They've started arriving, trickling in the mailbox and spreading Christmas fear and jealousy: the dreaded Christmas Letters.
I'm not sure who started this tradition. I'm sure it was a very creative, very organised, perfectly put together mum who, after finishing her Christmas shopping in July, sat at her colour coordinated desk and drank her purifying herbal tea while staring at the pile of holly bedecked stationary sitting neatly to her right. Inspired by the blessings in her life and with her Mum Goggles firmly in place, she wrote out her letter in a gorgeous, flowing script. When she finished, she probably tilted her head, reached for her jar of gold glitter and began to hand gild the holly berries thinking what a brilliant idea a Christmas letter was to let her friends and family know what was happening in her world.
> You can be sure the first Christmas letter did not tell of Johnny's trouble with the law or Grandma's newest boyfriend. You can be equally sure Dear Husband didn't get sued for sexual harassment and they didn't find drugs in Sally's bedroom.
I wish it had.
Because the bar has been set and whether it's a viral video about Christmas Jammies or printed on holly stationary, Christmas letters are filled with learning Chinese, starting new businesses, travelling to exotic locales, and academic success. They are, I believe, a verbal Christmas card photo. They are a Pinterest perfect picture of how we wished we looked every day – colour coordinated, happily smiling, and hair unfrizzed with the light falling just so and the leaves carefully arranged around our scuff-free boots.
Reality, in my opinion, would be much more interesting. I would love to hear how your darling daughter flushed a roll of toilet paper resulting in a visit from the plumber. Three times. I would laugh with you over your sweet son deciding to create a Minecraft trap out of Legos and catching your dear husband in a vice at two in the morning when he got up to change your wee baby's nappy. I would nod when I read that you joined a gym with the intention of getting into marathon shape but decided to join a bread making class that conflicts with the spin class. Giggles would ensue when you wrote about your dear husband deciding to fix the garbage disposal resulting in the plumber's fourth visit. Those giggles would turn to belly laughs as you include a picture of said plumber and wax poetic about how he's practically a member of the family now.
This Christmas, as the cards are being mailed and the letters and emails being written, let's resolve to toss aside the perfect vision and rejoice in the imperfections that make us all so unique and human.