Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Why I Love Holiday Letters

Oh I know it's the time of year for all of the grouchy editorialists to bemoan and/or lampoon the holiday letters they get from family and friends. But I'm here to say, even if I'm the lone voice, that I love holiday letters. I love them even if they only tell me about the A that little Johhnie got in choir and not the D he got in Math, even if they tell about Uncle Jim's fishing trip to Mexico and not the fact that he spent a week in rehab, or omit from the glowing accounts of Jennifer's stage debut that she threw up in the costume room from stage fright.

I don't care that it's the "best of" each family's year. I'm just happy to see their faces and hear their exploits (seriously edited though they may be), and am sincerely joyous that they have things to celebrate in their letter. I'm happy that they may have taken trips to tropical places, that their kids are doing outstanding things, or that their puppy is the cutest on the planet. Why not spend this time of year rejoicing in our loved one's accomplishments instead of demeaning them because they don't give us the nitty gritty details of every derailment along the way. After all, those omitted bloopers are all just steps on the same path of the accomplishments that they choose to share.

And having lost a few good friends and family members on the path of my life, people who will never again have the opportunity to send me a corny or even boasting letter, I'm all the more happy to see the ones that do arrive each and every year. So bring 'em on, I say, send 'em to me. Share the holiday joy.

And yes, as this is my "sustainability blog" I know that an e-card might be better than a paper one, environmentally speaking. But I really love the physical act of getting cards and letters. It doesn't happen all that often these days, where an email or text message is more likely to arrive. If we're going to cut down on paper use and mailing, let's tackle all of those endless credit card proposals, junk mail flyers, and the avalanche of political stuff I got this year before taking away the sweet traditions of the holiday cards and letters.


Anonymous said...

There is something special about a letter or card, just holding it in the hand and knowing it touched the hands of the writer. I agree, it is important to think of the people who write the letters as human, who choose what to share (and what to omit). We can all share in their happiness, after all, we all have the ups and downs too, and appreciate when others can share our joys too!

Christy said...

I love those holiday letters too! I sent one out every year and love ready the ones I receive.