’Tis the season. For, among other things, holiday newsletters. You know, those annual missives you receive, typically from distant relations.
You only met once, and that was at a family reunion 15 years ago in Iowa. But every year since, they’ve confided in intimate detail what’s occurred in their lives. And it’s always amazing. Too good to be true, in fact.
Your second cousin Fred won the Ironman World Championship. And Aunt Ethel, bless her heart, received Nobel prizes for both chemistry and physics.
Before I poke too much fun at holiday newsletters, let me confess two things. First, I enjoy newsletters. If only for the reassurance at least once a year family and friends are doing well. Incredibly well, judging by what they write. Second, I send out newsletters myself.
My bragfest this year includes announcements my oldest son, Zach, received his MBA from Dartmouth and went to work for Goldman Sachs. My youngest son Alex — the CPA — was promoted at the big accounting firm where he works. Oh, that’s right. I almost forgot. An entry based on my novel “Small Town News” won the Colorado Gold Rush Literary Award in the mystery and thriller category.
No kidding. As humor columnist and author Dave Barry reiterates so eloquently: I’m not making this up.
Needless to say, I’ve got a lot of blessings to count. And I do. With gratitude.
Near the end of what might charitably be called an interesting year for holiday newsletters, I’m reminded of the opening line by Charles Dickens, one of the best in literature: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
For me, the best of 2020 exceeded the worst. Best of all, family and friends remain safe, even those who tested positive for COVID-19. I’m relieved.
I’m also reminded that for many people, this isn’t the case. For some, 2020 has been one long nightmare from which they can’t seem to awake. And for those who’ve lost loved ones, the pandemic has been heart-rending.
I can only hope 2021 will be better. For everyone. And by this time next year, we’ll all have happier news to share in our holiday newsletters.
As for Cousin Fred and Aunt Ethel. Well, what can I say? You guys rock.