Posted on Fri 11 December 2015

The dreaded Christmas letter

It’s coming up to that time of year again — the serious newspapers and Radio 4 will soon be parodying those who send out ‘round robin’ Christmas letters. These things are often ripe for parody, with young Oliver making his first speech to the UN and baby Amelia copying mummy making sourdough.

Christmas Decorations

Let me share a secret with you…

I love them! The good ones and the bad ones.

Each year we receive a few round robin letters, some quite factual, others a little self-aggrandising and some (the ones we most look forward to) are genuinely funny.

I’ve noticed that I find those letters that are written from the perspective of an outside commenting on a family’s year — written in the third person — far less involving. The better letters are written from one clearly-defined family member commenting on all the others and feel much more intimate.

The best round robin letters entertain the reader without inspiring envy. A good letter is like a selfie, with the senders posing awkwardly to get into the frame while practicing their ‘trout pouts’ and sucking in their tummies.

It can be hard to keep up with friends and family over the course of a year and writing to everyone individually would be fun but hard work. It's great to send a letter that tells us what you've been up to, where you have been and even what you all look like.

Merry Christmas!

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