It’s That Time of Year Again

Yes, it’s time for the dreaded Christmas letter.  When I was still working (with a paying job, I mean), my husband was always the one who wrote the Christmas letter.  That was fine with me because I’m not fond of writing them.  However, when I retired, my husband left that tradition to me, and not wanting to disappoint him, I’ve kept it up for the past three years.

Some people actually like to write them, I’m sure.  Perhaps they’ve taken fabulous vacations to the French Riviera instead of hanging out at their local beach in their L.L. Bean conservative navy blue tankini, or they’ve been to Octoberfest in Munich, not the one held in the clubhouse of their neighborhood association.  Maybe they’ve won the Pulitzer Prize, not just finished the crappy first draft of their novel.  Yes, these people love to write their Christmas letter.

Besides, if you’ve kept in touch with me all year, you already know all there is to know, so why do I need to rehash it?  I can just see your face now as you stifle a yawn.  I suppose, if the only contact we have is a Christmas card, then maybe you might want more than my signature.  I just wish I had more to give so you would feel reading it was worth the time. If I had to write my letter right now, off the top of my head, this is all I can come up with on the spur of the moment:

Dear ________,

It’s been another fabulous year!  Those of us who want jobs have them, and those of us who are retired (okay, that would be just me) are still happy about not having a job.  No one has broken any bones or landed in the hospital this year, and George and I still have all our own teeth.  Yea for that.   Though she’s come close, the youngest granddaughter has not squeezed their little dog to death yet, and the eighth grade one has assured me that she will make it to high school next year, come hell or high water.  We visited children, they visited us, and a fun time was had by all.  We hope your year has been as exciting as ours, though how that is possible is certainly a mystery.  Merry Christmas!

Hey, I just read this over and I think I’m actually finished with my Christmas letter.  I wonder if my husband would approve if I just wrote a link to this post at the bottom of each card after I signed our names.  Worth a try…


By the way, in case you are interested, at 4:15 on Tuesday, November 29, I completed over 50,000 words of my novel for a grand total of 202 pages, and now proudly display the National Novel Writing Month Winner badge on my website.

About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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36 Responses to It’s That Time of Year Again

  1. Margie says:

    Congrats on reaching your goal! Perhaps you could publish it in installments in your Christmas letter each year!
    I actually love writing the Christmas Letter. I pepper it with funny quotes I’ve found during the year and stories of all our little mishaps and misadventures. Everyone enjoys reading it because they like to be reassured that our lives are as imperfect (and funny) as theirs is!

    • Coming East says:

      Thanks, Margie. I think I’m just tired of writing. Period. I still have so much to do before we leave for our Boston Christmas, and writing the Letter and then addressing and mailing the 80-or-so Christmas cards seems daunting right now.

      • Margie says:

        Now that my husband is more or less retired, addressing and mailing the Christmas cards is his job! We have cut our mailing list down significantly – cards only go to the people who send us cards, the rest get my letter as a pdf email attachment!

      • Coming East says:

        Margie, this year I am going to keep good records of who sends us cards. Next year I’m only going to send cards to people who take the time to send us one or contact us in some way. We only send cards to out of town people anyway, and if they are not interested enough to reciprocate with Christmas cards of their own, I am done, done, done. Your comment reminded me that I intended to do this, so thanks.

  2. Robin says:

    I think it’s a great Christmas letter. We receive some that would qualify for NaNoWriMo. It sometimes takes me until February to finish reading them.

    Congrats on finishing NaNo in the Winner’s Circle!

    • Coming East says:

      “We receive some that would qualify for NaNoWriMo” Very funny comment, Robin. I know what you mean. Give me just the gist, folks. I don’t need to know what you had for breakfast each morning for the past year!

  3. CONGRATS on finishing NaNo!! As for the Christmas letters, I’m not so big a fan…. except if I view it as another opportunity to practice my fiction writing! p.s. I’m so glad your youngest granddaughter hasn’t squeezed the dog to death yet!

  4. BEST Christmas letter ever! We cringe when we get some from friends who are famous for touting their children and all of their accomplishments. We love the funny ones!
    CONGRATS on your 202!!

    • Coming East says:

      Thanks, Reeling. Hey, my kids are just as talented as other people’s (actually, they’re WAY BETTER, but that’s just my opinion), but I don’t need to shout it from the rooftops. I’m hoping George will let me get away with just a few lines this year. If Ben gets the Nobel Prize next year, I’ll consider including that in the next Christmas letter.

  5. That’s really not a bad letter. I usually dread the ones I get in the mail, but that one I wouldn’t mind. Congrats on your draft!

