Holiday Letter Writing Advice (the Not-So-Serious Version)
Mid-December means it’s time to enjoy the wonderful traditions of the season. Traditions like decorating trees, singing carols, wrapping presents, and bragging your little mom butt off in your annual holiday letter. But before you do that last one, I beg of you to please take a moment and reconsider making your family sound perfect. Lord knows we get enough of that crap on Facebook already.
Instead, I suggest that you follow my letter writing advice. If you do, your family will actually sound fun, normal and relatable this year. And that means two things: 1) We can all relax a little more and 2) Nobody will try to run you over in their minivan in a crazy fit of mom jealousy. What’s not to like?
My holiday letter writing tips
1. List your family’s accomplishments:
This year, Jessica became the Jr. Chess Champion of the Southwest!
2. But also list your family’s failures:
This year, Jessica flunked P.E! Dodge Ball is SO NOT her sport!
3. If you’re not comfortable listing your family’s failures, remember that it’s perfectly okay to put a positive spin on them:
Let everyone know that life is sometimes hard, but you know how to persevere: We were so upset when Henry (15) was arrested for shoplifting women’s lingerie at Ross Dress for Less, but being fingerprinted and booked in county lock-up gave him great insight into how our criminal justice system works! Future lawyer? LOL!!
4. You should of course include the good deeds you did throughout the year:
But try to do it in a way that doesn’t make you sound like a saint and/or Oprah. That just makes everyone else feel like a useless lump.
So instead of this: Volunteering at the soup kitchen is one of the Henderson family’s traditions. But you know what? I think it helps us more than it helps them. #blessed
Try writing something more like this: I’d rather watch Netflix than put on pants and volunteer, so this year, I just wrote a few checks to Jerry Lewis.
5. Also, be sure that you don’t shy away from the truth when talking about yourself and/or your spouse:
This is key. “Real” people let everyone know the truth. “Real” people are comfortable sharing both the highs and the lows in their lives.
I worked really hard to “eat clean” this year. Unfortunately, Arby’s doesn’t sell kale, so it looks like I’ll probably flunk another physical.
After 25 years, my marriage to Kurt is still magical! Mostly because every night he disappears into the “no nagging zone” he built in the garage.
Wine and Facebook stalking old boyfriends have kept me really busy lately, but I still found time to cry.
6. It’s important that you be honest when you talk about being a Mom, too:
However, you don’t want to be TOO honest or your cousin will call the authorities immediately after reading it: One night in March, I left home and dyed my hair in a gas station bathroom, but the husband and kids still found me. Sigh.
Basically, what I’m saying is that there’s no reason to make your family seem perfect because we all know it isn’t. Nobody’s family is perfect. (Well, maybe Princess Kate’s is, but ten bucks Pippa borrows her gowns and returns them with rips and stains.) So let’s all be honest in this year’s holiday letter. Be sincere. Be real. Show everyone our warts and all.
And if you do that, I’ll be so proud and happy that I’ll brag about you in my holiday letter.Published December 16, 2014. Last updated December 7, 2016.