Those Annoying Chistmas Brag Letters!!! ugh..

bulldinkieDecember 11, 2001

Does anybody get those annoying Christmas letters EVERY YEAR EVERY DETAIL of the families history???I Do they make me sick my hubbys brother did it and now his 4 kids are grown and now they do it. I dont even read them anymore I just trash them. They tell you everything but when they use the bathroom and believe me thats probably next.

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Hmmmm...I like them. The way our lives are these days we're so busy that we don't keep in touch with people who are important to us as much as we should. I know I'm always happy to hear what's going on, even if it's just once a year. If things are going well in my friends' or relatives' lives, I'm happy and celebrate with them. If not, I want to be able to support them.

I don't send them myself, but I don't see anything offensive about them. I don't see them as bragging; I see them as coming from people who have stuff going on and want to share with people they care about. Maybe you don't like these people very much so you don't care?

Even though they're not a handwritten, unique and individual letter to each person, I'm happy to be considered someone worth sharing happiness with.

Just my opinion.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2001 at 3:26PM
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Sorry, but my dh and I write those "annoying Christmas brag letters" as you call them. We cannot keep every single person informed of the changes in our life every time they occur, and so at Christmas we send a letter that has the highlights of the year (job changes, moving, weddings, births, deaths, etc.) and warm holiday wishes along with a family picture. No one that we send them to finds them "annoying." Perhaps you need to get over being so selfish that you don't care what goes on in others lives. They are doing this to include people in their lives, not to "brag." If you don't like it, don't read it.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2001 at 3:30PM
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I have only gotten one of these ever - and it was from my son's photographer that I had become acquainted with throughout the year. We just kind of hit it off, and I was honored that she thought enough of me to send me a card, let alone the letter. It also gave me a bit more insight on her life - for example - how involved she and her husband are in their church.

However, I can imagine that some are just opportunities to brag. If I ever get one from BIL, it will be a big brag notice, and yes, I would find that annoying. Example - DH asked him if his stepson got to play much on the basketball team and his comment was "HE IS THE BASKETBALL TEAM". I think these letters should be sent to people you aren't in contact with much throughout the year.

I have considered doing one myself this year, but am still undecided.


    Bookmark   December 11, 2001 at 3:38PM
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I do not send these Christmas letters, but do get several from old friends that I an not in close touch with. They do not seem to be bragging, its more reporting who has done what, who got engaged, married, had a baby, etc.

Look forward to them ever year.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2001 at 3:39PM
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Count me in as one who does not write them, but enjoys reading others. I only have one friend that still does them and due to my quitting work 6 years ago we haven't seen each other as often, but I love getting them. There is both info and a little bragging, but then again we'd brag about our kids accomplishments if we saw each other in person so this is no different. But on the other hand, I do know people who feel the same way as the OP and just hates them. I guess it's all subjective.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2001 at 3:52PM
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...that we should look at the fact that these people are taking the time to do them, though - it isn't always all that easy to write a happy, upbeat letter at Christmas, especially when you've just lost your house and are having to file bankruptcy..... I mean, it's Christmas, you know? Why be so critical about people that are just trying to make contact?

    Bookmark   December 11, 2001 at 3:57PM
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I look forward to the letters every year. However, I will not write one for my own family because I am well aware that a lot of people do not like them. I notice a lot of them are written in third person which might come off as snobbish. Many are in no way bragging, many are clearly bragging although just a little. Sometimes people are so down or having a difficult time it hurts to hear how someone else is doing good. Weddings, babies, this can all be like salt on the wound of someone going through a divorce or a difficult marriage for example. I think people are just trying to be social though.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2001 at 4:05PM
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The bragging ones (and you know who you are!) actually seem a little sad to me. Especially when I know for a fact that everything isn't all hearts and flowers in Mayberry. But, we do get some funny and informative ones that I do enjoy reading.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2001 at 4:25PM
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I wrote one of those letters this year because I have a large family and would never get anything sent out if I had to write a note in each and every one. I write the letters because I really hate receiving a Christmas card with just a signature in it. I tried to tone the card down so it didn't sound like bragging, but I prefer to write in a more cheery tone rather than to complain about the negative stuff. With all of the bad things that have happened in this country in the last year, it's easy to be happy with the things going on in my life. I look around and I don't truly have a lot to complain about.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2001 at 5:17PM
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I have to agree with the original poster--there's absolutely no reason for them, they're way past annoying in my book and I don't read them either--just toss them. I keep in touch with my family and friends during the year, so anyone I want to know about, I do. If there's something I particularly want to say to someone I write them a PERSONAL note, individually. If your excuse is that you don't have time to keep in touch during the year and try to do it wholesale with a mass-produced Christmas transcript, think about this--I'M busy, too and don't have time to sit reading that drivel.

Bulldinkie--just had a great thought, I'm going to keep track of all who send them this year and next year, I'm going to send them a LONNNNGGGGG letter with the most outrageous lies in it. Think it will work?

    Bookmark   December 11, 2001 at 6:23PM
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Have you forgotten what Christmas is about?
Come on, guys - if you don't like them, fine, toss them out, but don't insult people for trying to do something a little more personal than just a signature on a cookie-cutter Christmas card.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2001 at 7:18PM
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This is an interesting debate - and I've been intrigued reading everyone's responses because this is something that I don't know whether to like the letters or not - I guess I am more of the belief that I personally would prefer a hand-written note meant specifically for me - is that selfish - I don't think so. Somebody posted that Christmas Cards are a "cookie cutter" way of wishing a merry christmas - But if someone prefers to write what I consider to be also a "cookie cutter" letter- I don't mind - I just prefer a "personal touch" but understand everybody is busier these days - I personally just buy "cookie cutter" Christmas cards and say "merry Christmas" - for those far away people that I don't get to talk to often, I'll include a little note with information meant specifically for them on the left hand side of the letter. But that's just me. However, I don't think that any points were scored when the person who tried to defend letters said that people shouldn't be put down for writing letters while at the same time suggested those of us who do use Christmas Cards as our only means of communicating a wish for a merry christmas were simply "putting a signature" on a "Cookie Cutter" Christmas Card -they defeated their purpose of reminding us it is Christmas and people have different tastes. To imply that cards are impersonal was probably not fair. I personally seem to be happy either way if somebody sends me a card or sends me their yearly update. I would hope that in either situation, they are wishing me a merry christmas!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2001 at 7:40PM
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I hate them. I figure if they could take the time to write something like that they could take the time to get together with ya and call ya more often. So there

    Bookmark   December 11, 2001 at 8:24PM
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Well, for the most part, I really do enjoy getting the annual letters and appreciate the time and thought that went into having to actually sit down and write about the entire year. I do have one relative who often times seems to be bragging, but, even bragging isn't the right word...I don't know, it seems sort of fakey to me. But, in all fairness, again, I'm sure they are just trying to update us on the highlights of their year. And, truth be known, we didn't receive one of those letters from said relative last year and I was actually surprised to find myself feeling disappointed.
When I fill out my Christmas cards each year I always make it a point to write *something* extra in each one, even if it's one personal line. I write the receipients name inside each card as well as each member of my immediate family. I do this because *that* is what makes *me* feel good when *I* receive a Christmas card. This year I also enclosed a copy of a poem entitled, "Christmas Card List." I admit, I get almost irritated when I open a card and it just says "Joe and Mary" mention of our names, no "have a great year" or "Love"...just "Joe and Mary." I should probably still feel appreciative, but, I don't. I feel the same way about that scenario as some of you do about the "annual Christmas letter."
We should probably all choose to be just a little more grateful and just a little less irritated. ~Pam

    Bookmark   December 11, 2001 at 8:27PM
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I like Christmas letters.

