My REAL Holiday Newsletter
...it's like one more connection with the "healthy" world at large is getting thinner and thinner.
Everything just seems harder than it should be, and more complicated than it needs to be.
Sigh. I know what she means.
For the last ten years I've been dealing with gradually worsening and multiplying chronic illnesses, as well as a divorce. (Yeah, I dragged the divorce out for ten years so I could at least get SOME of the money I put into the house out of it.) It's been at least that long since I've been able to send cards out, and since I had to move to another state and then became unable to work, I've been wanting to send a holiday letter to everyone I'd like to keep in touch with to let them know why I've been out of touch. I've been trying to find the right balance between honesty and optimism since 2003. Seriously. Look at this picture: I've scratched a new year in for four years from 2003 to this year, and each year I add some to the letter and take some away, but still it doesn't seem ready to send.
My description of my life reminds me of a parody of a holiday letter. MSNBC writes in Readers share most notorious Christmas letters:
...anti-holiday joy letters — those copied correspondences recounting personal details of messy divorces, memorializing deceased pets and reviewing all physical maladies endured throughout the year.Ugh.
One daughter demanded her mother recall her letter after she realized it disclosed the daughter's broken engagement and unhappy job situation.
Fortunately for me there are now a plethora of tips on the internet about writing holiday letters. I just found them this year, and some of them are quite good:
If, sadly, you are house-bound, the children have moved away and you haven't read any great books, you don't have to write about this year's aches and pains. Write about Christmas when you were a child, or how you met your spouse, or your funniest date in high school. "Not much happened this year. Christmas always reminds me of the time during the depression when we made ornaments out of tin foil. . .". Your grandchildren will have a glimpse of real history, and your friends will nod in pleasant agreement, remembering their own experiences. Don't try to cram 80 years into one page. Pick an incident or season and write about it in enough detail people will know what it was like. My Biography Questions page has some specific questions/topics, if you can't think of anything.For those of us who have a hard time doing the actual physical work necessary to getting a Christmas newsletter out, we can go digital! This option will probably sound especially lucrative to the bloggers among us. See The Art of Christmas Letter Writing, Creating Digital Christmas Letters.
From Christmas Newsletters - Suggestions and Examples
While I didn't get all this research done in time to get my letter out this year (again!), to say nothing of getting my names and addresses ready to do a mail merge thing, I did get a lot done on it ,and I really think I'm going to get my letter out next year. And as Sick Momma says, I'm still having a lot of testing done, I'm making a lot of behavioral as well as treatment changes according to what I've found out already with the help of the Fibro and Fatigue Center, and I'm sincerely hopeful that next year's version of my Christmas letter will be both honest and optimistic.