Thursday, 26 December 2013

What if Christmas newsletters kept it real?

I’m sure we’re all familiar with them: those Christmas newsletters that people send out to update you on what their family has been up to over the past year. They usually arrive in the Christmas card, or nowadays, are the card themselves. I understand the premise behind these, and get that, especially for people with small children, their families and friends want to see an up-to-date picture of their kids, and hear all about how the kids have changed over the past year.

I don’t know about you, but some of my cousins and aunts have taken to writing these in a rhyming, poem form. This is where things start to unravel.  Things also start to get a bit obnoxious if, say, you have a really rich cousin and her “yearly update” reads more like a brag fest than an update. In fairness, if your life does consist of private schools, several beach vacations, and trips on your private jet, it’s probably hard not to invoke envy in your family and friends. This is the case with my cousin, whose yearly Christmas card/newsletter, is always one for the books. Take this one from a few years ago for example: 

Their only regret is not buying gold? (Remember, gold was doing very well that year!) I think everyone could agree that this is not too bad of a problem to have.

However, I wonder how things would look from the other perspective. You know, if these Christmas cards kept it real, to the point of keeping it real going wrong. 

For example, I have another cousin who is on the other end of the spectrum. Instead of going on beach vacations, using a private jet, and lamenting not purchasing precious metals, her year ranges from a messy divorce, losing a house, kids getting kicked out of school, and threats of getting arrested because of her jerky ex-husband. Sometimes I like to imagine how a rhyming Christmas letter might sound coming from her…
                What a year, where to begin, what can I say

                The first thing I guess, was the bank took my house away

                After letters, and phone calls I tried to ignore

                The came and they knocked on my very own front door.

                Dave and I are separated and will soon be divorced

                He’s got a new girlfriend, who is rich of course

                He refuses to pay for stuff for his children

                And calls me rude names, I wonder how I ever picked him!

                The kids are okay, we struggle along

                Took Jean to Children’s Hospital, something was wrong

                Tom is growing up, getting kicked out of school,

                Beth has some attitude, thinks she’s so very cool.

                Well wishes to everyone, we hope you are well,

                Just off to the food bank, it sure will be swell!