We get some of the "brag" ones you talk about - nothing but spun sugar & sweetness. Yes, they are enough to make you gag sometimes.

I like the ones where they tell what has happened (glad & sad) during the year. That's the kind we send & like to receive.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2001 at 11:43PM
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Nobody close to me sends these letters. But the past four years I have been getting one of these from a girl I knew in high school. The letters just started showing up one Christmas after I hadn't heard from her or even THOUGHT of her in more than 15 years. I think I had one class with her. I wish she would write me a personal note that wishes ME well and asks about my life and my family. When I got the first one, I was wrote her a nice letter back (long). The only thing I have ever received is this Christmas letter, but it's more like reading a newspaper column about the successes of these people I do not know. I am thinking about writing to her and asking her to "please remove me from your mailing list". :)

    Bookmark   December 12, 2001 at 7:08AM
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Vivian - I was not saying that there is anything wrong with the coockie cutter cards with just a signature, I enjoy getting them, too. I just think it is low to insult those of us that chose to do something different because you feel we are "bragging."

    Bookmark   December 12, 2001 at 7:12AM
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Whew, since I just did it night before last, let me say this: By the time I addressed all the envelopes, wrote my DD's name and pic date on the back of all her pics, and signed all the cards, I could not have possibly written a personal note. My arm was ready to fall off. (also DD's birthday is the 23'd, so I also just got done filling out 22 party invitations for her classmates, and have thank-you cards to look forward to.)

I'm trying to learn how to do mail-merge over on the computer forum, so next time I can take the addresses from my Palm and at least do the envelopes, so my poor hand can have a little energy left to do personal notes.

The best thing I received this year was one of those photo cards from a couple I know, with an original poem that they wrote, in honor of this year's holiday. No personal note, but IMHO, none was needed. I enjoyed the poem and the pic.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2001 at 8:42AM
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These are letters where they type one letter run off copies and send to everybody. all about mommy got a raise Daddy makes more than mommy, tommys in baseball the best... sarah is a girl scout, top of her class of course, susie in the band,some of the kids do 5 different things,one guy built a wall to a room in one day, this one got a pool this one just came back from bahamas. Its not about christmas to these people. we see them a couple times a year...

    Bookmark   December 12, 2001 at 9:17AM
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Sounds like you have a problem with one particular family. It's pretty hurtful when I read how "annoying" something I am spending a lot of time working on is to people that have nothing better to do than complain about it. I think you understand as little about the season as you think they do....

    Bookmark   December 12, 2001 at 9:24AM
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I receive a variety of these letters and some years we do them ourselves. I don't think *all* of them are annoying (or else, of course we wouldn't ever do them ourselves!) But certainly they sometimes are!

I enjoy getting the letters, but have to admit that I poke fun at some of the ones we do receive. My elderly great-uncle writes one every year that kind of rants about how everything today is going downhill and how much he wishes for the good ol' days and ends with the basic message "well, despite the fact that life is not so great now, try to have a Happy Holiday anyway". I like to hear from him, but the tone is funny for the holidays.

I also have cousins that we don't keep in super-close contact with who divulge details that I think are odd. They share about the new car that they bought this year (fine with me, they've never had a brand new car and are excited) but spent a whole paragraph detailing all the features of the car - I'd rather just hear about *you* and your family, not your anti-lock brakes!

No matter what people write, I'm glad to be thought of and to get their news, but I do get a little guilty pleasure out of poking fun (privately, with DH) about the things some people choose to share with everyone!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2001 at 10:00AM
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The letters we get from distant relatives are a welcome treat! We do get one in particular from an acquaintance we never see or hear from until the letter comes. They brag in excess every year about their airplane, their travels, their illnesses, etc. Why they just don't send it to family members, I haven't a clue. I just laugh it off, I guess they are lonely. I have never sent one of these letters because I really don't want to tell all to everyone. Some friends and family get certain details of our lives and others don't. Most of the cards we send are handwritten with a short greeting attached.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2001 at 10:02AM
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No, not ALL of them are annoying, but lots of them sure are goofy.

I enjoy receiving any cards and letters at holiday time, but I definitely perfer the ones where the people have taken a moment to write a personal greeting.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2001 at 10:08AM
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I have only seen one Christmas letter in my life. It was last year when I was at my old job, one of the ex-coworkers sent us the letter just to update us on his life. His family, wife, two kids, etc., well the birth of the second which was a major deal for them. It was nice to hear about all that, because no one really kept in touch with this ex-coworker because he moved so far away.

I don't write the letters myself because I know my family couldn't care less if my DD learned how to count to 20 or if she learned this or that, grew this much, and they'd not care about what accomplishments I've had. The family I DO see often already knows these things.

However, in my Christmas cards, I do include a wallet-sized pic of DD and myself just because this is an annual thing... for those family members I only see during weddings (rare) and funerals (rare as well - thank God), because I want them to see how my DD is growing up physically. I just make sure I hand write in messages, sometimes they are lengthy, wishing them well and hoping their families are doing well.

I don't really have a problem with the letters, I know lots of families do them. It is old fashioned and kinda neat, but I have no reason do them myself.

- darkeyedgirl

    Bookmark   December 12, 2001 at 10:17AM
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I usually will send a short note just letting them know how the kids are doing. I don't have time to get together with everyone in my family (they and I are just too busy) but I hope they don't find my letters annoying lol.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2001 at 10:35AM
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Just thought I'd share a wonderful letter we got from a friend with 4 children between the ages of 1 and 5 years old. How she found time to even do this is beyond me. I loved it!

Our Year with Four

One in kindergarten
Two cases of Chicken Pox
Three out of diapers
Four sleeping through the night

One tying his shoes
Two broken bones
Three dressing themselves
Four walking

One lost tooth
Two new kittens
Three in car seats
Four feeding themselves

One fabulous year
Two thankful parents
Three miles to run each day for our sanity
Four great kids who look just like their daddy
Five years and I am finally sleeping
Six healthy people - One happy family

Have a great Holiday!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2001 at 11:56AM
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Lisa! That was great! Thanks!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2001 at 12:11PM
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I love the Christmas letters, even the brag-rags. I find them very entertaining!

