Christmas Card Dispute

Every year, about this time, my husband and I disagree.  It’s the only time all year.

He likes traditional family pictures.  He wants the family to get in their Sunday best and sit by a waterfall with hands in laps, smiling prettily as someone takes our picture.  I would rather have my kids in clothes they wear every day having pictures taken while they try to get in the waterfall.  It’s more real to me.  And we yell at our children less.

It’s the same with the Holiday letter.  He would like me to write a letter saying everything we did that year, but I just can’t.  I’m not sure if I think this is bragging or if I think it’s lying to only highlight the good parts.

I love getting Christmas cards that tell me what everyone is doing, but some can be a bit over the top.  If you tell me that your daughter won the science fair, your son played piano at a Yo Yo Ma concert, and your spouse threw a party for 500 and cooked all of the food in your one oven, I start questioning what your spouse soaked your piece of fruitcake in.

My card would say something like “my children love reptiles, but a little too much.  I finally threatened to send any more snakes I found in my house to Hermes to make a nice handbag.  Crying may have followed.”

I think it would make a nice clutch

So I am asking all of you, what do you do/like?  Do you like the Christmas letters where everything is absolutely perfect in life or do you like the cards that admit the flaws?

8 responses to “Christmas Card Dispute

  1. I love that! My family decided to do the all negative one: “We had an interesting year. Dad died of a sudden heart attack while having knee surgery. Brother went to rehab for the second time after having a car wreck while high on prescription drugs. Annie is infertile and is unable to fulfill her God given destiny of child bearing. Hope your year is better. Merry Christmas, there are no presents under our tree!”

    • I will send you some coal nicely wrapped so you can put it under your tree. And don’t forget you get to see me in January which should make life seem a lot better.

  2. Oh Annie…we don’t believe in destiny.Actually I think it should have both. One highlight and one downer for each person. Sounds about right.

  3. I agree. But people always say bad things happen in 3’s. I wonder why there is no saying like that for good things.

  4. Rebecca Stanfel

    I’m not trying to sow marital discord, but I have to say that you’re totally right on this, Marianne. Sorry, husband. Ack! I hate those sachharine letters that more often than not cross over into self-congratulation. I’m not saying that I don’t like getting good news. But what’s the point of updating everyone about your year if you’re either lying by omitting bad news or suppressing your voice? Maybe I’m just a grinch because we’ve had a tough couple of years. But I think I’d enjoy a Christmas letter with lizard updates.

    Maybe you and your DH can follow our guaranteed stress-free Christmas/holiday letter strategy. Don’t write one. Works for us, but maybe it’s because there’s less convention about Hanukkah lettes?

    I really enjoyed this post,

    • Sometimes I write first of the year letters. Then I can see who sent Christmas cards and only send to them. Because it’s all about equal reciprocity.

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