She makes it look cute, somehow.

One of my biggest pet peeves in life is the Christmas letter.

You know what I mean. They’re carefully folded and inserted into Christmas cards, usually replete with blurry photos, and almost always created by someone with a sub-par knowledge of Microsoft Publisher. The design, however unattractive, isn’t the worst part. It’s the content that usually offends me.*

Why do I hate them? Because most Christmas letters glaze over the bad stuff, which is a load of crap. Life is NOT all positive, and anyone who tries to pretend otherwise is a horrible, awful person.

One, because self-deception is nothing to aspire to. And two, because their self-deception makes others feel like something’s wrong with them.

But inevitably, someone drafting a Christmas newsletter will think they can pull a fast one and write a “sunshine and puppy dogs” letter.

“We’re so blessed! The children are getting straight As and testing three levels above grade. We moved into our new seven-bedroom dream home in June, after John got a big promotion and 72% pay raise. I’m now a full-time stay-at-home-mom, and when I’m not helping out at the kids’ school, I volunteer at the children’s hospital and teach Sunday school at the National Freaky Cult Church. Praise the Lord!”


To further drive home my point, here’s a sample from Ashton Kutcher’s 2011 Christmas letter:

“2011 was amazing for me! I was selected for a starring role on Two And a Half Men after a very wonderful and talented young man decided to leave the show. I was able to get some much-needed muscle relaxation through hot water therapy, made better by the company of a lovely young woman who I befriended. And in late fall, Demi’s successful career allowed us to buy a second home for her!”

Yeah right, AplusK. A crackhead got fired and you were a distant second. You shagged a strange blonde in a hot tub and your wife divorced you, even though she’s about 34 years older and you should be the one dumping her. Life didn’t work out so pretty for you now did it?

My family has never enjoyed my “alternative” form of Christmas letter, mostly because it usually reveals some family secret — a big fight or some family drama. I’ve always felt, however, that honesty is best (this blog is just one manifestation of that philosophy).

Sometime in the next week, I’ll post my very own Joys of Infertility Christmas Newsletter – focused on this blog’s topic: making (or failing to make) babies! I’ll have some free time this weekend after my embryo transfer, so keep an eye out next week for my attempt at a Christmas letter.


*There are a few Christmas letters I actually look forward to — my mother-in-law’s sister writes the best one I’ve ever read. It’s pure truth but completely hysterical.  I love the ones from my graphic designer friends, too, but mostly because they are awesome to look at!

Why stop now? Keep reading, friend.

  • Like a kid at ChristmasJune 23, 2014 Like a kid at Christmas We didn't find out Peanut's gender before she was born, and we don't know Squeak's either. Here's why you should do the same.
  • Announcement SeasonDecember 7, 2012 Announcement Season If you're drafting a holiday pregnancy announcement status update, pause for just a moment before you tell the world.
  • Acupuncture follow-up: after my 1st appointmentJuly 20, 2011 Acupuncture follow-up: after my 1st appointment It's sad, but my first acupuncture appointment will also be my last. I must be one of those folks for whom being poked with needles is NOT relaxing.
  • Daddy DaycareJune 11, 2013 Daddy Daycare Some men avoid one-on-one time with their children. Some wives let them get away with it. None of that biznass goes down in my house.
  • December 11, 2011 An Infertility Christmas Newsletter All Christmas letters, if they're being honest, should extoll the good AND the bad. Mine tries to do just that.