Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Newsletters

Goaded on by Mr GeniAus I have completed our family Christmas letter for 2013. This reminded me of two of my posts from 2010 and 2011 which I am resharing below.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2010


Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2010 - December 4 - Christmas Cards





Enclosed with my Christmas cards for the last ten years or so has been a family Christmas letter in which I summarise the hatches, matches, dispatches, trials and triumphs of immediate family members. I have heard people scoff at these annual epistles by calling them "brag bulletins" and other derogatory names. To these people I say "Bah, Humbug".

When I look back at my collection of Christmas Letters I find that I have a neat summary of important family events for the last decade. If I continue the practice for another couple of decades I will have a rich resource to pass on to future generations who may not be simply interested in the dry Birth, Death and Marriage facts in my family tree but in our activities.

I must admit to not fully reading some of the Christmas letters I get as they are just too long. I love hearing of the doings of other families but prefer an "executive summary" rather than a novel. I edit, edit and edit again and make sure that my letter is no more than an A4 page in a font size that is readable.

As it's now 4th December I must away, reflect on the past year and write my Christmas Chronicle".

This post was written for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2011


Christmas Newsletters - Trash or Treasure?

As we will be overseas before Christmas I am thinking of what I can do so that when I return, on December 23rd, I will be prepared for the Yuletide festivities. I write an annual Christmas letter (never more than one A4 page) so I can make a start on that. Elderly aunts and old neighbours tell me that they enjoy reading it each year

I just spotted this post in an online forum "Does anybody get those annoying Christmas letters EVERY YEAR EVERY DETAIL of the families history???...I dont even read them anymore I just trash them."


Trash them? As the writer unwittingly said they contain details of a family's history.They are precious resources for future generations Sure people brag about how clever their kids are but they also convey news of hatches, matches and dispatches and other family milestones. There is no way I would trash these epistles that give a potted (but often skewed towards the positive) history of a family's events during that year.


For those newsletters that come from  family I record the details of births, deaths and marriages that I glean from them in my genealogy database. I then file them in my family history files in the author's file. I have over ten years of newsletters from one cousin's family that when read sequentially tell a beautiful story, warts and all. She is not into genealogy but one day her descendants may be; there may be nowhere else that this story is recorded for these youngsters. I am pleased that I can curate this collection for the future.

Do you send out a Christmas letter? Do you enjoy reading them? Are they trash or treasure?


1 comment:

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

Mine tend to the novella, rather than exec summary though these days I write what I feel covers the year, file it in the memory box, then edit and send out a "short story" version. Hardly surprising coming from me ;)

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