So I’ve been against the annoying Christmas letters for some time, though what’s worse is the unsigned card or unsigned photo card. (I suppose most of you know that). If you get a card from me, (you got lucky because I just haven’t been motivated to get that done yet) but if you did I wrote in it.
My goal in sending Christmas cards is to tell you that you’re important to me. I appreciate your friendship and truly enjoy hearing from you. Having moved around my whole life, I’ve really tried to maintain the friendships I already have. It’s not easy being friends with someone who moves all the time (me) – and thus those of you who still are – you mean a lot.
I wonder in the age of Facebook if the Christmas Letter is a thing of the past. Most of the ones I get just boast about how great life is. The Disney trip, fabulous and wonderful travels, how your kid is the best reader in the school. These are all things that most people put on their social profile site. If you went to Greece – we’ll have enjoyed pictures the day you got back. If your kid was in the Christmas play – the same thing. What’s left to put in the Christmas Letter?
In one word – Sentiment.
Facebook isn’t good with sentiment. It’s a black and white piece of paper, words without sound, smiles without the accompanying laugh. But it’s also the daily contact with people you used to send cards to once a year, or talk to once a month. It almost provides reason to be more open and appreciative with those that you love. Finally, distance is no barrier to constant contact.
So here’s my attempt to add sentiment to Facebook. I give you my first Christmas Letter.
This year I re-learned another lesson. I went to Mike Cain’s wedding and felt like the outsider. It wasn’t in a bad way – a realistic way. You see I used to be one of Mike’s best friends but that was during my Senior year of high school – his junior year. I learned, again, that when you leave life goes on. New ‘best friendships’ are made, new memories are set in stone, new inside jokes with new friends. There is no malice – but I must have learned it 5 times now – proximity creates the strongest bond. I hope that Facebook creates ‘proximity’ between you and your best friends.
I also raised my first son. Alex is our third child, but parenting was so new to me during the first two – and toddlers were so hard for me to adjust to – that I’ve found joy in Alex’s first year that wasn’t present before. For this I am thankful. I am thankful to my wife who has found boundless joy in each one of them.
And we’ve grown together as a family this year. I love my wife more than I did last year and I look foward to playing with the kids more. This year was not necessarily memorable (at least I can’t envision in 2018 thinking back about it) – but the memories will serve me well.
Happy Holidays to all of you,