Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Original Bloggers

Long before there were blogs...

long before there were internets...

hell, long before there were even computers... people were writing posts and sharing them with their friends.

And to what am I referring? I'm talking about that rich annual tradition of writing and sending Christmas letters.

And if you think about it, this was very similar to what we're all doing here right now... blogging!

That's right. Except for the fact that the frequency of the posts were a little more sparse, they really weren't that much different. And how, you may ask, are Christmas letter-writers like bloggers?

Check it out...

people share too much personal information


people think they're clever and hysterical


if you don't reply with your own you'll eventually get dropped from their blogroll list


pictures look like crap because they have to be shrunk


one person writes the letter and publishes it without the consent of the rest of the family


everybody is always trying to make a better template border than the next guy


letters are usually way too long


the one person who writes the letter always picks out the picture that makes him or her look the best regardless of how the rest of the family looks


goal is to see how many other people's return comments letters you can collect on your wall


people are convinced everyone else will love what they wrote

32 comments:

Mom Thumb said...

Which is precisely why I did NOT do a letter this year. I figure anyone who gives a crap about my life will read my blog. Given the comments, doesn't bode well about how many people do.

Heather said...

I have only done maybe TWO letters with the Christmas cards. Everyone just wants to see the kids after all.

Corrina said...

Ahhhh the self-centered-ness of blogging. :-) LOL...

I've never gotten a Christmas letter, but now I'm ok with that.

Ed (zoesdad) said...

Oh, you forgot--well over half of the recipients have no idea who the sender is.

Anonymous said...

I could never understand how the people who sent the Christmas letters always had the perfect children, the perfect jobs, the perfect lives! As I read the letters, I could hear the birds singing in the backround, and picture them all sitting around smiling at each other and holding hands!
I never sent a Christmas letter!
Merry! Merry! sis
p.s. Your blog is NOT like that. It's an honest account of your busy life. Love it!!

Memarie Lane said...

i hate writing christmas letters! i used to make brad do it, but now we just send cards. sometimes we even include pictures! but not this year.

Babs (Beetle) said...

I have never written a Christmas letter. It's generally not a British thing, though I have received a couple - boring. I think that if you don't already know the contents, then you don't know them very well. If you do, you will already know the contents! Am I wrong?

Doug at Taunt Vortex said...

Great post. But I'm trying to figure out what the internet equivalent of the fruitcake is.

Elizabeth said...

I have friends who always add some sort of inside joke known to only certain friends and family. Very annoying.

Jeff said...

mom thumb - It's not the quantity of the friends, it's the quality. Hmmm, that's sounds a little too close to "it's not the size..." doesn't it?

heather - We've written a few in the past, but it seems to get harder and harder every year to sit down and find the time. Yes I know... I still have time to blog blah blah blah. Stay out of it.

corrina - Oh you poor thing. Maybe I can dig up a few old ones and send them your way. No one should have to go without ANY!

ed - Good point. Oh, and who are you again?

sis - Thanks sis. Yes, that's me... perfectly honest! *ahem*

marie - Maybe we should all publish our Christmas letter on line this year. Kind of like a meme. You go first.

babs - No. Yes. I mean you're right. I think the premise is that Christmas letters are more for those 2nd string acquaintances that you don't keep in touch with over the year. Kind of a "catch-up" letter if you will.

doug - That would be Diesel.
(now let's see if he actually reads my blog)

elizabeth - Maybe you could go to their Christmas parties and start laughing about the things us bloggers are up to. That'd be a good payback! ;b

Drowsey Monkey said...

ahahaha! omg - that's so true. I used to do those Xmas letters! hahaha

Gette said...

NPR's most emailed stories podcast from the 18th had a little color piece with a very interesting perspective on Christmas letters and picture cards. I'd highly recommend tracking it down.

Lidian said...

This is exactly true, and therefore very funny! Fabulous post.

Father Muskrat said...

Totally true. Glad I never have, and never will, send a Christmas letter.

yellojkt said...

I did GREAT Christmas newsletters in the mid-90s. One was four pages professionally printed on 11x17 and folded newspaper style. I eventually graduated to Microsoft Publisher with full color.

I had my mailing list in a database to track who I got cards from so that they would go on the mailing list next year (I was very slow to knock people off the list).

