‘Tis the Season

Even though the local radio station started playing Christmas music almost two weeks ago and the tinsel has been up in the stores for almost as long, I don’t get in the holiday spirit until after Thanksgiving.  Call me old-fashioned, but the decorations, tree and other miscellania don’t find their way out of the closet until at least the weekend after Thanksgiving. 

aim-and-shootBut, this reminds me of another holiday tradition: the brag letter.  I know that’s not what it’s called, but damn if that is not what it seems like when I get one.  I have one friend who consistently sends one out, and last year, used it to break the news of her divorce.  For the record, I’ve only ever sent one of these, a few years ago when we had had a particularly action-packed year. 

Now, though, I’m tempted to write another missive to catch up everyone on our ridiculously exciting uninteresting lives and, oh yeah, share all about our infertility.  I will be the first to admit that my motivation is pretty much totally selfish as I’m tired of not telling people that we know what’s going on.  At the same time, it’s not something I want to bring up in conversation when they call me out of the blue.  I’d like to be passive-aggressive that way.

I haven’t broached the idea with Mr. X as I am still trying it on for size.  But, as ladies who are going through the same wringer, I’d like to know your opinion – and get a chance to use the poll option! So, go ahead, vote below!

image: aim and shoot

11 thoughts on “‘Tis the Season

  1. Well, hot d*mn. I was the first to vote. Hmm … guess you won’t be able to figure out how I voted.

    Trust me, I’m all about telling people about my IF in a letter of some sorts. But I figure if they were really someone I was close to and whom I could trust … I wouldn’t have to write a letter about what’s been happening in my life.

    Plus, my recent experience of sharing my feelings failed miserably and ended with the loss of a friend … in this case, she was my SIL as well.

    Of course this is my own opinion …

  2. I say go for it, by all means, if you have been wanting to tell people what’s REALLY been going on. With a letter, you can take the time to craft your message exactly the way you want it (as opposed to being put on the spot by dumb questions). And let people know what you want them to do, or not do, e.g., whether you welcome questions, etc.

    I’ve done a Christmas letter for dh & me for as long as we’ve been married. I don’t send it to dh’s family, since they see us pretty often, but I do send to most of my extended family & friends. I never brought up the “I” word, but the year that our daughter was stillborn, I wrote all about it. Most people already knew what had happened, but a few didn’t, and I thanked people for their support. I’ve managed to work in a reference to Katie every year since then, usually in reference to our volunteer work with our pregnancy loss support group. If it makes people uncomfortable, so be it. The cards themselves are usually a subtle reference to her as well — they are usually a Classic Pooh theme (which was to be the nursery decor) or angels. This year’s is neither, but I think it’s also appropriate — I plan to unveil it in my blog soon!

  3. i bought my christmas cards today and a letter didn’t even cross my mind. at this point very few people know about our IF, and i’d like to keep it that way.

    you’re a brave lady to even consider including the good, the bad and the ugly in your brag letter!

  4. I’ve contemplated the letter myself. Especially when I find myself in a particularly snarky mood. But when I really think about it, I would rather not send a letter. Too many questions would flow from it, and I’d rather not address them. But that’s just me and my circle of recipients.

    Mrs. X: The question really is about who is going to receive the letter.

  5. I’m all for it if you think it would bring you a wider support network, but I do think you may bring on a large number of uninformed questions and unhelpful suggestions. We have told almost all of our friends about our adventures (my husband told everyone at our wedding, after all) but I still have a few friends who I do not wish to discuss this directly with. The type who, for whatever reason, say things like ‘some people weren’t meant to have kids’ (and they do have varied reasons, including coming to terms with their own infertility). I’m pretty sure they know about our treatments through the grapevine but I hope that they don’t bring it up with me directly since I haven’t mentioned it to them.

    Mrs. X: that’s a good idea to still selectively tell people.

  6. I’d send the letter with as much as I wanted to share, but not to my whole Christmas list. Some things just aren’t anyone else’s business, and some of the people on the list aren’t close enough to know (Wait, why are they still on the list? Hmmm.).

    I’m tossing around the idea of “coming clean” (wait, that makes it sound like infertility issues are dirty) with DH’s family at our yearly Christmas gathering. Not make a big announcement, but drop the news to a few people whom I know will make sure it gets spread around.

    Mrs. X: As other people have said, do what you feel comfortable with. But, remember once you ring the bell, it can’t be unrung.

  7. I say go for it. It’s a good way to “out” yourself without feeling the in-person “blank stare” (that’s what I get all the time when people don’t know how to respond to bad news).

    Mrs. X: at least I can’t see the blank stare if I just send a letter!

  8. I can’t believe it’s already this time of year again! Last year I wrote no Christmas cards at all as there was too much devastation, but this year I actually bought cards so thinking I’ll write just my very close friends and thank them for their support through our most hellish infertility journey. I hope you find the message that feels right for you.

    Mrs. X: I like your middle ground approach. I’ll keep that in mind.

  9. I hate those letters. Lots of times I throw them out without reading it, except for the few people who aren’t just exercising bragging rights. There are times I think about sending one out myself (that would be the only reason I’d send Xmas cards), but then I don’t want to deal with the aftermath. For me, things are much easier without a lot of explaining…..

    Mrs. X: I actually really enjoy reading them, if only because I am a nosy person.

  10. I’m the type to share the good, the bad, and the ugly. I hate putting on a front with people. Unfortunately, I come from a family that excels at faking it and pretending they have it all together. My mom wanted me to stop blogging because my honesty was embarrassing her (and I have never even written about the hell we went through while I was growing up). So yes, there are some people who would hope that you would just keep it bottled inside and put on a lovely front so the world thinks you’ve got a perfect life. But people who are real and people who truly know how to love you well would probably appreciate your authenticity. Ironically, it’s the authentic and genuine people of the world who become bestsellers in the book world, famous and well-loved in the blogging world, and revered in history. Why so many of us insist on being fake and holding onto fronts is beyond me. I’d rather be famous. =)

    Mrs. X: my theory is that if I don’t get it out, it will come out in a very unpleasant way. And, I’m tired of trying to remember who we’ve told and who we haven’t.

  11. I did a “Winter Solstice Letter” last year. And in it I mentioned that “all has not been sunshine and rainbows in our house this year and I was not sure if it was the best time to begin a letter writing tradition…” I say go for it!

    Mrs. X: That was kind of the opening that I was thinking about. Thanks for the tip.

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