Just before C'Mas last year, my DH attented an army class in order to be promoted to the next rank. We got a card and letter from a family (the wife was in that class) that was PURE brag. To top it off, it "mentioned" that the wife was soon to be promoted to the new rank. I was surprised to read that, because if you know anything about the army, THEY ARE SLOW and this particular promotion takes a year or so to process. A year later, my DH is still going thru the promotion process and it looks like this particular woman hasn't been officialy promoted yet either. I'm just dying to see this year's letter to see if they'll re-run that particular sentence, hee, hee.

I get one letter from a family that want kids but can't. They write about new cars and houses and shopping and $$$$ and at first I think, oh, wish I could have some of those things! But then I remember they'd give it all for a baby and I've got a housefull of those so I count my blessings!

I would love to write a funny letter that brags "tongue-in- cheek" but I can never get things done in time for a deadline. I still have piles of little construction paper turkeys that were supposed to be sent out to the grandparents in time for THANKSGIVING!!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2001 at 1:20PM
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I thought the point of Christmas was to make it personal. I agree with the post that said "just take me off your mailing list." That is what I feel like I am on when I receive these. I don't care if the letter brags or is sad or friendly. I feel it is impersonal and anonymous. Everyone on the list gets the same typed letter. If you can't scribble a line or call me then don't bother. For those who complain they have so many cards to write - why don't you drop these people a note at other times of the year? If this is the only way you keep in contact - then what are these people to you? They certainly aren't friends.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2001 at 3:38PM
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Merry Christmas.... :oP

    Bookmark   December 12, 2001 at 3:41PM
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Life can get pretty busy sometimes and slap you right across the face. For my family and I that is exactly how most of this past year has been for us. From my husband's grandfather having a couple of strokes and my spending night upon night with him at the hospital and then day upon day at home with him to the welcomed birth of my Goddaughter and subsequently her death four days later and everything that has happened in-between those events and before, as well as after. Yes, with all of what has gone on in my personal life I must admit that I have indeed let communication with friends lapse. Dear friends...old friends and in-between friends. When something wasn't happening in our lives then the truth is that I was just too darned tired and brain dead to carry out my part of communicating. So in answer to the question, "what are these people to you?" The answer is simple...they are people whom I care deeply about and think about often, even when I'm unable to take a minute or two throughout the year and tell them so. My Christmas cards give me the opportunity to re-connect with people and let them know that by no means have they been forgotten. I copied this poem from one of these forums...maybe it says things better than I am able to. ~Pam
There is a list of folks I know
All written in a book,
And every year at Christmas time
I go and take a look.
And that is when I realize
Those names are all a part
Not of this book they're written in,
But deep inside my heart.
For each name stands for someone
Who has touched my life sometime,
And in that meeting they've become
A special friend of mine.
I really feel that I'm composed
Of each remembered name,
And my life is so much better
Than it was before they came.
Once you've known that "someone"
All the years cannot erase
The memory of a pleasant word
Or of a friendly face.
So never think my Christmas cards
Are just a mere routine
Of names upon a list that are
Forgotten in between.
For when I send a Christmas card
That is addressed to you,
It is because you're on that list
Of folks I'm indebted to.
And whether I have known you
For many years or few,
The greatest gift that God can give
Is having friends like you
~Author Unknown~

    Bookmark   December 12, 2001 at 4:17PM
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Have you forgotten what Christmas is about?
Come on, guys - if you don't like them, fine, toss them out, but don't insult people for trying to do something a little more personal than just a signature on a cookie-cutter Christmas card."

KerryCLem, you made my point for me. No I haven't forgotten what Christmas is about. Printed newsletters ARE NOT PERSONAL!

I enjoy sending family and friends truly PERSONAL cards with hand-written messages. What I didn't include in my original answer was the fact that I MAKE all my Christmas cards--using my own HANDMADE paper and enclosing a hand-written note to each person and often a handmade tree ornament. Now, do you see why I find it offensive to get a mass-produced, bragfest? To me, it's NOT personal, it doesn't show an investment of a lot of thought or effort on the sender's part, IMO. I'd prefer a pretty purchased card with one sentence saying hello to me and my family personally to 10 pages of the 'Christmas News, Blues and Views'.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2001 at 4:24PM
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Oh, good grief! I have been reading these posts and can't believe some of the comments. We don't write the infamous letters(don't have time). I do try to scribble a little note on the cards if I do have time. We get the letters and I don't mind them. Some do brag but we know who they are and it really doesn't bother me. As far as keeping in touch with everyone or they aren't really our friends, we have moved 12 times in 13 years. There is no way I can keep up with all of our friends(yes, friends) so Christmas cards are the only way we keep in touch with some of them. I also do not have the time to do this, with 2 kids, a husband who works 24/7, a stinker of a puppy, a home to run and a part time job I'm doing good to get to grab a meal and go potty most of the time. I think people need to lighten up and not be so critical of others. It seems like more and more these posts are turning into vicious(sp?) arguments. Why can't we just all get along? MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2001 at 4:25PM
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Sorry that the rest of us don't all have time to make our own paper and cards and envelopes and everything else.... My whole point is that I find the OP to be insulting to those of us that do send out Christmas letters. I think that Pam put my feelings into words very eloquently.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2001 at 4:29PM
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My cousin sends the letters, but also adds a few personal, handwritten lines. I do like that; makes me feel special (although I'm sure she writes a few lines to everyone!).

I'm so let down when I open a card and there's NOTHING - just a signature. But that's ok - - maybe that's all that person had in them that day.

I try to write a little something, even one or two lines, on every card. I also use their name in whatever I say, such as "Dear Mary ...".

As far as the "letters", they're fine with me even if there's no special note. I think that the person who wrote it included me in receiving something that they spent time on. That's nice, isn't it?

There's certainly a lot of negativity and snippiness on this thread. For the person that writes a separate note on every card, wonderful! For the person who writes the letters but includes a personal note, terrific! For the people who write the letters, yay! Everyone has their own schedules and time limitations. Make a card? Make handmade paper? Wow - I can't imagine having time, talent, or inclination for that - but good for you!

Who are we, as receivers, to criticize how someone chooses to reach out to us - - isn't it nice that they've reached out to us? For that one moment in time, even if only when they were addressing the envelope, YOU are the person they were thinking about.

Perhaps those of you who hate these letters and just toss them should let the sender know that you don't care enough about them to read them. I'm sure they'd like to save the 34 cents. But I think they'd be pretty hurt to know that people they cared enough about to send a card to and to update on what's going on with them really doesn't give a hoot.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2001 at 5:02PM
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OMG I can't even imagine having the time to make all my own cards and paper and stuff plus writing a note in each one of them. I even avoid just looking at the cover of the Martha Stewart Living magazine when I'm in line at the grocery store.