I haven't even sent out cards for nearly ten years.

Jeff said...

drowsey - Geez, it's starting to sound like these things may be a dying breed. I suppose email has kind of put the mailed Christmas letter out of business eh?

gette - Hmmm, that sounds complicated. Ok, I'll give it a shot, but if it takes me more than 3 clicks to find it, I'm out! ;-)

lidian - Thank you. You're too kind :-)

muskrat - Dang. I was hoping to get one from you this year.

yello - Just knowing you from blogging I can totally tell that 90's thing was so you. You're exactly the kind of person who would have kept an Excel database of your mailing list. I know this because I would have too. ;b

but Momma said...

No wonder I love a good Christmas letter! Love to receive them, sometimes write them. I don't don't enjoy the "rose color glasses" variety - but you're right I never post a bad picture of myself! :) Thanks for the laughs! And if I don't check in before Thursday, I hope you and your family have a fabulous Christmas!

April said...

I do a Xmas email. I'm such a good environmentalist that way!

JD at I Do Things said...

Very clever. This is the first year I refused to send out X-mas cards. The fact that I hate and resent it so much surely makes the gesture somewhat hypocritical.

This year I'm sending everyone a photo of our cats under the tree.

JD at I Do Things

Jen - Queen of Poo said...

LOL! So so true! I think I've done a total of two Christmas letters. I stopped doing Christmas cards and letters years ago. I am now dropped off of everyone's list. So far I've gotten two Christmas cards this year.

Kathy said...

Very funny and dead-on. I never sent a Christmas letter, nor received one. I consider myself one of the lucky ones.

p.s. I can't read that picture you put with your post. It's all shrunk down.

The Doozie said...

I'm not sure why people continue to insist on developing a christmas letter. It amazes me.

Jeff said...

but momma - Thanks, you too!

april - All right then... you know my email addy. ;-)

jd - So do you think it would taint the sentiment if you signed your cards "hypocritically yours..." ?

jen - Relatives I'm sure. It's very difficult to get off their lists ;-)

kathy - Well, maybe if your address wasn't unlisted AND you weren't part of the witness protection program. I'm just saying.

doozie - Everything amazes you... that's why you're blog is so funny.

Michelle said...

well. Isn't that disheartening. And true. Mostly.

Instead, I'm doing a new years letter this year :) And the rest of it ... possibly might be true for us.

I love the holly!

Jacki said...

I have never sent out a Christmas letter, we just send pictures of Emma with our cards. She's the only one they really care about anyways. :-)

Gette said...

I am lucky that ipastor collects such things so I don't have to find them for myslef, but it was 5 clicks: NPR.org>podcasts button (lower left of splash page)>by title (NPR most emailed stories, in "M") then date

Babs (Beetle) said...

For goodness sakes! I received one today! Only one paragraph, of a two pager, had any relevance for me! I'd far sooner get several short emails throughout the year.

Roger said...

Love the letters, actually I love to make fun of them. Especially when they go into detail regarding some medical condition - Yea!

bon bon said...

we sent a xmas letter one year, filling it with malarkey. i believe we said one of us had won a pulitzer and another was doing time for armed robbery of prosthetic limb store...

it did NOT stop us from receiving letters from others the following year, as we had hoped.

Jeff said...

michelle - Thanks. You won't find holly bullets in MS Word!

jacki - Maybe you should get her to write the note. That would be cute.

gette - Thanks, I'll check it out for sure!

babs - The nerve of them not putting more relevance in their letters! ;b

roger - Too true. Did you know that poor Aunt Betty had a kidney stone?

bon bon - See I would have believed those things about you. One good thing about robbing a prosthetic limb store... you'll definitely have a leg to stand on with your court case!

Bee Repartee said...

HAHAHAHA, okay, that hit my funny bone.

So true.

Regardless, I wish you and yours the best and merriest Christmas!

Maureen said...

Har! Well done and too true!

I had to endure Christmas letters from a few aunts for years; I hated them as I had no idea who the hell they were talking about. Now they have passed on, so has that tradition.

I cut my card list way back this year; less than 10 were mailed out. I remember years ago I was near 50 cards sent out! (but never a letter!)