"Eggnog in August"

If you’re like me, some place in your house right now – in a drawer, closet or pile on your desk – there is a stack of Christmas cards and newsletters that you haven’t gotten around to putting up or throwing out. Moreover, if you’re like Jennifer Goodwin, a writer for Copley News Service, you think that Christmas newsletters are “as unappetizing as eggnog in August.” You can read Ms. Goodwin’s article at http://halife.com/living/Christmas_newsletter_rules.html. I think her “10 Rules for your Christmas newsletter” is pretty entertaining.

If you received a copy of our 2008 Harding Herald, you know that my daughter, the current editor, broke a couple of the rules. In fact, judging by the newsletters our family received this holiday season, a lot of us are breaking the rules. As recently as yesterday, I was lamenting to a friend the same question that Ms. Goodwin poses: “Why does the holiday newsletter unleash the braggart within?” I groused about never getting the “real picture” of people’s family lives. If I had read Ms. Goodwin’s article before our conversation, I surely would have praised her keen insights. I know that Ms. Goodwin’s article is intended to be light-hearted and cynical, but let me say publicly, “Shame on me!” Today I feel compelled to document my change of heart and make a case for only writing the “good stuff” in one’s newsletter. Sure, there is stuff I don’t personally enjoy reading in newsletters. I completely understand Ms. Goodwin’s point about excluding potty training news. On the other hand, that little tidbit might totally make the day of your dear grandmamma. Who am I to deny her of that joy? I’m just one reader.

Here’s my case for only writing the good news. Angels once proclaimed, “…for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Sounds pretty positive, huh? They could have said, “There has been born for you a Savior who will be beaten, bloodied, scourged beyond recognition, and hung on a cross to be speared, mocked, and spat upon.” They didn’t. The angels only proclaimed the good news. People that followed the story would observe the “bad news” in a few years. The great thing about that particular bit of bad news is that ultimately it resulted in the best news of all. I need to keep that in mind, and trust that this process of “bad leading to good” is repeated in everyone’s lives, albeit on a completely different scale. Just because I don’t have the opportunity to observe it or read about it, doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

So, go ahead, keep sending me your Christmas newsletters filled with ooey-gooey good stuff, and please tolerate our family’s missives. I’m determined to keep it in perspective. Your good news (and mine) will remind me of the one-and-only Good News, once voiced by a heavenly host.

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