, personally, I thought it was pretty amusing. Definitely nerdy, but fun.
Last night, I found out that my sister doesn't enjoy our Christmas letters. She said she would prefer to just get the picture, because she doesn't have the time or patience to wade through what she referred to as my "fluff." She was mostly joking, but it still hurt my feelings. This apparently is also why she never reads my blog. I am just too long-winded. She also implied the only reason I write this stuff is because I am lonely. It's true. I am a bit lonely sometimes, (who isn't?) but that really isn't the reason I write. I just like it, which is probably why I majored in English in college and taught writing afterwards. It is cathartic to me, it helps me work through my problems and laugh at the ridiculous in my life. It is also nice to use my brain for a bit.
Now I am second-guessing myself and this year's letter, which we are almost done writing. Maybe I should just forget about the stupid letters and order those picture cards from Walgreens. Are we totally annoying everyone who gets them? Surely, there are other people out there who wouldn't mind a small glimpse into our family life. People who get a small smile, as I do, after reading about the adventures of their friend's family.
Would it just be better to spare the energy and time? The thing is, Bil and I usually have a lot of fun writing the letters. We sit together in front of the computer and brainstorm and laugh at our goofiness. It is a creative outlet for me, something silly and fun to think about, but also something for Bil and I to bond over that is not stressful.
I don't know. I think I will just take my sister off our Christmas letter list and send them to everyone else. I mean, if someone really would prefer not to take the 5 minutes it would take to read it, that is their prerogative, right? This is a tradition we enjoy, so why should I let someone else's opinion ruin that?