The Christmas Letter
It’s another one of our family traditions. We started doing it even before we got married, continued doing through 5 years of childless marital togetherness and somehow managed to fit it in between nappy-changing and breastfeeding when our twins arrived.
Every year, I find that Christmas gets more hectic and busier and I always ask myself ‘Must I?’ ‘Do I really have to?’ And the answer is always a resounding ‘Yes!’
I am talking about the tradition of writing a Christmas letter. We started writing it while still dating. We continued to write our separate Christmas letters till we got married and then decided that one letter would suffice for a family. And the responsibility fell on my shoulders as the writer of the family.
So why do I do this, year after year, between Christmas and New Year, in whichever country or continent, mountain or ocean we might be in/on?
To keep in touch
We are a multicultural family. I’ve lived in 5 different countries in 2 continents. My husband has lived in 4 countries in 3 continents. We have family and friends scattered all over the globe. Our Christmas letter is a yearly update of what’s new in our life and what we’ve been up to.
To look back and look forward
We don’t keep diaries or personal blogs. But at the end of each year, we sit down and look back to the year that was. What were the highlights? What have we achieved? What went wrong? What could we have done better? And then we look forward to the upcoming year and put down on paper our plans. What do we want to achieve? Which country do we want to visit next?
To preserve the memories for our kids
Our twins are four-and-a-half years old. Although they sometimes have amazing memories, there will be lots of things they may forget as they grow older. The letters will preserve those memories for them. When they are old enough, they’d be able to read about their parents’ love story, the childless years, the difficult pregnancy, their babyhood years?
In other words, the Christmas letters tell the story of our lives.
In this day and age, this seems a very old-fashioned way of keeping records. We do distribute them electronically whenever we could. There are, however, still family members and friends who gladly get them in hard copy. And keep them.
So excuse me, everyone, I’ve got to log off. I have a Christmas letter to write.