Author Topic: Holiday Newsletters  (Read 991 times)

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Ceallach

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Holiday Newsletters
« on: January 08, 2012, 03:31:14 AM »
First let me say that I *love* family newsletters.  I know some people find them annoying (which probably stops more people sending them) but I really wish everybody would do one.  I love the wrap-up of the year, where everybody is at, highlights and lowlights etc.  The etiquette around receiving them is to do so graciously and without comment - burn it if you don't like it - so that's why I'm posting in off-topic.  But I thought it would be entertaining to share:

My MIL sends the worst newsletter ever.  The biggest issue is that it's not actually a newsletter, it's more a stream of consciousness, so it rambles from thought to thought over 4 poorly formatted pages without saying much at all. 

The other issue is that it's very unfocused, so instead of talking about what's happened that year she'll give a full life history.  e.g. this year she mentioned "Mr Ceallach and his wife Ceallach are living in Xtown where they moved four years ago for work".  Which is fine, but next year will say "Mr Ceallach and his wife Ceallach are living in Xtown where they moved five years ago for work."   ::)   

The worst is how she writes something then forgets the actual facts of what she's talking about, so she'll write:  "Ben & Katie's daughter Cari turned twenty-seven in June.  Or Ben was it July she turned twenty-seven?"  yes. IN the newsletter. She talks to people about other people who most of the people have never even heard of or met in their lives.

Of course, the bit that really bothers me?   ;) The bit where she says "Ceallach works in various admin jobs".   Yeah .... see I'm actually a manager, 2IC to the CEO, and have over 60 employees reporting to me!!! I'm much more successful than her son (which he knows and loves - he is campaigning for a SAHD role!)  -sigh-  but that's ok.  Maybe she'd know if she ever listened to a word we said, but of course we don't exactly make a fuss over what we do for a living!  Plus, she doesn't really *do* anything herself so writing about what everybody she knows is doing (in her opinion/belief) is all she can fill the pages with. Anyway, as I said and despite appearances I really do love newsletters, and I'd hate for people to stop sending them just because they fear a reaction like mine.  In a weird way I like her newsletter because it's exactly the way she talks and acts.  This random, confused stream of consciousness that goes around in circles.  And while spending more than 2 days in her company at a time involves the consumption of copious quantities of alcohol to survive, I am fond of the woman. She got something right - she raised a very awesome son!

But I'd love to hear about the newsletters other people have received!  Anything amusing or noteworthy?
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Thipu1

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Re: Holiday Newsletters
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2012, 12:02:14 PM »
We received a family newsletter that was both creative and amusing. 

It gave a lot of good information on the family.  It was also based (loosely) on the 12 days of Christmas.  Entries ran something like this;

1) First time doing such-and-such an activity for the boys. 

2) Two new schools.

3) X turned three years old.

You get the idea. 

Every entry was upbeat and fun to read.  Everyone in the household is healthy, happy and doing just fine without crowing. 

We really enjoyed that Newsletter.  It will be a keeper and a model for years to come.

jaxsue

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Re: Holiday Newsletters
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2012, 12:07:10 PM »
My parents did Xmas newsletters for years. I still have some, but I should burn them. They bring nothing but bad memories.

The reason is that my parents used them as an excuse to crow about how fabulous we kids were. Well, all were fab except for me. I was never a "limelight" kid, and my talents were more of the silent kind (writing, art). So the typical newsletter would be, "DD #1 received top rank at regionals (instrumental). Ditto for the next 4. Then there was little old me. I hadn't amassed tons of trophies for the year so it was quite short, "And little Susie keeps us busy." Wow, thanks.  :P


White Dragon

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Re: Holiday Newsletters
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2012, 01:56:01 PM »
I have a friend who used to write the best newsletters. They were always quirky, funny and she didn't mind laughing at herself. Sadly, she has stopped writing them.

My favourite was the year she wrote about making all her Christmas ornaments in a silvwe and white theme.
One thing she did was paint walnuts and hang them on the tree.

She wrote "They looked like liitle silver brains..." and said that yeah, wouldn't be doing that again.

Ever since then, this image of her little silver walnut 'brains makes me laugh.

Searcher

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Re: Holiday Newsletters
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2012, 02:32:52 PM »
Me, I'm not wild about "catching up" with people and knowing the details of their lives only every year-if they're too busy to tell me about them when they're going on, what makes people think I have time at the end of the year?

And now, with Facebook and social media, a once-a-year "catch-up" seems even less necessary.

Ceallach

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Re: Holiday Newsletters
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2012, 04:14:23 PM »
Me, I'm not wild about "catching up" with people and knowing the details of their lives only every year-if they're too busy to tell me about them when they're going on, what makes people think I have time at the end of the year?

And now, with Facebook and social media, a once-a-year "catch-up" seems even less necessary.

It's interesting, because I kind of feel the opposite.  Fifteen years ago we used to exchange long newsy letters with people we don't see frequently (live in different cities etc) and later long newsy emails.  Now it's rare to even do the newsy email thing, it's all short, frequent communication via online media.  It seems to be a more shallow type of communication. Because their profile is right in front of us and we can see what's going on we don't bother actually exchanging news properly.

