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Christmas circular update letters

(31 Posts)
LifeOnACrunchieBar Thu 29-Nov-12 20:31:52

After seeing this article:

I wondered if anyone can defend why they send these letters to people? I get a few every year from people who never contact me otherwise and never ask how my family is...

I may be being unreasonable but why do you send them to people you don't otherwise contact?

slatternlymother Thu 29-Nov-12 20:37:16

I never get round robins. Never. I am jealous of the wankery that everyone else gets to snigger at. angry

I demand someone put examples of round robin twattishness on here to share with me.

SugarplumMary Thu 29-Nov-12 20:37:40

We did it one year - only one very busy year because it didn't feel right sending just a card or a card and pictures but there were too many to write proper letters to.

Next year we had to more time to think and culled a lot of people from the card list and saved some money and wrote proper letters/notes to the rest. No one complained.

chocoluvva Thu 29-Nov-12 20:40:37

I get two round robins every christmas that I enjoy.
Then there's the third one which is so boastful I just skim read it.

LifeOnACrunchieBar Thu 29-Nov-12 20:40:56

I couldn't be so mean smile. I did have one last year of an old school friend who sent a picture of her baby having first their holiday home in France...foie gras smile

SoggySummer Thu 29-Nov-12 20:41:38

I dont do it (too much of an uninteresting life) but I do actually love to receive them. Some are wankery and therefore great entertainment value, some are a nice way to catch up with people you dont get to see very often anymore.

I am genuinely interested in how some people are getting on.

LifeOnACrunchieBar Thu 29-Nov-12 20:42:38

But do you speak to these people the rest of the year and ask what is going on with them? Isn't friendship reciprocal or are these letters not friendship but self promotion?

Roseformeplease Thu 29-Nov-12 20:42:58

My favourite ever began, "After taking delivery of my new aeroplane". I kid you not!

LifeOnACrunchieBar Thu 29-Nov-12 20:44:00

I have no isses with it if the person actually gave a shit what my family was doing or if it was personalised in some way.

blueraincoat Thu 29-Nov-12 20:45:28

Oh we get a brilliant one every year about how they are having financial troubles this year but managed to get away to Italy/St Lucia/The Maldives and the nanny came too so they could get away from it all... The mother is the child of friend's of my parent's haven't spoken to her since we were about 8-9 but can't bear to cross her off the list for the comedy gold it brings at Christmas time.

vvviola Thu 29-Nov-12 20:47:32

I love the ones my parents get. They have a few friends from decades ago that they only ever have contact from at Christmas and the letters are just classic. One I refer to as "the perfect family" as in the 20-odd years I've been reading the letters, nothing bad has ever happened, their children have never got anything less than As, and their letters are full of "little jaunts to Paris" and "nipping over to NY".

I will admit to being half tempted to do something like that this year - only because we've had a manic year. But then I add up the cost of posting them all and figure it'll be as easy to email the people I really want to get back in touch with. I've never been one for Christmas cards at the best of times though blush

Hassled Thu 29-Nov-12 20:48:01

I still get a few - am actually quite disappointed that they've mostly died a death. I loved the wanky ones and I loved the genuine "this is what our year's been like" ones.

I send out a standard letter to the few remaining elderly relatives (including a distant cousin of my late mother's who was about 103 when I last met her in 1976) but try to make it seem like it's not a standard letter.

RaspberryLemonPavlova Thu 29-Nov-12 20:50:42

We send them although not to everyone. Mostly it is for the elderly relatives we have on both sides. Especially on DHs side there are an awful lot, and live a long way away. When we do see them they tell us they enjoy reading it every Christmas and seeing how we are all getting on. One year we missed someone out by mistake and there was a bit of an upset! I do try not to make it a list of achievements.

I receive a couple from friends from a long way back, that I never see, but I really enjoy the brief update every year.

SugarplumMary Thu 29-Nov-12 20:53:57

But do you speak to these people the rest of the year and ask what is going on with them?

We hadn't spoken to many of them in 12 months.

Some had been very close friends - and neither side had quiet grasped tthings had drifted but could envisage meeting them in the future when locations, DC and careers all calmed down. One side might phone out of blue and have a long chat – but very infrequently.

Others were family that we hadn't seen in years but are kept informed about by family grape vine and we didn't quite realised how long it was since we'd spoken to them - Aunts, Uncles, cousins, Great Aunts one Grandparent - though now I could add both my siblings to that list after years of doing all the phoning then our lives getting very busy and so deciding to wait for them to bother.

BikeRunSki Thu 29-Nov-12 20:54:03

My uncle does a lovely one every year, which is just 1 line each for him, his wife and their three boys. It is never boastful. It is perfect.

