We wrote three Family Christmas letters one year.
The reality check, went something like this:
Pretty much our life hit rock bottom this year. It’s been filled to brim with financial setbacks galore, unemployment, minimum wage jobs for the grown ups, multiple visits with various government workers, lots of paperwork, mechanical failures of every kind, mental health issues, surgeries, poor health, teenage angst and rebellion out the wazoo, junior high drama. You name it, we’ve experienced it. It’s a wonder we’re all still sane. Hope your family is having a better year than we are. Merry Christmas!
The rated G for too-good-to-be-true version, went something like this:
Just wanted to update you on our family’s stellar year! Dad has had plenty of time to work on projects around the house, mom is busy expanding her résumé! We’ve added doctors and lawyers to our list of close acquaintances! Each of the children have increased their knowledge base with new experiences and fun and exciting people! Time just seems to race by with all that we have going on! What a year!!!!!!!!!!! Here’s hoping you’re family is as wonderful and great as ours! Happy Holidays!!!!!!
A kind of tightrope act between the first two letters, went like this:
Thought we’d let you know what’s happening in our neck of the woods. It hasn’t been a very good year for us, but we’re making the best of it. Mom has gone back out into the workforce and so us kids have had to step up a bit and help out more. Dad’s been looking for work for a while. It hasn’t been easy, but we’re learning a lot. We could use some extra prayers if you’re the praying sort. We surely do pray for and love you and your family. We feel blessed to know you. Here’s to a Happy New Year for all of us!
I can’t remember if we actually mailed any letters out at all. I don’t think we did. Couldn’t afford the stamps, or ran out of time. It was pretty hilarious writing them all, kind of healing to laugh at the pain.
Maybe it was our way of dealing with all the letters we received that made our toes curl with jealousy or irritated us with their rose-colored glasses perspective. Or maybe it was a reaction to the view that everyone else has a perfect life, a perfect family, a perfectly normal kind of constant happiness. We knew that wasn’t true, but it can feel that way when your life has gone south.
Sometimes laughter really is the only way to treat life’s headaches.
p.s. The preceding events may have been altered or fictionalized or embellished for brevity as well as sanity.
p.p.s. If you send out Family Christmas letters, please keep doing so, we love hearing about your family, warts and awards and all!
p.p.p.s. Merry Christmas!