Here they come. Those Christmas Family newsletters, folded neatly into so many Christmas cards. (I suspect that we see fewer of them now, with social media offering instant updates...) In fact, the happy-faced, polished profiles on Facebook look like ongoing stories inspired by actual Christmas newsletters.
This Baby Blues comic from Dec. 5, 2016 sums it up perfectly.
It may be annoying to read about the perfect lives of friends and family, but it could be worse. We could read about all the dysfunction and disappointment plaguing the world, and this delivered with a personal touch.
Yeah, this year was even worse than last year. Joe lost three jobs, and Jane gained another 50 pounds. The kids are flunking, and their friends reject them. But when the house burned, we did save three photo albums and an iPod. Everyone's got the flu now. Maybe that's why the dog ran away...
So, how do you craft a sincere, honest, uplifting newsletter? I offer these as theoretical suggestions, because we don't send out a family newsletter, and never really have. And we DO like to receive them from others, even if they are airbrushed.
Keep the focus on gratitude.
Yes, the kids made good grades, but aren't the teachers extraordinary? We are blessed with a great school!
Little Johnny is loving his basketball team, especially his encouraging coach.
Share some growing edges for the family.
Times are still tight for us, but we expect to see the family business turn the corner next year.
Mary's cancer has returned, but we have so much support from our friends. We couldn't do it without them!
Acknowledge the big picture.
We are thankful that we have this time of year to reflect on God's love for us and you.
In the joys and the struggles, God has shown us such goodness. We rejoice at being part of his story.
So, enjoy all the holiday greetings, and don't get too proud if your family is better than mine.