DH's aunt does one that is 5 or 6 pages long and split into chapters 'Hobbies', 'Holidays' , 'Grandchilden'. It has photos and recopies. It goes straight in the bin.

OpheliaPayneAgain Thu 29-Nov-12 21:00:38

I send them to distant friends and relatives that courtesy dictates I/we keep in contact with but don't neccessarily phone.

I do not do : Tarquin got 47 A* @ Alevel and hes only 7 years old/our holiday walking the Andes in Peru saved the rain forest and built a new school/Princes-Laa-laa-Poppy was signed to vogue and stars in the M&S xmas adverts sort of round robins ... mine are more like ... Love to visit, have you seen the price of petrol/OMG we had this robin nest in the hose pipe reel and now its babies are back making babies/Shit! have you discovered XYZ website/Aunti Flo died

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Thu 29-Nov-12 21:03:33

I think they are hilarious and would welcome a thread to celebrate the most wankish extracts people receive. grin

SugarplumMary Thu 29-Nov-12 21:03:33

My Uncle lived abroad and during my teenage years I remember some real classic round robins - they seemed very glamorous and I was very envy but they were very OTT.

Yet his letters were full of risqué or very funny spell checker 'corrections' - which he would point out and complain about in the next sentence but not get rid of.

I remember trying not to laugh while four disproving adults in the room reading the letters out took him at his word that it was the spell checker. I’m a bit sad I don't get those ones.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 29-Nov-12 21:06:12

We get one form one family we know. We see them periodically throughout the year anyway so generally it's not news, but it is still good for entertainment value.

LifeOnACrunchieBar Thu 29-Nov-12 21:15:49

Family ones are understandable smile

nochipsthanks Thu 29-Nov-12 21:30:59

We get one from friends. The Dh is gorgeous, and gave up his job and hobbies to follow his highflying wife. All the round robins are about her. Last year's one started with 'As most of you know, [DW] won the world championships in [her hobby] and the year got better there on!'

The truth is, that he feels overlooked and resentful and she has a glittering career and he gave up everything for her as she has to fly all around the world, and she bosses him around and reminds him that everything they do and have is because of her and her success. So I always see beneath it and worry about them both a bit, because they are both trying to maintain this fantasy of a perfect life.

Which reminds me of that e-mail that recently went viral by the retired navy captain who e-mailed his children to say how disappointed he was in them. One bit he said was that all their friends talked in glowing terms about their children, and he couldn't. i wanted to say 'everyone presents their life in glowing terms in that scenario!! That is what you do! That is what a christmas round robin DOES!'.

They are always a triumph of wistfulness over reality.

OlaRapaceFru Thu 29-Nov-12 21:35:47

YABU, OP - I love Christmas Round Robins grin. The ones we usually receive are

1) Old college friend of mine I haven't seen for donkeys years. She and her DH have lived/worked all over the world. It's fascinating reading what they've all been up to, and I'm genuinely interested smile

2) A friend who moved out of the area a few years ago, she goes on about all sorts of stuff - but I do wonder why she bothers to send one to us as we don't know anybody she's talking about confused

3) One of DP's DSis's who lives in another country. But given that we email/speak on the phone frequently during the year, I don't understand why she does it as she only repeats everything we already know confused

4) Old school friend of mine - but hers is just a photo collage, which I love smile

FutureNannyOgg Thu 29-Nov-12 21:40:59

My sister does a smug one. Her DH writes atrocious "poetry" (Rhyme Rocket would be ashamed) and so at least some of it rhymes!
I want to write a piss take one just for her, but my mother says it would be cruel.

PinkyCheesy Thu 29-Nov-12 21:42:33

We do one, mostly to relatives and aged friends of my parents who all boast gossip to each other about their amazing grandchildren grin

I try to do one achievement for each child (not academic, something like 100m swim, mastering tennis serve, getting to level x on Minecraft, etc), a bit about a holiday (we do quite unusual but not expensive holidays), a bit about DH's work (he goes abroad a lot so there's often a funny tale about getting something wrong in Japanese or whatever), and a bit about my strange hobbies. It's quite tongue in cheek, self-deprecating and definitely light hearted. I would NEVER talk about death/illness/money/politics as its just asking for trouble! The old ladies love them, especially as we always put in a pic of the DC too (names and ages on the back of course)

Love reading my mums wacky letters that she gets...hope this tradition never does out smile

exoticfruits Thu 29-Nov-12 21:46:12

I love them- Christmas is the time to catch up. I can't understand why you are corresponding with people if you have no interest. You can't expect people to write to everyone individually.

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