The House is Still Standing.

I hate Christmas letters. People who you’ve lost touch with, send out these letters with all of their family’s accomplishments and the exotic places they have traveled to. I seem to be left with a feeling of “I’m boring.”

One of the reasons why I have such a distaste for those types of letters is because I think people are not being authentic. I’m all for sharing your happy times but tell me what’s hard, too. Tell me that you’ve been eating too much or you’re concerned about your older daughter. Please be real with me. And I also know that a Christmas letter is not an appropriate place to advertise your struggles. So whoever started those letters, please rethink them.

On the same note, I don’t ever want to discourage a younger parent with any of my words. Parenting is a tough job and from experience there are highs and valleys…very deep valleys. So, because I’ve shared my doubts and fears as a parent, I wanted to share my joys, too.

I want to publicly thank each of my five kids for allowing my hubby and I to go away for the night. When we got home, the house was relatively picked up and everyone was so happy. If there was any fighting between whomever, I didn’t hear about it. Laundry was done and a nice fire was going. Thank you, dear children. I am very proud of each of you and today, I’m proud that I’m a parent.
p.s. The picture is not our house…(it’s the B&B we stayed at in Seattle…maybe in my next Christmas letter, I could say we inherited a few million and…naw!)

11 responses to “The House is Still Standing.”

  1. Andrea

    You are too funny! I have to admit to being repulsed by several of the cards I got this past year. Authentic is a great word, and it is missing from most people I know, but I am working on that! It is such a crazy thing really, putting up this "happy" and "perfect" front that is shallow and masking the real people right below the surface.

    Keep up the authentic posts, and don't get discouraged when others are offended.
    A

  2. faceispretty

    hahaa….thanks Mom. i liked that post. i do think that Christmas cards are just a way to post accomplishments and do seem fake. but i do guess that they allow people to "check in" with how another is doing. no one's perfect and everyone knows that. love you!

  3. Alexandra Grabbe

    Glad you were able to get away if only for a night. I totally agree about those Christmas letters.

  4. Jan

    Andrea,
    Thank you for stopping by. I don't want to be negative but some letters are almost unkind and unreal. Thanks for your encouragement.

    Faceispretty, where did you get that name? Love you.

    Alexandra, Getting away to reconnect is so important. You probably get to see all the benefits of getting away. Maybe that would be a great post.

  5. singleparentsavings

    I am not a fan of those letter either. I was thinking that was your house and was totally jealous.
    Lisa
    http://www.singleparentsavings.wordpress.com

  6. Jan

    Hi Lisa,
    I would be totally jealous, too. We are almost done with the blogathon!

  7. Su-sieee! Mac

    Well, uh, the husband and I send Christmas letters. I don't remember when we started. Each year we think we won't, but then before we know it, we have one. Our letters usually ends up being a bunch of words and photos of memorable moments of the year, including those with friends and family. We pack it all into one page somehow. I like to think that we are being authentic about what we want to share with others, many of whom we haven't seen in years.

    Sure, we receive letters that may be interpreted as bragging or fake by others, including myself. But then I remind myself who am I to say whether someone is or not. Fake or bragging, that is.

    Anyway, I think the idea of writing a Christmas letter like the one you were kidding about would be a hoot to receive.

  8. Jan

    Hey Susiee,
    Thanks for sharing the other side of Christmas letters. Yes, it's a great way to stay in touch. Maybe I should receive yours! Photos are so much fun, too. It's weird to see other people's kids grow up.

    Congrats for continuing the blogging.

  9. Su-sieee! Mac

    Kudos to you, too, Jan. I'd love to send you our last Christmas letter so you can see how much fun you can make them. I think they're fun. Who knows what the receivers may think. :-) Send me an e-mail if you'd like to see. susieeemac (at) gmail (dot) com.

    :-)

  10. Jenni

    I know! The exotic travel is what really gets me. I send out a Christmas/New Year's/Valentine's letter every year, and every year I vow that I will NOT send one again. It's a hassle, and they usually end up in a stack on the coffee table after the holidays are over, waiting to be addressed (I've long since given up on including personal, handwritten notes). I may go the route of so many of my friends and send just a picture, without commentary. Thanks for an authentic post.

  11. Jan

    Jenni, Thank you. I'm not dissing Christmas letters entirely…just the ones that are not kind to the receivers. Needless to say, a pet peeve of mine…(and how therapeutic it is to share it.)

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