Being December, it seems I can’t get away from writing about the holidays. Besides buying presents, another thing that comes up annually is our holiday letter. Not everybody participates in this tradition, but many of my family and friends always send out cards and often letters this time of year. I’m sure you’re familiar with the holiday photo card and possibly an insert about what loved ones have been doing over the past year. This can be yet another hurdle for those of us with children that are as unique as ours.
After Eddie was born I did not send out a holiday letter or card for a few years. It was just too hard to write and stay 100% positive. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t have anything good to write about Eddie. It was more the realization that I couldn’t write all the things I wanted to say. I wanted to brag on about his first steps, his first words, his sense of adventure, and other typical milestones. The hard part was that I couldn’t. His milestones did not match his peers and I felt few people could really understand our annual accomplishments.
I wanted to say “He crawled!” when he was three and that “He said his first word!” when he was three and even that he “Adventured outside on his own!” when he was four. These were all great things in our lives, but I was afraid they’d be met with pity from others. In hindsight, my worries were unfounded. The family and friends that I cherish enough to send out holiday greetings to have been nothing but supportive over the years.
I think they would have been happy to hear all of our news, the good and the bad, and would have felt blessed to be included in our lives. So, for the second year in a row, I am writing and mailing holiday pictures and a letter. Trying to keep it to a page, I don’t elaborate on every little thing, but simply let people know we are happy, healthy, and proud of the life we have.
For those of you that are struggling through the season, or maybe finding it hard to reach out for support from others, remember that everyone struggles at some point in their lives. We may be struggling with what to write about our kids, but others could be struggling with personal tragedies they endured since the last holiday season.
Remembering that we all need support in some way is reason enough to reach out this holiday season. Even if you don’t share with everybody, share with somebody. What are you thankful for this year? What do you wish for in the New Year? By giving words to your emotions and deepest wishes, you may find courage to make them come true.