I’m hoping not to ruffle the wrong feathers, but I just can’t get this post to stop trying to write itself in my head. So, better here than there I say.
Plus, since New Years is around the corner. I’ll be making some moves towards continued positiviality. (Just wait, that will be a new word someday). Might as well get snarky, mean, negative, judgmental thoughts out now before the regimens of healthy living get a revival treatment.
Anywhos, we get Christmas newsletters from family and friends and we love catching up on what is going on with those we don’t see often, or have lost track of somewhat. Cos, let’s face it. The people we communicate with on a regular basis – we already know most of what they would put in a newsletter.
One of the newsletters we receive gets a special kind of attention from my daughter and me. It’s like, “OMG. THE Braggerbooter’s letter came in!! Break out the tea kettle and let’s have a sit.” My husband gets REALLY PISSED OFF at us. He thinks that my daughter and I are being horribly catty and bitchy and not at all Christmas like.
Ah. Well. Here’s some bitchiness thinly veiled as advice to the Braggerbooter family.
Keep to the highlights. Four pages, single spaced, eleven point font is getting close to becoming a periodical.
Unless you want other people’s kids to not like your kids, have a little balance in the bragging arena. For instance, each kid’s paragraph should probably not be ¾ of a page long, single spaced. Try to make your kids a little bit human.
When listing the athletic accomplishments of your oldest child, even if HE IS an eventual Heisman trophy sure bet, maybe don’t mention every single award. Pick your favorite five.
If your son is so athletically competent that he can play any baseball position well, that might be enough information right there. You probably don’t need to go on and say how he usually is put in as pitcher, 1st baseman, or short stop. And then detail the highlights in each.
Just say you are proud of how well your son is doing academically while balancing it with all those athletics. Don’t give his GPA for every quarter.
Your son may be the most popular boy in his senior class and the phone may be ringing off the wall with girls calling him. It’s just not that cool for a mom to make it a part of the holiday letter.
When introducing your daughter’s paragraph, maybe a more humble beginning than “Son may be a hard act to follow, what with so many accomplishments, but daughter rises to this challenge and even surpasses her brother with her own accomplishments.
You may not want to call your daughter a “typical teen” and then detail that she:
Is the most popular girl in her class.
Played two sports and was voted MVP for both.
Detail a list of awards athletically and academically, describing the honor and importance of each award.
Say how amazed you are that she is an excellent dancer in jazz, hip-hop, AND ballet and finish this off by saying she is so talented that at her ballet performance they “saved her for the closing number.”
Hands down, my all time favorite in your daughter’s paragraph was when you equated your daughter’s “stunning and sophisticated beauty” with a popular young celebrity. It got even better when you proved your point with the anecdotal story of the family vacation to Disneyland and how preteens were asking for your daughter’s autograph (thinking she was the celeb). It was a little over the top when you finished this part with, “it was a fun preview of her future and what it’s like to be rich and famous.”
I could say more, like perhaps you need not detail your home renovations with the exact colors and types of hardwood flooring and granite countertops. But, my snark meter is having a fit and so I should end this fun.
A couple ideas to improve on the ol’ newsletter.
One. Funny works. Add a little humor.
Two. Be gracious. Balance out what might come off as bragging with a little humility thrown in.
One last thing. When you write that paragraph about your vacation home to Hawaii. Detailing all the fun you had. And isn’t it fortunate that you got to come for three weeks? How the highlight was spending time with family and friends who are so dear… Maybe you might word it in a way so those of us that you did not call while you were here don’t go,
Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m probably going to hell for this. But we do have a load of fun reading the Braggerbooter's letter every year.
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