I got a very annoying Christmas letter last week.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not opposed to Christmas letters IN PRINCIPLE. Except for the fact that if we are really and truly close friends, I probably don't need a Christmas letter to know what you've been up to for the last year.
But when Hubby told me whose name was on the return address label for this particular Christmas card/letter, I thought he was joking.
It was from a former co-worker, someone I first met through cycling and then came to teach at our school. That evolved into an awkward situation as it became patently clear that she hated almost everything about our school, in particular the students. She finally left at Spring Break, for which we were extremely grateful and never mind the hassle of finding a replacement with about 6 weeks left in the school year, and I she became very cool toward me. I couldn't figure out if she resented me because she left a job she hated or if she thought I should have been a better "friend."
We still see each other frequently on cycling events, and I make a point to speak to her and her husband. I steer away from school topics, except to bring her up to speed on people we both know, and I try not to let my eyes glaze over when she talks about how wonderfully well her consulting business is going. Still, she acts like it pains her to speak to me, and she has this tacky, judgmental way of looking down her very pointy nose at everyone. You feel like you can't have a conversation with her without feeling like you're being assessed.
Why the Christmas letter out of the blue, when we've had very little contact (other than politeness, and sometimes strained at that) for the last three and a half years? I would take the cynical position that she only wanted to brag on their exploits, but there weren't really that many exciting events in her letter.
I got a Christmas letter a few years ago from a different co-worker, someone with whom I taught in her first couple of years as a teacher and who later had Sweet Girl in her class.When she married and started having children, they got very involved with their church. She left the teaching profession to stay home with her three boys, and we kind of drifted apart. I run into her mom occasionally and get updates on the family, and I occasionally think I should give her a call.
I did enjoy reading her Christmas letter, because I've never known her children, and it was interesting reading up on what they've been up to and how they've grown. Only one part of her letter disturbed me, and ...
HEATHEN ALERT - YOU'RE GOING TO THINK I'M A HEATHEN -- AGAIN!!!
it was in reference to their youngest son. Apparently one of their significant events from that year was that the youngest son had confessed his sins and been saved.
He was 5. Really, how many sins can a 5-year-old HAVE? And could he even begin to understand the concept of sin, confessing said sin, and being saved? Forgive me, but that part of the letter made me shake my head.
I've decided I'm going to write my own Christmas letter. In tomorrow night's post, I'm going to write a letter detailing the Bragger household's activities for 2012. Call it the Christmas letter from the future.