    Bookmark   December 12, 2001 at 5:06PM
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Pamm, thanks for posting that poem. I enjoyed it so much!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2001 at 11:34PM
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Since everyone is so honestly sharing their feelings, what do you all think of someone like me, who doesn't neccesarily get cards out? What about late cards? Cards printed up off the computer? Emails? Really late thank-yous? Sometimes I find notes or thank-yous that I've written out and never actually sent. I really care about these people, I just can't for the life of me consistently get them out.

You can't please everybody all the time. People can find a negative in anything. Someone might see the "letter" as impersonal junk mail. Someone could see handmade paper as one-upmanship. But that is because that is what they are choosing to see.

I sometimes wonder what those who don't receive cards from us (who know that they are on the proverbial "list") choose to see? Do they see rude, selfish people who couldn't care less? Do they see well-meaning incompetents who just can't get it together? Do they see quirky folks who just don't play that? Do they not see us at all? I think it depends on who they are, who we are, and our relationship with them. I think the same would be true if we sent store-bought cards, letters, or even handmade extravaganzas.

Yes, some people do send cards/letters/whatever to feed their own egos, and some people send them just because they are expected to. But I bet you already knew that about them anyway. So why let it bother you? Why allow that negativity to intrude into your life? I see no problem with tossing a goofy "brag letter", but skip the angst on the way to the trash!

[[Disclaimer: "you" is not meant to refer to anyone in particular, I am just a lazy writer ]]

    Bookmark   December 13, 2001 at 1:23AM
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Just a thought on bragging....

Maybe people "brag" because they think you actually care about what is going on in their lives? If you don't care, then why not tell them, so neither of you are wasting your time? I guess I'm more offended by people who don't feel that I am worth sharing with, then those who take the sharing to an extreme.

Thoughts on christmas letters...

Several of my DH's (many) siblings send them out. I love them. His family is spread out all over the world, and we only get to speak to them a few times a year because of jobs, families, and the BIGGEST reason... different time zones. We like hearing about what they are doing. It is hard to stay in touch, and there are things everyone wants to share with their loved ones, but we are all too busy to individually write the same things in different words to 20 different people.

Now, sending a xeroxed letter to a classmate you haven't thought about in 15 years is taking it a bit overboard (although it makes for a funny story you could add to your christmas letter :o)


    Bookmark   December 13, 2001 at 1:54AM
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Sarah...oh my gosh...I do the very same exact thing as you! Yes, I did get all of my Christmas cards out this year, but! My cards from the last two years got filled out, addressed and never, even mailed. I have tons of occassion cards here that I have bought with the best of intentions only to wind up getting side-tracked and never getting them filled out. I generally buy birthday cards ahead of the actual birthdays, but, do you think I could get the card in the mail on time? WHAT IS UP WITH THAT???
There must be a support group for people like us...why do you suppose we DO that????? Gotta tell you though, I'm really glad to know I'm not alone in this major disfunction! ~Pam

    Bookmark   December 13, 2001 at 8:39AM
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I don't think I would mind getting a newsy letter from family members who are not nearby. My issue (if you want to call it that) is getting a newsletter from someone whom I barely remembered from high school. In fact, when I got the first one from her, I didn't know who the heck it was - because her name had changed when she married!! Took me a while to recollect who this lady was! I would, however, like to get a newsletter from my wacky relatives, the ones with a sense of humor.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2001 at 8:53AM
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Pam and Sarah -- when the support group meets, let me know when and where!

I don't send the letters b/c I don't think our lives are all that interesting and I feel awkward writing them. I do make sure to put everyone's name in the card and write a little something -- thinking of you, happy holidays, whatever. (I don't actually write 'whatever' in the cards.) But I kind of like getting them.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2001 at 11:39AM
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My SIL never gets her cards out before the 25th (and sometimes not even the presents). Even before she was married with kids and busy as a beaver - somehow they never got done. But it was a nice treat to us because we always knew cards from her would come and kind of extend the holiday season a bit.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2001 at 12:10PM
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Kara - aren't there some peopel you would really like to just write "whatever" to, though? Wouldn't that be a hoot!
I wnat to know when the group meets, too - I bought cards for my dad's Oct. 19th b-day, signed them, forgot to mail them, he was here for T-day,a nd I STILL have the cards! Lets not even talk about all the signed cards in my house that have not been mailed!!!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2001 at 12:11PM
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It all depends how they are written. My boss does them for family and they sound so snobby that his wife wont send the same letter to her family, she wishs to update everyone on the kids schooling, work etc.. which is nice and he feels the need to Note that one school is an elite private school which sounds snobby and ski trips, etc... His I would throw out, His Wifes I would read.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2001 at 12:24PM
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Okay - I just have to do this - Here is what I have on our Christmas Letter so far - does it really sound braggy, or like a lot has happened and we want to include those we lov in our lives and let them see that, despite having to move three states away, give up the house we had bought a year later and had a (very) unexpected child, we are still happy?? 'Cause that's what we're shooting for....

Well, here we are at the end of another year. This one has been quite adventurous for us; We welcomed our firstborn into our lives, moved, made career changes, celebrated our first anniversary and learned a lot about life along the way.
It has been a good year - lots of happy memories and pictures to share! Never did I realize how much fun a child can be; the way they can make you smile just by their existence, the pride you feel when telling someone about the latest accomplishment, the fear you feel the first time they fall or get sick. There is a special bond between parent and child that you really can't understand till you have your own. Aliceon gazes up at Hans with this look of complete joy and admiration and it is reflected back in his eyes. Kerry goes in to check on Aliceon before she turns in for the night and feels completely overwhelmed at the miracle in the crib. I think we can understand the Christmas spirit a lot better this year because of little Aliceon. It is easy to imagine the awe and love that Mary and Joseph felt when they first saw their baby Jesus.
Florida is great! Kerry is absolutely thrilled with the fact that she is wearing shorts and a t-shirt as we write this in December! Hans misses North Carolina a bit more than Kerry does, but is really enjoying his new job and being closer to family.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2001 at 12:41PM
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Kerry, I think your letter sounds nice and not braggy. I personally voted on the "don't hate all letters, but don't like braggy ones" side of this argument, and I would consider yours a tasteful, loving way to share news of your family's year.

If you had gone on about how your new house was XXX square feet, and Hans is now making $$XX more at his new job, and Aliceon is 2.5 months ahead on every milestone - THAT's what I would consider a braggy letter with an irritating tone.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2001 at 2:59PM
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:o) Thanks Michelle!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2001 at 3:29PM
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Sounds good to me too.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2001 at 1:12PM
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The only problem I have with it is the mix of 1st-person singular and 3rd-person narration. It makes me wonder who is the "author". Assuming you and Hans worked on it together, I think consistently using the 1st person plural, i.e. "we" instead of "I", would eliminate any possibility of some creepy, unnamed third parent writing the letter!

