Thursday, November 30, 2006

so if you come to battle bring a shotgun


I wrote my The Christmas Letter. You know the one. Lots of people get annoyed with The Christmas Letter. Well, I don't want to hear about that. If nothing else, The Christmas Letter is a hardcopy of what happened, generally, in a given year. This helps in my family records-keeping, which is nice since my journal doesn't even know I'm a mom.

My formula for The Christmas Letter is simple: One paragraph for each member of the family, starting with the youngest, and, after Papi's paragraph (which I screwed up royally last year), a final paragraph about our family travels, etc., etc.. I always include what we did for each kid's birthday party (if they had one, which, this year, Mocoface did not), and what they were for Halloween. It's brag time. I love that. And I also love reading others' The Christmas Letter, so feel free to send me yours (email me at mollymormonfop@yahoo.com if you'd like my mailing address so that you can send me your The Christmas Letter).

I usually get stuck when I reach my own paragraph. Last year I had tons to write -- lots of accomplishments and goings on and such. But I changed my mind about how I was living a year ago because it was too hard and not what I wanted and just wrong for me. So I stopped. And I'm back. I'm back in my jeans or my cords and my converse all-stars or my boots. It's me again. And I love it. I'm so calm now. Prettied up a bit, from what I have learned, but I'm me again, and I couldn't be more pleased about it. I learned what could be accomplished, and I caught a glimpse; and I don't want that.

I want this.

But what does this mean? It means I have nothing to write about in my own The Christmas Letter paragraph. Honestly here's what I wrote (paraphrased): I grew a baby and I blogged. That's it. And you know what's funny? I like it. I know it will get snickers and sighs and eyerolls from across the country, but that's that: and it's what I did. And I'm okay with it all. I get stressed when I don't get a shower in the morning, but generally, I'm so happy with things like taking pictures of my daughter and I watching Sesame Street while I nurse the baby.

23 comments:

compulsive writer said...

I just want you to know how much I LOVE that photograph.

Here's to being content with whatever you do, wherever you are, and whomever you're with. I think that's a mighty fine Christmas message.

Haley said...

That's funny because I also wrote my Christmas letter today and I also LOVE reading others' letters. But we differ in the fact that I don't get stressed if I can't shower in the morning, I get stressed if I can't shower after 3 days. :) (hi, I'm Haley)

sue-donym said...

As someone who became great friends with you LAST year, and has watched your life change THIS year, I say BRAVO. You are absolutely true to yourself and I really admire that. If I got a letter and the women's paragraph said nothing other than "I am a mom" I would be very touched and proud of that woman. Nothing compares.


I only like The Christmas Letter if it is real. The ones that act like everyone is amazing, nothing is ever wrong, and "our family is 2 steps from the celestial kingdom" make me want to gag. I always wanted to write a family letter telling a bunch of stuff like "so and so is still in prison, so and so got knocked up, etc... But I chicken out every year.

Amy said...

I LOVE The Christmas Letter too! This blog made me feel guilty because I have yet to write my OWN The Christmas Letter. (I don't have to do that until I have at least two kids, right?) But seriously, I love catching up on everyone's lives for the past years. Especially when there is a pic! I have a friend who always sends out a crazy The Christmas Letter. One year he listed various accomplishments such as: "jane" was nominated for a Nobel Prize in Physics this past year, while "john" has still been traveling the world, freeing mistreated hamsters from abusive pet stores, etc, etc, etc. It was pretty funny and actually took us a while to say, "WAIT a minute..." ;) My favorite was the one they sent last year. A "Choose Your Own Adventure" Christmas letter(BOOKLET!!!!!!!) Complete with pictures. (Some people just have WAY too much time on thei hands!)

Amy said...

(P.S. Dont' mind my atrocious typing skills.)

Amy said...

P.P.S. I think what I was trying to say was: YOU GO momma! What ELSE are you supposed to put in your The Christmas Letter??? "I have really made some progress on the path towards divinity this year!" (HELLO! This IS what life is all about, right.)

