Monday, 5 January 2009

Dear All....Hamsters and Puccini...and slush ;-)

I have a terrible, terrible confession to make.
This year, I sent no Christmas cards in the post.

I feel quite bad about it but I was unwell before Christmas and simply didn't get around to it..and being unwell after Christmas too, has meant that my good intentions of knocking up some good old hand made 'Happy New Year' cards , did not happen either.

Anyway,to try and lift my spirits, I have just summoned up the courage and energy... and I've started to read the many letters, which I have received from friends far and wide; letters which they always include with their Christmas cards; letters which always bring a smile to my face; letters that sometimes have me rolling around the floor in an uncontrollable state. And letters that make me feel that I am totally lacking (not really) ;-)
I give you.... drum roll...

The self congratulatory Christmas letter
It's a gem.

Now then, if you do this , I am sorry if I offend you but I have a thing about those sort of letters. Always have.

I don't mean the quick note which includes normal 'newsy stuff' which you might include when you send your Christmas card to your friends.
I mean the letter that has been photocopied a thousand times, with just your name at the top and their signature at the bottom....and the 'slush' in between ! ;-)

The one that tells you about the many skiing holidays ; the second or third home that has been purchased ; the endless list of material things that have been acquired during the year... and so much more thrilling stuff that you can't wait to hear.

You know, the letter (or should I say 'book' ) that really is not personal to you at all.
The letter that makes you feel a really special friend....NOT!

And that's my beef.

But could keep those letters... and publish them. It has been known...and here they are..

And here :

Not forgetting here...

And finally here,the cover of which says it all:

However, I suppose if you think about it, a blog can be a bit of a boast too, can't it?

And we all like to do that from time to time ;-)

So what are your views on all of this?

I'd love to know.



Gingham and Flowers said...

Oh these kind of things really make me laugh. My Mum and Dad always get one from some people they know. They're not even friends really, just old acquaintances. But every year the old round robin arrives boasting of all the marvellous things the family has achieved. One year their daughters Wedding was called off at the last minute by her fiance and they even managed to make that sound quite wonderful! My Mum always saves it for my Sister and I to have a read and a giggle. I suppose a blog does do a similar thing to a round robin but the difference is that people choose to read a blog because they find it interesting whereas the round robin is forced upon us by someone we probably haven't seen for years.
Sorry to hear you've been unwell around Christmas. I've been battling with this horrid flu/cold thing that has been going round since the day after Boxing Day so can totally sympathise. Don't worry about not sending cards. Just think of all the card you have saved. Happy New Year to you.

Kitty said...

I know I'm odd but I quite like the old round robins. Mind you, I don't get any boasty ones - just news from old friends with whom I just exchange that one letter a year. My mum has an old acquaintance (an ex neighbour who moved away) who always includes an EXTREMELY boasty letter - it's awful. I would be embarrassed to send something like that out. She always refers to herself and her husband in the third person, and just that irritates me!


Ragged Roses said...

Happy New Year Sal! I must confess that I don't like those kind of letters at all, and thankfully we don't receive many of them as most of our friends are too lazy to write that much!!!! A name in a Christmas card with a kiss and scribble is much more my cup of tea.
I often wonder about blogging and how it can come across as blogging, but hopefully the fact that you are drawing people in to comment and share makes it more of a conversation.
Back to tidying up the messy, post-Christmas house

maria said...

Hi, I hope you are feeling much better,
I've only received one of those letters. It was a few years ago from an old school friend. It wasn't boastful just some general news, she hasn't done one since. To be honest I don't really like round robin letters, Maybe I'm jealous as I don't think I have anything to say that anyone would find interesting.

Tea with Willow said...

Oh yes, we've had a couple of these this year ... always the same people, with their mega-talented, perfectly behaved children and their fabulous, no-faults-at-all husbands!! Remember, people only let you 'see' the parts of them they want you to 'see' ... it's probably a very different story in real life!! Tee Hee!!

Willow xx

Boy Wonder said...

Oh ! I like Round Robin
I really do
I mean at this time of the year with the over indulgence and all...
Round Robin is much preferred to...
You fat old bird

galant said...

I detest these boastful letters. I was so incensed by one I received this year that I wrote to the Telegraph about it, and that brought forth several letters from other readers who were equally not impressed with round robins. One reader said I'd made the fatal error of reading the blimmin' thing!
Margaret Powling

Sal said...

Apologies for 'Boy Wonder'..he likes his little joke...and the Christmas cracker ones were not up to much this year ;-)

The Weaver of Grass said...