Alternatively, you could stick with the "I"s, but eliminate any 3rd person references to yourself. Of course, then you'd probably need to sign it with just your name.


As for the support-group...

This year I had the guts to send my best friend from high school a birthday card that I had begun to fill out for her twentieth birthday. I had begun the note (with some reference to just one more year until 21...) at my future husband's parents' house, was interupted, only to return to find that the card had disappeared. (MIL is still notorious for that). Anyway, I think I found it a couple years later. It would turn up every now and then...I put it in my "to do" file. So, when her birthday came up this year I took it out and started where it left off originally, explained the saga, and wished her a happy 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th, and of course 26th birthday!

Then there's the heartfelt thank you note I wrote to a couple for all of the work that they put into our wedding shower. Five years later they're divorcing...I guess that one'll never make it out now!

Oh well, I think they still love me!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2001 at 3:31PM
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the reason for the mixed POV on the letter is we fashion it each year to be from all of us... I write the parts about Hans and Aliceon and Sam, Hans writes parts about me, Aliceon and Sam. That way it is from all of us, not just one of us.....

    Bookmark   December 14, 2001 at 4:17PM
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I would much rather get the braggy letters than the one we get from my husband's aunt every year that is the most depressing letter you could ever read. I think she has been "dieing" from some ailment for the last 20 years!

Every year I get several cards from family friends who are elderly and they comment how much they love my computer generated newsletter.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2001 at 6:09PM
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RE: the support group. Whenever I write and address the Christmas Cards, but never get them to the post office, I just save them for the next year. Then I mail them right after Thanksgiving. Everyone always thinks I'm so organized, until I tell them they're last year's cards. :)

    Bookmark   December 14, 2001 at 9:31PM
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It just really depends on the letter.

Some are really corny and trite, others are genuine and appealing. I like best the ones that make me laugh.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2001 at 11:07PM
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Wow, I didn't realize that Christmas cards/letters could cause such a debate.
I follow a 3 year plan...the first year, I sent out a letter. It was brief and cute. The second year, I made little magnets, printed out a Christmas blessing and glued it to a magnet. The third year, I sent out a family picture.
Then I start over.
This year was the the picture year, so next year will be the letter.
After reading this thread though, I am going to have to re-think my approach.
Maybe a little poem...
I do have one relative who picks one night, usually a few days before the holidays and calls everyone!! She literally makes about 25 calls!! She keeps it brief, but its so nice to hear from her!!
Then I have some relatives who never send out any type of holiday greeting. I guess its just not something they like to do, or just choose not to bother.
Its just another example of how everybody is different-not right or wrong-just different.
On another note...
How does everone feel about family web pages?? I made one for my family and I really tried not to be too "braggy".
I saw a few that were way over the top!!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2001 at 8:23AM
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Wow...I'm feeling really self-consious about my Christmas cards now. I never realized that so many people spend so much time criticizing what's in their Christmas cards. How about just appreciating that someone sent you a card to let you know they are thinking of you this holiday season. It's more than some people have.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2001 at 8:49AM
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RE: Family websites, I think they're neat! The thing about a family website is you don't have to visit if you don't want to. Websites are a neat way for relatives who are interested to check up on what's going on. I think the family website is a very different thing than the christmas newsletter. The problem with the christmas newsletter (as I see it) is that they are too often sent to casual aquaintances. But then, there are some people who get nothing - no cards, letters or gifts during the holiday season.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2001 at 9:43AM
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I think the saddest cards to get are the ones that have the names printed inside without a single handwritten ink mark on them anywhere. That is a business thing, family cards should not be done like that. It's a waste of a stamp, IMO.

I agree that some letters get out of hand. I get two from reltives every year that are, I'm not kidding, 4 typed pages. One is too much bragging, one is too much complaining ("another year of troubles/ sick all the time/ don't like Suzie's teacher, that one I really don't get). That is a nusense. But I really believe written communication is hard for many people. They either don't even try, overwhelmed by just the thought, or they don't know how to be brief and still express their message. For some people, it takes them all day to sit and write a few lines. Others can write pages in a few minutes but it takes them all day to edit the irrelevant, so they leave it all in.

To me, the ideal is a little of both. A short note, half a page typed, with a few lines about what everyone is doing. Ages, changes, interests, funny things they did this year. The "scoop" that everyone on this list should be told, but you can't write it over and over and over. Plus, a couple handwritten lines to each person that are important to just that person, everyone else doesn't need to know about it. This is what I do, even if it ends up going out late. I do the typed on the computer and insert a picture of the kids on the page. If it doesn't fit on a half sheet, front only, I edit.

I'm told every year that people like my cards, look forward to them, etc. I do not expect everyone to do as I do. Written communication is important to me, it's my thing. I don't bake cookies, I don't make handmade ornaments, I don't sew tree skirts. I write good cards, that's all I can do.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2001 at 1:18PM
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I enjoy getting Christmas letters for the most part, especially from people who do not live near us. I do send a typed page out every few years, if I have time to work on it, or if we have some news or something major has changed in our lives, and usually include a recent pic of the kids to each relative and to friends who would be interested in seeing how they are growing. honestly, I don't see the point of sending a card that is nothing but a signed name, especially from local people, although i send those out too to people who i know have absolutely no use for a pic of our kids, like, my husband's boss or someone who we are sending cards to only because they send one to us. It drives me bonkers that my MIL sends cards to each of our kids and expects them to send them back...we see her at least once a week and she lives just down the road. But if it makes her happy, we will continue to partake of the cards. Honestly, I don't think it's worth my brain energy to be frustrated over soemthing like that.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2001 at 11:58AM
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We also send out these letters to family and friends..It's a wonderful way to keep in touch with everyone that you don't see on a regular basis. I keep it short and sweet..just noting what went on during the year and we enclose pics of the kids.

I used to write a short note inside each card and it became too time consuming and I find the letter to be so much easier.

Everyone I send them to loves to hear about what's going on and thinks it's a wonderful idea!

Tina, mom to Brady & Dylan (8), Cameron & Kylee (2)

    Bookmark   December 20, 2001 at 12:38PM
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Tina -
Am I correct in assuming you have two sets of twins? Wow! My hat's off to you for sending out anything at Christmas with as busy as you must be!
Happy holidays !

    Bookmark   December 21, 2001 at 10:34AM
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Just to change the thread a little, what do you guys think of these:

1. Email xmas cards. I get one from an aunt every year. It's fine with me...what the heck, no line at the PO and it sure as heck is cheaper.

