While there are those who love reading of friends’ and relatives’ doings in holiday newsletters, these annual updates are also easy to mock. One lesbian reports that her aunt exploits every member of her family in her yearly summaries: “Her Christmas updates have included one son’s painful divorce and another’s inability to get his wife pregnant. She violates everyone’s privacy.”
If these letters are part of your family tradition, keep these dos and don’ts in mind:
Don’t start off with “Dear All.” Write a personalized salutation at the top of each one.
Keep them short. Whether on paper or via e-mail, a half to a full page is sufficient. Really, it is.
Send them judiciously. Don’t mail out to everyone you know, just to those you think will actually care about your news.
Don’t brag. Granted, this is a major reason people write them, but try your best to keep it in check.
Don’t be a downer. Too much bad news (illness, war, the economy) can ruin the best of holidays.
Respect your family’s privacy. Always ask for permission before revealing others’ personal affairs.
Include photos. Especially nice are snaps of important events like vacations, weddings, anniversaries, and other milestones.
Many of these holiday updates are now sent by e-mail, often with attached photos. If that’s convenient for your recipients, then go ahead and save yourself the cost of printing and postage.
These holiday tips and many more can be found in Steven Petrow’s Complete Gay & Lesbian Manners for Every Occasion: The Definitive Guide to LGBT Life.