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My Personal Generic Holiday Christmas Newsletter

December 20, 2008

Continued from previous post

So here is my year-end anti-self-promoting Generic Holiday Newsletter. It’s chock-full of disappointments, bad news, and frightening developments. I ended up sending this out to a few cynical friends like me, who I knew would appreciate it. But this letter never made it to the address of the culprits who started it all. Maybe next year I’ll be braver.


December 20, 2008


Dear Friends and Family,

It’s been a long time since we have sent out a Holiday letter. Come to think of it, we’ve never sent you a Holiday letter! Although one year I did write a Holiday letter, just to see how good I could make our family look. We looked pretty good! Okay, it was more like a family resume. Or, it was like I was filling out an application for the family of the year. But I never sent it out, and spared you all from the blatant self-promotion (we really looked good!). So, of course, the lesson I learned is that a generic Christmas/Holiday letter can dilute the entire year into nothing more than a Curriculum Vitae “for your consideration” (hopefully you would be impressed!).

But really, is that what the Christmas Letter has come down to? A way to justify how fantastic my life is? The truth is that I bet most of us would rather read a letter about the struggles and failures that other families are facing, so that we could feel a little bit better about our own situation. Am I right? (“Hey honey – did you read about how terrible the Johnson’s have it? We’re not doing as bad as I thought!”). That’s why we love the tabloids and reality TV and Dr. Phil, because we see the parade of dysfunctional people spouting off about their problems, which makes us believe that our own lives are not so bad after all. It gives us a little perspective! Let’s face it. Life is hard. And every one of us has problems. If you don’t, then maybe you haven’t actually lived through your past year. Why deny it?

So in the spirit of sending an anti-self-promotional newsletter, here are the 2008 highlights from the Moore family:

  • Another year, and a new set of ailments to add to our list of “things that go downhill after you turn forty.” It’s getting depressing. This year: heartburn after every meal. I mean, I can’t even eat a friggin’ pancake without my esophagus erupting with these nasty acid outbursts.

  • OMG, our oldest, Sophie, had her first boyfriend. They broke up after three weeks, but she got her first kiss. I caught them making out while quote unquote watching (yeah, right. Stupid me) Taladega Nights. I am hopeful that she got that boyfriend thing out of her system (yeah right. Stupid me).

  • I should just say that Sophie turned 15 and leave it at that. Use your imagination.

  • My precious, darling, cuddly Lilly turned 12 this year, and she doesn’t want to talk to me any more. What’s wrong? What did I do? Please honey! Daddy wants you back!

  • This year we totally gave up on the girls keeping their rooms clean. We’ve been after them for how many years?? Does it work? I’ll tell you what works, is shutting the bedroom door so I don’t see the mess and never really know how bad it is. Until I smell something when walking past, then I am not going to think about it anymore.

  • We took the girls skiing, but Beth and I didn’t ski. We were too tired so we stayed in the lodge and “watched.” They had a Starbucks there. And a fireplace. We brought a couple books. Why bother skiing?

  • Beth has made a new friend: peri-menopause. A peri-menopausal mom and two teen age girls. Yay!

  • We have totally neglected our outdoor landscaping this year. I don’t have time, and I’m too lazy anyways. The trees and shrubs in the front are out of control. It’s December, and there are still weeds growing in the mulch. I promise to hire someone this Spring to fix it.

  • Our cockatiel bird was so annoying the we moved his cage from the center of life, the kitchen, to the dark, lonely downstairs basement so that we don’t have to hear his obnoxious squacking all day and continuously clean up after his mess of bird seed shells all over the kitchen floor. It worked. Now we never hear him, and wonder if he’s still alive. Maybe you can check in on him if you happen to visit us.

  • I probably spent about $700 this year at Starbucks. Yes, the money could have gone to many other worthy causes other than my selfish coffee habit. But when it comes to coffee, I am selfish. That’s all I have to say.

  • I put over 30,000 miles on my car this past year. I have no idea what I would have been doing that would require me to travel so far, or who I was with. My daily commute is only 25 miles. I think the girls have something to do with this.  At an average of 50 mph, that translates to 600 hours this year in my car. Really, that equals 25 full days – almost a month of straight driving! My life is obviously slipping away before my very eyes…


  • I am writing this letter at work, instead of doing actual real work right now. I’ve been at this for… oh, about an hour. Well, it’s the week before Christmas, so it should be a blow-off day anyways. Right? Who cares!

Seriously, we have been truly blessed in so many ways with a wonderful family, two beautiful girls, (relatively) good health, and a life that we thank God for every day. Hope this letter brightens your day and lightens your load a little bit!

Merry Christmas,


Brad, Beth, Sophie and Lilly

10 Comments leave one →
  1. December 20, 2008 10:34 pm

    that was actually interesting and entertaining…
    i can’t believe i read the whole thing!
    well done!

  2. December 20, 2008 11:25 pm

    I love it! How fun and creative a writter you are 🙂 I got to do that when I have a more exciting year!!! Hope that is soon b/c this year was pretty sad in the entertainment department. Drama, oh loads though. God Bless!!!!

  3. December 21, 2008 4:05 pm

    How inspiring! (Really.) I’ll think of this letter any time I get the urge to send out a generic holiday letter of my own.

    Bradley, I mentioned your blog again on my website: the post is called “My 5 Favorite Christian Blogs (This Week)”.

    God bless.

  4. December 26, 2008 4:16 pm

    Hi, Brad! I really enjoyed your post “trilogy” on the holiday newsletter — fun reading! Keep up the great work.


  5. Spencer Bullock permalink
    December 27, 2008 8:25 pm

    It’s been a while since I’ve checked in to STC. Happy to see things are hummin right along and that you’ve gotten plenty of feedback from fellow bloggers and some regular folks too. OMG, I can’t stand receiving those damn holiday letters! Why then, do I seem to read them all? I’m convinced it’s so that I can repeat aloud, over and over…”Tell me again why I care about this drivel?”!! Me? I send the glossy picture of the kids, and know that those who know me already really know me.

  6. December 28, 2008 7:29 pm

    This was a great read.

    I too am spoiled when it comes to coffee. I only drink one cup a day, ( must have something to do with peri menopause,) and I make sure I buy the best, Britt of your interested.

    Have a very blessed New Year

  7. shrinkingthecamel permalink*
    December 29, 2008 6:52 pm

    Thanks for reading, everyone! I had a great time writing this… all in good fun.

    OK, no, I really am still annoyed by that letter.

    Spencer – Good to have you back, man!

    Yvette- It’s going to take a major earth-shattering event to get me to switch from Starbucks to Britt. But now I’m curious. Where do you buy it? I’ve never seen or heard of Britt in these parts of the Northeast/Philly area.

  8. December 30, 2008 12:03 pm

    it’s funny that you still ended on a positive note. not that that’s a bad thing, but holiday letters have a super-strength, magnetic pull toward positivity. admit it, brad…you can’t fight its power.

  9. November 29, 2009 3:17 pm

    Does a cockatiel rate the same as the family dog? (I really need to know this before I complete our latest edition.)

  10. December 22, 2010 2:06 pm

    Love it, Bradley! I don’t mind getting the newsletters, since I don’t keep up with people’s lives–but it’s too hard to write the real stuff, like you did, here.

    Your daughter is now 17. How’s that whole boyfriend thing going?

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