2. Funniest card I've seen this year: My SIL showed it to me last night. It was from her husband's elderly aunt and uncle....they are like 70 or so. It was a photo insert card showing the two of them with big smiles on sitting in a hottub. The man was holding something up in his hand. You didn't notice it at first but if you look closely at the card you will realize that the woman's shoulders have no bathing suit straps and what the man is holding up is her suit! We were all shocked but laughing hysterically. SIL had to call them (who she only sees at showers and weddings) to tell them it was the funniest card she'd seen in years. I kept,, funny in my mind...have decided it's funny. Is it?

    Bookmark   December 21, 2001 at 11:08AM
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Here is another idea for xmas cards:

A mom I know online collects the drawings her kids make through out the year, they scan and print them with a printed message and then send those out as cards. It's cute and not too much work for her...all she has to do is fold them and address the envelopes.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2001 at 11:13AM
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Spunky - How neat is that last idea! I'll have to do that when dd gets a little older!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2001 at 11:55AM
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timberlysmom's probably funny in a gross kind of way...although, I'm sure if I were a 70 year old woman, It would probably be hilarious and spark some ideas...(Thank God I'm not 70 yet! Lol)

    Bookmark   December 21, 2001 at 11:55AM
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Don't like brag letter at all. Love a letter that just tell general things that happened during the year(can have a few accomplishments on it too).. But those that just go on and on about their children or their own accomplishments I find annoying and distasteful!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2001 at 11:10PM
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Actually, my friend just started a humorous blog devoted to those annoying christmas brag letters. She did it so that she can find a reason to laugh at these letters instead of crying. It's at: You can send in your own submissions (keeping the senders' names anonymous) by e-mailing

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 7:30PM
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Gosh so much controversy over the mass Christmas letters, I confess, I send them! I spent two hours sealing, addressing, stamping the pile and there is just NO WAY I have the time to write a personal LETTER to each! I do always write something in the card itself when I sign it tho cuz I feel there should be some personal touch, like with friends in AZ i put in "when are you and tom going to come out and visit!? Sure miss you guys!" Then i tuck in our "newsletter" which usually consists of a page and then a page of pictures from the year all put together in a collage style on a regular sheet of paper. I guess some might consider it a brag letter because our letter is upbeat, fun, and shares whatever fun things we did in the year, a paragraph about how business is going and a paragraph about what the kids & my dad are doing and then on the silly side we do a pet inventory cuz everyone always asks "how many do you have & what do you have now?!" lol This year's additions have been birds & everyone will get a chuckle out of that :) Of course strangers wouldn't find it very entertaining, but our friends and family who know and love us do and they all seem to appreciate it and two years ago when I didn't send out the letters-many called very disappointed & and to make sure I was okay. lol Our friends/family know how busy we are with trying to build a successful business that provides service 24/7 and appreciate that I take the time to do what I do. I don't think I am annoying anyone, at least I hope not but honestly, if someone was so darned annoyed by it then they have bigger issues than my silly annual newsletter!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 8:10PM
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i don't think it's bigger issues, i think it is people who are a little hurt that family and friends don't take the time once a year to make a xmas card a little more personal. part of the difference is how you feel about having to take the time to do it. i like doing xmas cards, each one brings back the memories we made together.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 9:23AM
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What makes you think I dont enjoy doing them? With every address I write out I do in fact think of the folks its going to and remember stuff we have done, its not uncommon for me to even pick up a phone at that very moment if it's been a long time. The page that is a picture collage that I include with the newsletter requires a lot of thought as well, making sure to include certain pictures that certain folks would like to see and making it all fit so there is a special piece there for each special person receiving them. And as I said, I do make a point to put something personal in the card so they know i thought of that PERSON rather than just stuffed envelopes, just one line but personalized just the same. I know not everyone has that much time even, but I start early (mid november), setting the cards out on the table where i see them all the time and each time i sit down at that table i jot something in a couple of cards until finally they are all done & ready to stuff with the newsletter and picture collage and mail :)
I do get a few of those newsletters from others that don't put any personal touch in them, they don't annoy me, one of them I really don't read as I don't know any of the people mentioned within it (from an uncle i have met once in my life and have never known his family). If it annoyed me so much that I would take the time to complain about it and the energy to be bothered by it... i think it would be time to reflect on myself and why something so silly bothered me that much. I don't understand a need to tell someone to stop sending them, they obviously enjoy putting them out and why suck the wind out of their sails when it takes no effort at all to pull the letter out of the card and toss it out (or utilize to get a fire going in the fireplace)? I just see no point of doing that to someone at the risk of taking any of the joy out of their day when its really no burden to me at all. Just my thoughts...

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 1:55PM
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I'm annoyed by them, but enjoy reading them all the same, if that makes any sense. I like to be updated, but they are just so upbeat and have no reality that it makes me a little ill.

I have one aunt who sends them. Her year always went SWELL... and her son is an angel (my crazy crazy crazy cousin) and her grandkids are wonderful... blah blah blah. I realized how much they bugged me when my dad told me several months after the holidays last year that her son wasn't doing that well, and his marriage had problems, and and and (and I got joy from knowing of his misery). I felt awful later, but when he told me I just got a little twinge of "it's not all roses, is it Aunt _______".

Sick, I know. But that's what those hyper cheerful completely unrealistic letters do to me!!

~ Scrooge

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 3:11PM
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You must be getting different holiday letters than I have seen or sent, cuz i don't consider them "hyper cheerful" as they include some of the ups and downs of the year-they just dont dwell on the downs. The one I wrote included that we have downsized due to the economy and less work but then pointed out that we are just grateful to still be in the game as many other contractors aren't as fortunate in the current economic climate. Certainly don't want to depress anyone at the holidays, but also don't want to pretend that my world is perfect because that could be depressing to someone whose world is a mess. Primary goal is really to make folks smile and/or laugh :)

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 12:04AM
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Well Cheli, it sounds like yours are truly "updates". The ones I seem to get are very different.

"Certainly don't want to depress anyone at the holidays, but also don't want to pretend that my world is perfect because that could be depressing to someone whose world is a mess. Primary goal is really to make folks smile and/or laugh :)"

Sounds like a nice letter. I do enjoy reading updates, but the tone can really set the reader off their feed.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 11:43AM
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I think it really depends on the relationships. Often the letters seem generic and very impersonal. If they only list achievements, then it may feel like bragging and if communication throughout the year, or even years is poor, then it feels even less personal and that can send a message to others that you don't care enough about them to even maintain a relationship with them or continue to cultivate it.

If you haven't kept in contact with someone (for whatever reason) and you suddenly want to reconnect, then I think a more aware (sensitive) approach would be to take the time to make it more personal.

