Today in My History2000: If Wishes were Horses
2001: How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Miles
2002: Deck the Halls
2003: Brave New World
2004: Giving Pleasure
2005: Ho-Ho-Ho, Merry Christmas
2006: Hide and Go Seek
2007: An 1843 Cold Case
2008: A Global Alphabetical Apology
2009: Take 2 Puppies and Call Me in the Morning
Miracle on 34th Street
Books Read in 2010
"Oogy, the Dog only a Family Could Love"
Recipes for Cousins Day Drinks
VIDEO OF THE DAY/WEEK You Tube
Most Recent on My Thanksgiving 2010
Mirror Site for RSS Feed
THE YEARLY LETTER
3 December 2010
As it turns out, writing a Christmas/Holiday Letter takes the entire day.
Yesterday we got our first Christmas cards in the mail. Each year I try to get our Christmas letter written and sent off to my old boyfriend, Bill Farrington (now Brother Farrington, SJ--I drive men to the seminary) before we get his card. If his card doesn't arrive on December 1, I start to worry that something is wrong.
This year, I hadn't really thought of our Christmas letter until Bill's arrived. I called my mother to tell her I had heard from him and her reaction was "Oh my goodness--I thought he would be dead by now." I guess she forgets he is my age.
Anyway, it was too late to beat him, but it was definitely past time to write the letter, so I started doing it.
I got the first draft done and the link sent to the family before 9:30 this morning. I always send it out to get everyone's OK before send it to our entire card list.
Well, after I sent it out into the ethernet, I thought of one thing I'd left out, then another, then another. I saw some tweaking that needed to be done, a photo that needed to be added. Each thing I thought of involved uploading it again. (None of the changes affected the kids' news, so I didn't need to let them know that I'd changed the content.)
I wasted half an hour trying to get ONE sentence formatted right. I could see why it was being centered instead of blocked to the left, and I changed the HTML code several times, but for some reason, each time I saved the file, it stripped off the new formatting.
Finally I just did what I should have done at the beginning. I removed the offending sentence and the photo attached to it and retyped it. Took all of 5 minutes. I felt so silly for trying so hard to bend the HTML code to my will! But it was the principle of it, dammit!
Finally it was in its probable final format and I'd had some responses from the family, enough that I felt comfortable sending the link to the letter out to people our kids don't know, so it wouldn't matter whether they wanted changes made or not.
At one point, the letter elicited a very nice exchange of several e-mails with one of my daughters-in-law, with whom I rarely have the opportunity to talk.
The more I do this letter, the more organized I get, having separate address books for groups--like one for my high school buddies, one for my grammar school friends, one for Lamplighters (3 different categories), one for Walt's work colleagues, etc., etc., etc. I send the link out in groups and keep a chart of what has been sent and what has not.
Here it is 5:30 p.m. as I write this journal entry. I THINK the letter is complete. I have started having replies, one of which sent me to about half an hour of exploring her web site.
And so, without further ado, here is the link for the letter.
It's the 11th time I've posted the letter on line and I have to admit that I really love doing it. Sending out Christmas cards was always a lonely, hand-cramping activity that I enjoyed, but when I realized I could make a nicer looking message doing what I do best and love to do most, and when the cost of mailing one card started to approach $1 (if you include the cost of the card and the cost of producing the letter that went into it), I gave up on handwriting cards, except to people who don't have e-mail. Many of you will also receive personal e-mails inviting you to read the letter, 'cause you're on my Holiday List anyway.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Do you think they've grown?