Monday, December 16, 2013

Humble Brag Letter, But Where's the Brag?


I cannot be the only one…who cringes when they receive a Christmas card from that relative that takes it upon themselves to put together the Christmas Family Newsletter, also known as the “Humble Brag Letter." Upon holding the envelope in my hand,  I start to run through my quote unquote accomplishments of the past year in my mind, and unless successfully keeping my family in clean socks is an achievement, my portion of the letter may be less than riveting.

I was the recipient of one of these good old fashion Christmas Family Update letters last week. When I first saw the piece of paper fall from my card, I thought how lovely the sender was to include a check, only to realize that it was the "letter," and this only added a thread of disappointment to my usual trepidation of receiving the Family Christmas letter (that was sent to who knows how many people). I unfolded the letter, printed on very festive paper stock with mittens and snowflakes, and wondered how could this paper so filled with Christmas spirit cause me to flinch…then I start reading the prose on the paper and remembered why. 

As I work my way past what the other members of my family have been up to; the same list of employers as the past ten years, a census worthy count of children to parent ratio, and a description of the strenuous amount of yard work done by the writer throughout the past year, the letter seemed harmless enough, and then I see it, my name starting the second to last paragraph.

My staring role in the Christmas brag letter was a short paragraph that was about as exciting as the rest, including work (yawn), extra-curricular activities (snore), and a small mention of the Fantastic Mr. Sonny Boy's larger than life personality (the only mildly interesting part), not much to report I guess.  Here I was dreading this innocent newsletter, when in all truthfulness my family of three barely made the printing.

I was not expecting the author of this letter to graph the working of our lives, a la Carrie from Homeland, with an over sized cork-board with yarn, pushpins, and a map, but really...that was the whole impression my family left on the penman during the last year. I am not actually expecting anything from this person, they could stop this letter writing madness at any time, but if they were going to take the time to write out what their family has been doing for the last three hundred sixty-five days, a touch of fabulous embellishment would be fine with me.

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