We’ve survived another holiday season, with enough cheer, food, angst, more food and family time to get us through another year. We actually had a very pleasant holiday – just the right balance of celebration and relaxation. My one lingering regret is that our Christmas cards never got sent. We have the cards – we even ordered picture prints for each one, but there the piles sit in my kitchen hopeful and patient. Maybe next year.
Instead we composed a holiday E-News letter. While such an action is enough to cause Martha Stewart to rip into the homemade bottles of bloody Mary Mix she so carefully wrapped in her designer hand towels, we felt it was the least we could do to try to salvage the remains of long-neglected correspondence. It was your usual fare; snippets of information about what we’ve been up to this year, quips about the challenges of parenting and how our kids keep us on our toes, recognitions of our blessings, etc. etc. Pretty much typical of what many of us receive this time of year. Sure the activities might vary from letter to letter – “Little Jimmy began his pre-school SAT prep class this year” – and the achievements differ – “We’re happy to report that Bob has been cleared of all charges” – but it’s generally a glossy look back at your family’s year.
I think next year we should all aim for a little more honesty in our letters. I’m not suggesting that what we write now isn’t true, I just don’t think it paints an accurate portrait of our day-to-day selves. Let’s make the newsletter process a little more relatable. Talking points might include:
“We finally made it to the bottom of the laundry pile in the closet!”
“We cooked more at home, mostly because the Chinese food place no longer delivers.”
“The children had clean socks that matched almost every day this year.”
“Nobody ingested anything toxic.”
“After many months, we figured out where that smell was coming from.”
“Nobody hit, bit, scratched or in anyway caused bodily harm to anyone else.”
“Our son decided NOT to take up the drums.”
“We finished painting the 1/3 of the wall that was left unpainted when we ran out of paint last February.”
“Twice this year the children replaced the roll of toilet paper on their own without being asked.”
“And finally, we’re happy to report that we’ve all managed to avoid stepping in it when the cat poops in the hall.”
Yes, I think this is what we should aim for. After all, it’s the little day to day triumphs that unify us and for which we are truly grateful.
I hope this finds you all well and enjoying the both the big and small blessings in your own lives!
Happy New Year!