But at the same time Christmas cards from people you’ve not seen for years with no news bulletins contained are disappointing. I actually want to do know how they are doing, how old their kids are now, and if anything interesting has been happening worth gossiping about. Cards with just ‘love from so-and-so’ are nothing more than a way of reminding people that you are still alive. So I write one, and polite people say they look forward to receiving it, so that kind of flattery is enough to keep me going.
Of course, for bloggers a round-robin could become unnecessary since any of my friends can surreptitiously take a peak into my rambling life at any time…Which probably explains why it feels natural to broadcast my Christmas letter on my blog.
So here it is, my ‘annual’ round up for this year, since I’m currently popping a copy into Christmas cards at the time I thought I’d also post it for critical debate. Bearing in mind I’m sending it to a wide audience from ‘aged’ aunts to remote ‘work associates’ I could be alienating as many people as I’m affirming my bonds with.
I ought to be trying to make a good impression, shouldn’t I?
And so I restrict myself to certain self-imposed rules:
1. No showing off. Kids, holidays, cars, lifestyle…
2. Avoid month by month ‘what I did’ – easy for me because I can never remember one day to the next.
3. Don’t really give any ‘news’ away about myself. Nothing irritates more than repeating the words, ‘I’ and ‘work’.
4. Make it funny as much as possible. It reads better that way.
The trouble is I fall into the same trap every time by ending up really telling nothing at all about anything in particular.
I’m wondering what you’d think of my version of the ‘festive’ letter?
Please read as I intended it. It’s ‘tongue -in-cheek’ and I’m the master self-depriciation (so your year won’t look any worse than mine) but this could be the last time I’ll be able to poke fun at my children .
2010 has been unremarkable. Apart from mid-life hot flushes, menopausal mood swings (and being always too busy) to keep things interesting, I’d really believed we’d be spending this Christmas in our new home at last. However, yet another 12 months on and we’re in the same ‘waiting –for-planning-permission’ limbo – I won’t bore you with the details but as the kids grow and our house gets more chaotic I sink deeper into an ‘I longer care despair’. The final grumble was the news that OH would be working away all of December, his return to be nicely timed for the day the kids go back to school!
But while I’m whining as the ‘hard-done-by’ youngest child that I am, others in the family have been going through some pretty significant life-altering changes of their own. So not dull in general.
This year, eldest son, M (14) shot up in height and has started consuming double-helpings at every mealtime. We are about to have his ‘Transitional review’ next term for his ‘significant needs’. It’s a ‘biggy’ and I’m dreading it, as it’ll be a fact-facing exercise of his potential (or lack of it).
Middle son, P’s apparent hopelessness is now better explained having been diagnosed both with having dyslexia and as having the memory span of a gnat. However, he volunteered to go on a school French exchange (still only 11) returning world-weary and confirmed in his linguistic inability. Apart from that (and his low self-esteem) he is doing OK!
The youngest, S, now a double-digit, recently came up with ‘eat junk food, live dangerously’ after my attempts to feed him ‘greens’ and has decided that the ‘secret of good cooking is in the wife’. My response to his morning procrastination getting him to school is to have named him “Slug Fart”: as he moves so slowly and leaves a (debris) trail. We are developing quite a buoyant relationship, he and I, at trading insults…
My mum, poor thing and quite tragically, now no longer had the foggiest idea, or interest in who we are. She took one look at my other sister and I the other day, her eyes moved vacantly, from toes to faces and back again – and then she hobbled off and ignored us. I watched her shrunken form shuffle away down a long corridor but felt the sense she’d long departed.
Then there’s my biggest sister, who’s greatest fear during a routine mammogram was that a fire alarm might go off just while her ‘tit’ was clamped in the x-ray machine, got the totally unexpected diagnosis that she had breast cancer. She’s now been through the treatment, ‘saved herself a small fortune in shampoo’, but had some other person’s hair grow back. Last time I saw her she was blonde and straight, now she is dark and curly. Most peculiar, like a Lady Gaga moment, a crazy change to get you noticed!
Finally, just as the year is almost over and safe for summing up, my nephew buys his first house last Friday only to find, when he steps inside for the first time in his new home, a burst pipe after the freeze and thaw is so dramatic that it has bought all the ceilings down…I’d call that a fairly catastrophic way to end a year.
On balance, there are excitements I’ll happily do without barring, please, the planning permission being granted in the New Year but otherwise here’s to another non-eventful year!
This post is part of the Friday Club Carnival held by Ella at Notes from Home posts . Here are the other entries in this carnival:
Cass at The Diary of a Frugal Family shows us how she makes snowglobes.
Nova at Cherished By Me posts her family’s Christmas traditions.
Gingerbread House writes about her new family’s Christmas traditions.
Jax at Making it Up writes about the Season of goodwill.
Maria at Fab Mums posts a Christmas poem.
Kelly at A Place of My Own posts about giving thoughtful gifts.
Chris at Thinly Spread writes about her family’s Christmas traditions.
Ella at Notes From Home posts her family’s Christmas traditions.
- EXCLUSIVE: Prince Charles and Camilla’s Christmas round robin revealed (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)