A lot of families are not very inclusive either. My MIL and in-laws demonstrated quite clearly by their actions that I was not wanted in their family. My MIL would send a yearly Xmas card with a brief note inside. Although she did put my name next to my husband's there was absolutely no attempt at making any type of personal connection towards me. His relatives are all the same. I stopped sending sending cards and making any attempts since they were never appreciated or reciprocated. Any cards (and they don't send any) or anything they send, even if it is to mr. and mrs., I just give to my husband, because I recognized the lack of sincerity in them. It is just all about them and him.

I really believe that people who think about your feelings and want you in their life, make more of a personal effort.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 11:58AM
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I keep hearing "if you havent been in touch with them thru the year its less personal" but if one hasnt been in touch all year...its a two way street, not only did the sender of the card not "make a personal effort", neither did the recipient thru the year.
Case in point, I have an out of state aunt who never calls or writes, its not a personal thing-i know she loves and cares but she's lazy lol. I used to call her often but got tired of being the only one to make any effort so I don't anymore. If she was one of those bothered that an update letter wasnt personal enough because I had made no other efforts thru the year-well then she should be pointing the finger at herself as well because she hasn't made any efforts either. Taking the time to send a card and update is more effort than she has extended. Keeping in touch is a two way street.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 1:11PM
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Yes, I agree that it is a two-way street. Everyone's situations are different though. With my in-laws they demonstrated no personal effort and their hostility towards me was demonstrated through their consistent actions. Eventually, I stopped, because my efforts were not reciprocated or appreciated.

In a small note, written inside a card it would take very little to write a sentence or two that would make it more personal and effective. That was never done. Case in point, my husband's step-mother (the 3rd) would always place his name first inside a card. Eventually, she would write my name, but nothing personal. When she separated from his father, she wrote us both a note (his name first). That didn't get her the response she was looking for, so the next card she placed my name first. I noticed the gesture and eventually wrote her back. Prior to this there was really nothing, not until she had a need and made the effort.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 2:01PM
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I realize each situation is different and strained relationships like that with your inlaws is entirely different than what I was speaking of. As far as whose name is first on a card or envelope, i really dont care and don't believe it should matter.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 2:20PM
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Well I disagree. Subtle gestures matter and carry more weight given histories and communication patterns. I've always tried to be more personal with people...I make an effort because generally speaking, there are some people who do appreciate that.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 3:31PM
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"Case in point, my husband's step-mother (the 3rd) would always place his name first inside a card. Eventually, she would write my name, but nothing personal. When she separated from his father, she wrote us both a note (his name first). That didn't get her the response she was looking for, so the next card she placed my name first. I noticed the gesture and eventually wrote her back."


Unless your husband's stepmom puts YOUR name first (instead of her own stepson's), THEY "demonstrated no personal effort " and are hostile?

Sorry, but I am with cheli . The order of the names does not matter a bit. I would hate to step on such eggshells if you were on my mailing lists....

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 5:41PM
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western pa luann,

Don't be the entire posts.

"With my in-laws they demonstrated no personal effort and their hostility towards me was demonstrated through their consistent actions. Eventually, I stopped, because my efforts were not reciprocated or appreciated."

They had a very long history of ignoring any efforts by me in any way, shape or form. When the stepmother finally did make a more personalized effort, after she didn't get the response she wanted from him, she tried with me. They divorced and she wrote that it no longer mattered what she said, and so she wrote about her anger and issues with his father and the rest of the family. She was attempting to contact me, when she hadn't previously, probably because she thought I'd be an empathetic ear and contacting me would no longer create problems in her marriage. She had nothing to lose.

You don't get it and I really don't feel like trying to explain the situation anyway...

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 6:24PM
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Well then shes not the only one that doesnt get, when i stated that I didnt think which name came first should matter, you said "i disagree".....
Oh well!

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 6:47PM
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"Don't be the entire posts. "

I am not ridiculous, and I did read the posts.
And I quoted you directly, so there would be no misunderstanding.

"You don't get it and I really don't feel like trying to explain the situation anyway... "

Oh, that's okay with me!

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 7:03PM
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I tend to agree with you...the people who truly love me and those who I love, we call and keep in touch throughout the year. I know about their lives and what matters--the good, the not so good and the mediocre. They make the effort with me and I make it with them. They don't have to focus on only what is positive and because of that I feel that I share something far more real and meaningful with them. I'm busy I tend to focus on people who reciprocate and appreciate my efforts. Most people have each other's emails anyway and they can communicate if they want too...If Christmas is supposed to be a season about giving, I wish that same feeling was extended throughout the year. I know a lot of people who would appreciate knowing that they are thought of at other times...

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 7:11PM
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I like them and don't care if they aren't 'personal'. Guess what, it's not all about me.

And phones and mail go both ways, if you are complaining that they aren't reaching out to the rest of the year, ask yourself if you are doing it for them. If you want personal, call them up and get personal with them.

I don't do them, but I should, my family would like it. And it might be a nice keepsake. My SIL does one and I love it when it comes.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 6:20PM
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I must be a real wacko because I LOVE those Christmas letters and especially LOVE those pictures. Keep 'em coming! (I do not particularly like the email letters or photos - they clog my inbox and then get buried in the computer somewhere, instead of being put up on my wall)

Please keep in mind that after spending 24+ years in the Navy, our friends & relatives are many, move often, and are scattered around the world, including war zones. Something unique to the military is that bond that allows us to pick up a friendship right where it might have left off 2 tours ago, 2 newborn kids ago, 2 wives ago, whenever! We often have someone call us up out of the blue, having not laid eyes on or spoken to for 10 years, and say, hey, I'm here in your town on temporary duty for say, a conference, and can we get together for dinner tonight? Sure, of course! That's how it works. Or maybe you're on vacation in Denver and you happen to stay in the same hotel as someone you know who's out there from California for work and you happen to run into them on the elevator and you pick up where you left off. And it's those annual Christmas letters that keep us up on the kids and spouse and promotions and new addresses and phone numbers and the stuff that we need to be able to do it.

And let me tell you, when you're floating around on the high seas for 6 months (or on patrol in the desert), those letters and photos could not EVER be too long or detailed!

I've trimmed my list down to about 120. Every year we lose a few (lost track due to moves, or sadly, passing) and gain a few (new friends in our new location). Although I've skipped some years, and some years they turned into New Year's cards or even Valentine's cards, I'm compelled to send out something because if I miss 2 years in a row, I'll lose a lot of folks due to military moves.

Just my 2 cents on the issue.
Happy holidays to all!

    Bookmark   December 23, 2008 at 12:26PM
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Hilarious that this topic has generated some angry/annoyed responses! I guess if I got stuff I didn't like, I'd do the same thing I do with junk mail...turn it over and use it for a shopping list. But I love getting the letters plus cards that include family/kid pics on them. When you've moved away from family and friends to another part of the country, these things are priceless reminders.

