Don’t you just hate Christmas Round Robins?

Sadly, I write one every year. Sad not just for my friends who receive it but for me it is part of the annual chore.

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 .

Please tell….

The letter:

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!

Happy Christmas!

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.

12 thoughts on “Don’t you just hate Christmas Round Robins?

  1. Oh I would love to receive this – just the right amount of self deprecation and very funny to boot.
    I always receive a letter so full of how wonderful the children are that it would make a brilliant blog post in itself but I daren’t publish it as I think they read it.

  2. I think it’s brilliant that you do this. It’s a good way to keep in touch with people you don’t see regularly. A relative of my husband usually sends a letter in her card but she hasn’t done this year. It’s a standard letter but very interesting to hear what she and her family have been up to.

    CJ xx

  3. Beats the card I got the other day. Whoever had sent it forgot to write anything in it, and it had missed being postmarked. Massive fail.

    I totally agree with the not showing off and being self-depreciating (we are British after all) but I do think you could have a bit more news about you – even if it is just about your new food blog – I’m sure folk’d be interested.

    • So self-depreciating, in fact I assume that no body will be interested in me at all.

      I might have revealed my blogs an’ all but I was trying to contain the whole thing on one side of A4 to save time and ink printing, and I ran out of steam and enthusiasm… perhaps I’ll add a post script.

  4. I must say I’d love to get a letter like that every year, I did chuckle in parts.
    Your sisters comment about the fire alarm made me smile, glad her treatment has gone ok, my dad was diagnosed with breast cancer in july and when the dr said they could tattoo him a new nipple his response was ‘i don’t do tattoos’ typical of him making a joke of everything!
    Hope you all have a great Christmas and a planning consented new year!

  5. Pingback: Christmas traditions — notes from home

  6. Pingback: A Christmas poem | Fab Mums

  7. Pingback: Festive Friday – 8 Sleeps To Go! | Thinly Spread

  8. Pingback: A new family’s Christmas traditions « gingerbread house

  9. I like round robins and I think your letter is perfect – just the right tone! I don’t bother with writing news in cards anymore, in fact I might just as well write the url of my blog 🙂

    Thanks for taking part in the carnival x

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