So I like the idea of a wrap-up at the end of the year because it's more detailed and focused.
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Bijou

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Re: Holiday Newsletters
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2012, 07:10:14 PM »
I get one a year from my nearly same aged cousin.  He and his wife do more than any other two people I have ever known.  They travel, manage camp grounds, are involved in fire fighting and emergency medical work and they take a boat down various rivers on their own.  It's pretty exhausting and makes me wonder what in the heck I am doing with my life, but I am so proud of them.  I really don't want to do what they do, but if they did what I do (drift thorugh life) they would be tearing their hair in short order. 
I could do this:
"Well, today victor Kiriakis and Maggie Horton got married, and EJ and Nicole are back together.  John and Marlena have returned to salem and John is in big trouble with his business, Basic Black, having been framed by EJ so it looked like he embezzled all the funds from the stock holders....blah, blah, blah........"  Hopefully it would look I know interesting people and not that I was watching too much Days of Our Lives.
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Marisol

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Re: Holiday Newsletters
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2012, 08:29:44 PM »
Your newsletter would crack me up!

Ceallach

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Re: Holiday Newsletters
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2012, 08:48:21 PM »
I get one a year from my nearly same aged cousin.  He and his wife do more than any other two people I have ever known.  They travel, manage camp grounds, are involved in fire fighting and emergency medical work and they take a boat down various rivers on their own.  It's pretty exhausting and makes me wonder what in the heck I am doing with my life, but I am so proud of them.  I really don't want to do what they do, but if they did what I do (drift thorugh life) they would be tearing their hair in short order. 
I could do this:
"Well, today victor Kiriakis and Maggie Horton got married, and EJ and Nicole are back together.  John and Marlena have returned to salem and John is in big trouble with his business, Basic Black, having been framed by EJ so it looked like he embezzled all the funds from the stock holders....blah, blah, blah........"  Hopefully it would look I know interesting people and not that I was watching too much Days of Our Lives.

This is pretty awesome.  I think a good holiday newsletter should be comical!!

My favourite was when a family friend wrote about how they went on vacation with their young children leaving their teenage son (17) at home, he was supposed to have a schoolmate of his staying.  They came back early unexpectedly and found son and his girlfriend rushing to tidy up the house.  The newsletter joked that his "mate" must have jumped over the back fence when he saw them arriving home with the kids.  I think her putting it in the newsletter was part of his punishment.  (Basically he and his girlfriend were playing house while the family were away - so he lied to his parents about who he was having to stay).   It might sound mean, but the mother is known for her sense of humour and the son was embarassed but not mortified, if that makes sense.  Everybody found it hilarious and son and girlfriend went on to have a long and happy relationship.....
"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


Stricken_Halo

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Re: Holiday Newsletters
« Reply #9 on: Yesterday at 06:19:18 PM »
This is an old topic, I know, but the holidays will be here before we know it and I thought it merited reviving.

I still do holiday newsletters, although I'm wondering if it's a bit pathetic to write mostly about just me, with maybe a few lines on Brother, SIL, Niece, and Nephew. I find them a good way to update people I don't see or talk to often. Anyone who isn't interested can just dump the thing--no harm done.

A friend who is in her late 80's still sends them, also, written on an old-fashioned typewriter. I love them. Short and sweet and loving. I've only met one of her kids, but I still like getting the updates on the others.

There have been a couple I wasn't too crazy about. One couple sends their newsletter in the form of a multiple choice quiz every.single.year. I wish they'd find a new gimmick.

I also wish people would write a few lines by hand if they have the time and they want to send a message to just the recipient. One year I wrote in my letter that I was job hunting and had an interview coming up. About a week and a half later I received a long single spaced letter from my former chairman and his wife. It would have meant so much if one of them had scribbled "Good luck with your interview!" beneath all their news. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that the letters crossed in the mail.

TootsNYC

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Re: Holiday Newsletters
« Reply #10 on: Yesterday at 09:25:43 PM »
The times that I've done them, this is what I aim for, actually:

Quote
  In a weird way I like her newsletter because it's exactly the way she talks and acts.  This random, confused stream of consciousness that goes around in circles.

Not that style, but the idea:
  I want the letter to feel almost like a visit with me.

So I try to interesting or illuminating stories about the kids, something that would make you feel like you really knew them. The grade they're in would be quick, and then there'd be some story that, to me, is "the" story about what kind of kid they are. Ditto husband, and even me.
  With the kids, I try to tell the story of how they are interacting with me. My story, that's linked to them.


It's not always positive--sometimes I put in our struggles (well, mine; the kids' when they were younger, but now it's their story).

I have sort of stopped doing one, bcs that's also the sort of stuff I put on Facebook, so it doesn't seem necessary.

ladyknight1

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Re: Holiday Newsletters
« Reply #11 on: Yesterday at 10:39:51 PM »
I make an electronic version and send it to family who aren't on social media. I can always print it to send to those not online.