    • Coming East says:

      Thanks, SC. I don’t mind getting other people’s Christmas letters if they keep them short. I just don’t need to know every detail, including info on people I don’t even know.

  6. Amy says:

    Congrats to the NaNoWriMoWinner, Susan!
    Some of the Christmas letters are kind like an annual report. I don’t normally know how to respond to an annual report. Your Christmas letter is witty, humorous, and cheerful. I love it!

  7. yen says:

    Congratulations on your NaNoWriMo, Susan! It’d be nice to receive a Christmas letter like that here in the Philippines. lol! It’s one in a million. Love the line about yours and George’s teeth. 😉

  8. Leah says:

    Congratulations on finishing NaNoWriMo! That is so great! And I think your letter is off to a great start! Personally I forget the letter and just send photo cards. Maybe I should put my blog address on the back and say, to read what we’ve been up to, visit Leah’sThoughts. Too cheesy?

    • Coming East says:

      Not cheesy at all, Leah. I figure that if these people truly want to know what’s been happening in our lives, they should be reading our blogs. Otherwise, all they deserve is a card with a signature.

  9. E.C. says:

    ~standing ovation~ Congratulations on getting your 50,000 words, that’s an awesome achievement. Your badge is well earned and well deserved. I’m so happy for you! ~applause~

    I like your Christmas letter. It’s short and to the point.
    It sounds like your year was a success. I hope the next year is as great. 🙂

  10. Huffygirl says:

    Congratulations on Nano Susan! Quite the accomplishment.

    Glad to read all your “Christmas newsletter” news. Each year I satirize our family news for our newsletter, and what I can’t satirize I just plain hyperbolate. (I think I just made up a new word.) It’s actually the inspiration for my blog, although nothing on my blog is EVER hyperbolated, of course!

  11. pattisj says:

    YAY! Congratulations on your NaNo win! I’ve never done a Christmas letter. However, I like yours, maybe I’ll put a link to it in my Christmas cards, too! lol

  12. Wow! You made it to the 50,000 mark! Congrats! Now get back to some seriously funny blog writing because I have missed you. And this one was a good start. I love the short and sweet Christmas missive – beats those long, boring bragfest ones any day! 😉

    • Coming East says:

      Thanks, Mama. I’m looking forward to getting back to my blogging and catching up with everyone. It will take me awhile, but I intend on reading as many posts as I can that I’ve missed this month.

  13. Joni Beach says:

    I actually love your Christmas letter (I don’t do one…just cards with a note)…and you do have the award to announce of course! 🙂

  14. Val says:

    Congrats on your 50,000 words.
    We used to do a Christmas newletter but then one year someone I had sent it to had recently lost their daughter and after that I found it impossible to write anymore, I just couldn’t find the words. But when I did do them, they mostly consisted of photos and a few lines to describe them. Kind of like a printed blog really!

    • Coming East says:

      Thanks, Val. Yes, it is hard to send a cheery Christmas letter and find out that someone you sent it to had such a tragedy in their life. I like your idea of a photoblog. My father used to do that when he was alive. He was quite the technology geek before anyone knew what a technology geek was.

  15. judithhb says:

    Congratulations Susan – well done on completing the challenge to write 50,000 words in a month. I look forward to reading the completed novel soon.
    As for the Christmas letter – I don’t send one any more and my relatives and friends from far away seem to have stopped them also. One cousin (who shall remain nameless) sent this inane letter each year about their doings with people I didn’t know and would never meet. What a waste!
    But I wouldn’t mind getting one like yours. Short and to the point. I am sure George will approve if/when you show it to him.

    • Coming East says:

      Thanks, Judith. I can assure you, though, that I won’t be finished with that novel for a long time, perhaps years. As for the Christmas letter, my feeling is that if the only contact I have with some people is the yearly Christmas card, then they really aren’t interested enough to read a letter.

  16. Shary Hover says:

    Congratulations on your NaNo win! I just finished today, too. Whew!

    Love your Christmas letter. I think you should print it and be done!

    • Coming East says:

      Yea, Shary! Congratulations! I know how relieved you feel. Now I can go back to my life. I feel so disconnected from my blogging buddies. So many of you have kept up with me and I haven’t managed to do the same. I’m going to spend the next few days just reading blogs and making comments. Oh, and playing my beloved violin! I’ve lost my calluses again, it’s been so long!

  17. kd sullivan says:

    I am so proud of you friend…and I’d be delighted to receive the above letter. Short and sweet! and funny!

    • Coming East says:

      Thanks, J to E. I’d love to send that Christmas letter if I thought I could get away with it, but even though my husband thought it was funny, he wouldn’t want me to use it. Darn!

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