Hi Sal - sorry you have been ill - hope you are feeling better by now. I have Hoggart's books and hace always followed his Guardian column about reound robins - I too hate them. Never thought about a blog being a bit of a boast nbut am sure you are right.

prettyshabby said...

Hi Sal.. I thought it was just me who got a bit miffed at those letters!! I get one every year and it just sings the praises of their 3 various yearly holidays (yes, including a skiing holiday of course) and glowing school reports, I did feel like writing back and listing all our lovely events over the years, school expulsion, the long drawn out court case, health, money and job worries..blah blah blah but left it in the end.for all they know I could be living the life of Riley or sipping Margueritas on a beach. They absolutely infuriate my husband, who wasn't keen on her in the first place more so that the person in question has remarried and I have no idea who half the people are in the letter! A quick personalised note in the card or an email would be far nicer!..and we didnt send cards in the post either this are most certainly not alone there!
Happy New Year by the way! xx

Bobbie Lynn said...

Happy New Year to you and I hope your feeling better too. Here's to another year of blogging. Cheers!

galant said...

After seeing a title like The Cat That Could Open The Fridge (collection of Christmas round robins) how could I resist? ... Have now ordered this from Amazon ...
Margaret Powling

Cowboys and Custard said...

Hello Sal
I really shouldn't be here after my early confession that I wouldn't be blogging as much in 2009.. but just try and keep me away from the daily Snippets!
I have to say I have flirted with the idea of sending a round Robin this year as my cards were very very last minute.. but reading your thoughts on the wretched things makes me feel a huge sense of relief.. that I didn't succumb to this very over indulgent and mostly unwelcome habit!
Who would want to read about the four funerals, bouts of endometriosis, hormonal rants, constant money worries and general tedium from the Custard household this year?
Fancy reading those books though!!
Hope your not still swigging Benylin.
Michele XX

Shabby Chick said...

I'm lucky that I never get them, and daren't inflict them on anyone else either! This year I had cards printed with a nice pic of my two girls and I still worry that it was a bit self indulgent, but it was just a spontaneous snap of them having fun rather than a professional photo (she say, trying to justfiy it to herself!).

My mum has a friend who always sends one and it's so funny. OK so I'm being bitchy but as three out of her four children aren't married and have more and more kids it's less of a boast than a catalogue of woe!

Mel xxx

Shirl said...

Hi Sal, hope you are feeling a lot better now. I don't receive any round robin letters thankfully. When it comes to blogging, I think sometimes it can come across as boasting; even when you are not intentionally doing it. This year, I listed our crimbo pressies and I guess some people would consider that boasting. I guess it all depends on your point of view!

Shirl x

galant said...

Re Christmas pressies, a friend emailed me in early Dec to say that she would only be sending cards in future and I thought, hey, what a good idea! Do we really need yet more 'stuff' when we're past 60? Well, I don't suppose everyone reading this IS past 60, but does anyone want more things to dust/find a place for in our already over-stuffed homes? So I emailed ten friends to whom I would normally send a present, saying much the same; just cards in future. And, do you know what? They emailed back to thank me, thinking this a very sensible move!
Margaret Powling

BusyLizzie said...

Hope you are feeling much better now Sal. I have to confess (eek) I did send a sort of round ish robin this year.... but I hope I made it funny with all the hideous ups & downs that life has thrown at us recently! (Certainly NO boasting....) ha ha, see you at the Exeter Flea if you are well enough???
Lizzie x

andsewtosleep said...

Well I'm with you on this one. I only receive one each year - thank heavens. From the same person and it's become a little weary over the years. I grew up next door to this person - so have known her all my life. I just wish I had the courage to say 'please save a branch of a tree and leave me out'.

Amy said...

Sorry that you have been unwell. I hope you are on the mend soon!
I also think these form letters in holiday cards are a laugh and very over done. I get one in a card every year from a friend of the family-- about all the couple's aches and pains and troubles in cheer!!

Josie-Mary said...

I've never had a round robin.... none of my friends are that organized!!! I have hear of them though & I bet those books are really funny.
Love the look of the nature ladybird books :)

Rosie said...

I had to smile when I read this post because I had a 'round robin' this year from an old friend who I haven't seen for ages - I get the feeling her husband put it together but in the first of the two pages they'd been to South America - the Andes, Chile, Cuba and Peru, Amsterdam to visit family and thence to Australia and New Zealand - Wow! By the second page they were getting ready to go the the Falklands in February. I felt, on reading it as if I had been on a voyage around a lot of the world:) Hope you are feeling better!