I love holiday letters. I know, with Facebook, and web sites and blogging I can follow everyone I want in real time. But receiving a Christmas card in the mail is so much more satisfying. A holiday note or letter represents time and energy. The sender spent time and energy editing the important events of the year and sharing it with me, an intimacy that I no longer take for granted. The card and note are far more direct and specific than just a Facebook post.
So put me down at a big fan of holiday missives, and no, I am not looking for syntax errors (okay, sometimes I laugh but not that often). I believe that holiday letter perfection is not even the point, or a very worthy goal. I’m interested in life: the struggles and triumphs.
What I have noticed is the change of the letter tone. Twenty years ago we received letters chronicling all the glories and triumphs of the year, along with photos of perfect children receiving awards and spouses posing next to new BMWs. In the last few years my relatives and friends have written with far more honestly, describing triumphs to be sure, but also sharing loss and grief. I think that is an improvement and am grateful they choose to share that part of their year with me.
So know that when you send a holiday letter, or even an update on a card, you are sending the best gift of the season – a piece of you.