Writing about yourself in a Christmas letter is hard enough as it is. Mom/wife/woman accomplishments and "events" are even harder to translate into a year end The Christmas Letter paragraph. The fact is, when you are a mommy(wife/woman), you are accomplishing many, many, many, many little (and big, TOO!) things which are incredibly valuable and immeasurably essential to the plan of salvation. I think it is perfectly ok, nay, even awesome, that you are wanting what you have and enjoying it, too!!

whew....Can you tell I haven't been writing in a journal or blogging lately?? I had WAY too much to type here!!! ;)

Lucky Red Hen said...

What about the time you got dinner delivered via Harley? Or when you accepted the communal ring and joined my harem of beautiful women? Or the BNL concert with the SBD guy and convincing me to throw Kraft dinner? Or about the naughty kid that spread poop all over your house? What about Izze and Mexico? How about your infectious little giggle that NOBODY can duplicate making it your very own little piece of the world? But I do like "I grew a baby and I blogged."

AzĂșcar said...

I like that you feel like you again. Best present ever.

~j. said...

See? See what wonderful friends I have that I (sorto of) met on the Interweb? So supportive even when I'm feeling fine.

lucky -- those things are already all in the letter. Seriously. As part of a description of my awesome group o' friends. Except for the poop-in-my-playroom kid; that happened a few years ago. Maybe I should include it any way, just to count my blessings.


I hope my letters don't sound obnoxious or like I'm holier-than-anyone, even if they are bragging about things like Li'l ~j.'s awesome tooth-losing skills.

c jane said...

Jenny, I am glad you are back. Now I won't feel so bad when I sit next to you at church functions feeling like a loser for not wearing panty hose.

I think panty hose might be the phrase of 2007.

Right on.

cabesh said...

I'm glad that you're back....but sad that I missed it this last year.

I LOVE Christmas letters!

Sue--about 6 years ago my parents got a Christmas letter from someone in their last ward that talked about their son in the state pen, another son getting divorced, and their daughter having illegitimate kid #3. I think I read it like 10 times.

Bek said...

Every year we get a letter from some of our Princeton friends... and every year they do stuff like clerk for Supreme Justices, save the world, teach entire nations English, sub for the first chair in the worlds best symphoney.... yeah, it is THAT kind of family and it is all true.

We look forward to that letter EVERY YEAR because it makes me laugh so hard that I cry. CRY I tell you. We can't all be that family, but we LOVE to be friends with that family. Even my friends will call and ask "Did the Hannah and John letter come yet?". This year, Hannah's judge IS an actual Supreme Court Justice (She clerked for the newest one...) This will be the best year ever.

Working on my The letter. I want one of yours..... :-)

Tori :) said...

3 things:
1. Yay for you for finding YOU again!!
2. At least you write a letter.
3. I can't even say I grew a baby this year- except for the first 25 days. :)

beans said...

if you want to read an interesting Christmas letter, I suggest the one that's in David Sedaris's book, HOLIDAYS ON ICE. I believe it's also in his book, BARRELL FEVER. I laughed, I cried...

AzĂșcar said...

Oh Beans--that is the best Christmas letter ever.

lisa v. clark said...

I second HOLIDAYS ON ICE. I reference it frequently.

Welcome back to your converse and jeans ensamb. I totally got it. Doesn't it feel great?

Bek said...

You can download Holidays on Ice from the NPR website. I think it is on This American Life. Julia Sweeney reads it.

It is awesome!!

~j. said...

cj - The phrase panty hose is one of my pet peeves. Serious.

You can't kill the rooster.

this american life whore said...

www.thislife.org for streaming.

"A Very Special David Sedaris Christmas"

Or available on iTunes for downloading.

beans said...

~j and i were trying to find out how to download it last night because the letter is so funny, i couldn't read it so much to her over the phone because i was giggling so much. thanks everybody.

ps: i heart my seester. and her chucks.

Lyle said...

You just had to remind me that I haven't written my family Christmas letter yet.

Lorien said...

awesome.

Queen Scarlett said...

Lovely post...I don't know if I'm going to write my Christmas letter or do a ring in the New Year's letter. I can't seem to find time to post pics on my blog...let alone sit and figure it all out. ;-) SO BRAVO to you for finishing it...;-)

ps. How's it going?