I'll admit to being a letter writer, but my goal is to communicate the family news in such a way that eveyone is able to see the hilarity of the past year, so it's really more anecdotal than a "listing of achievements and events" as such. The best compliment I ever received on my Christmas newsletter (and this will be my only brag in this post) is that one of my friendsd told me she found our letter so entertaining that she would read it to friends of HERS who didn't know me! haha!

But, I alway scribble a few personal lines (I use holiday sticky notes for this purpose) so people don't feel I'm not directing personal sentiments their way. (Though frankly I don't see anything wrong with just sending the letter).

I forget, the letters are awful because we don't like the people sending them? Hate their good news? Or what?

Yeah, these letters tend to have all the same flaws the people writing them do: some go on and on about minutia (got one that detailed an excruiating home renovation, right up to details concerning various contractors!) My hubby still laughs about that one. Laughs, that is, not gets annoyed or curses letter writers. Another who described all her children's illnesses and how her van had turned into a (avert eyes if you don't want to be grossed out on this line "rolling vomitorium.") In a holiday newsletter! We still get a chuckle over that one.

But so what? Most are just fun and newsy. The braggy ones, well, there are always people who try too hard. Got one from a friend of my husband's who is getting divorced. The pic included only her and the kids, and she said she and her husband were splitting up so he could "pursue other interests."

I have to admit, that's quite a bombshell to drop in a newsletter. I would have to come up with a super memorable line if I had that sort of news to deliver.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 6:40PM
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Just got one of these,again. The way I see it If you can't keep in touch during the year then there's no relationship anyhow. Yeah, were all busy but that's an excuse to be impersonal and self absorbed. I realized that after getting this latest letter. My friends' mother had died this year. What ever happend to an old fashioned phone call. I guess being named Executive director of this or that give you a pass on frienship. If I didn't need to know then why do i need to know now? It's a seriously tacky "tradition" and a sorry excuse of a "look at me" society.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 12:57PM
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Personally, I dread reading these letters. My family has gone through many years of emotional and financial crises and I really do not care about your goody goody all-american over-achieving children, and how many days a week you teach Religious Education or where you run your kids around to all their over-organized after-school activities. It is boring and obnoxious....I have to work full-time; my kids don't have the luxury of having a soccer mom SO don't rub it in. I stopped sending cards.........

    Bookmark   December 26, 2010 at 2:25AM
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Marie I agree with you about "no relationship" and I think it is the same with funerals where people cry and carry on, but never took the time to visit when the person was well and could enjoy their company. It applies in many situations.

If this thread causes anger I think it is because of no contact during the year and then send out a brag letter.

I haven't sent cards in years, but do write Christmas letters. I don't even care for Christmas cards with only a signature. This year I received a photo of my nephew's children without a signature or Christmas greeting, nothing. It makes me angry because these are people I care about, people I would do anything for. I am just a duty to them.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2010 at 7:28PM
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I'm just returning to this post and notice a few other comments since last year.

My husband's aunt sends him pictures of herself with her grandkids or son attached to an email. She never writes anything in the email--no hello or how are you doing or what is going on in your life. The emails are blank. Other than the blank emails with the attached pictures she will occasionally send him forwarded jokes. He says he's responded a few times with how are you and she never replies. Oh well--it seems very strange.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 12:41PM
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Flower it means only one thing to me, they really don't care about us. I will not communicate with someone like that. And I recently bought a computer and found out I could "bounce" the emails back to where they came from. Oh, joy!!!!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 6:34PM
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I tend to agree, but I posted previously from a few years ago about my experiences with my in-laws and some commenters responded with anger. Relationships need balance and if you are the one doing all the work and you don't feel your efforts are appreciated or reciprocated, then eventually you may stop, drift away and turn your efforts to people where it doesn't feel wasted. That's what happened with my in-laws--they are not close and their selfish, destructive behaviors towards others is the main contributing reason as to why. Its all through the family.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 1:11PM
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"Busy lives/too busy" - what an excuse. I am sick of hearing it. Do we really understand the meaning of the word these days? Too many of us do not work as hard as our predecessors. Nowadays, we have more ways to communicate, keep in touch, than ever before. Getting in touch shows others that we care in a polite and invaluable fashion. Granted, some of us always had poor communication skills, or were afraid to communicate. Today's technology seems to give these types more reason to validate their "busy-ness". As for the annoying Christmas "bragging letters" - they are ghastly and thoughtless. Letters loaded with information all about themselves. What does this really mean to the receiver? EVen if they just wrote a simply few lines, e.g., "wishing you well, thinking of you or Happy holidays" would lead one to think someone cares. Why the lengthy summary? Here is someone who has not bothered to keep in touch throughout the year, or answered letters, no doubt. These letter in themselves are an example of poor letter writing and poor communication practice - one sided topics which translate usually into a lot of showing off or "bragging". In short, it is a habit that needs to stop. It is true, not everyone who receives their letter will be blessed with a charmed year/life, have all the kids well-schooled or be without illness or suffered loss of work in the preceding 12 months. So, who wants to hear how wonderful their lives have been, or how the other side of the so-call friends, so-called relatives are doing at this time - very few and especially those who are suffering. Do we even know these extended family members they keep referring to year after year?...most likely not. Hopefully, one day, the writers of these dreadful annual summaries will give it up. Perhaps take a moment (from their "busy" lives) to really consider and think of others, wonder how they are doing. One day, perhaps they might come to the realization that a lot of valuable ink cartridge and paper is being wasted, when we no longer read their notes, simply dropping them in the bin/garbage without even a read. I do hope someone puts this topic in mainstream media and gives these people some food for thought. P.S.: We put one such note straight in the bin this year.....reason being, my daughter was taken into hospital three days before Christmas. Our city suffered an horrific ice storm, freezing trees and power lines and the electrical power failed .....and extended through to New Year's eve! On a positive note - we could have used that extra paper to light another candle, I suppose.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 6:34PM
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Flower, what you said is so true.
"Relationships need balance and if you are the one doing all the work and you don't feel your efforts are appreciated or reciprocated, then eventually you may stop, drift away and turn your efforts to people where it doesn't feel wasted."
That is the situation I have been in for years with my sister. I do all of the visiting, I have been visiting her all of my adult life and didn't worry about her coming over. I am not 77 and I am finished.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 8:35PM
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"P.S.: We put one such note straight in the bin this year.....reason being, my daughter was taken into hospital three days before Christmas. Our city suffered an horrific ice storm, freezing trees and power lines and the electrical power failed .....and extended through to New Year's eve! "

So you begrudge everyone who was not as unhappy as you?

I personally like the letters,,, and those with lots of photos are even better!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 8:57PM
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Lets just put it this way, if you think it is worthy of being published, then publish it. If you think it is bull$%^& don't publish it. Yet, if it leaves out your eighty year old aunt who you celebrated with, on her eightieth birthday that you have visited, not more than once in 65 years, then you need your head examined.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2014 at 5:06AM
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