Last Christmas, almost as usual, I received a number of Christmas cards from Canada and the United States. As I habitually do, I hung them up on a string near the ceiling of our living room. They make good seasonal decorations all by themselves. Many Season’s Greetings cards contain the annual “Christmas letter,” those horrible, awful things sent by people who ignore you and refuse to give you the time of day throughout the year, but then at Christmas send you an unsolicited, detailed account of all the things that went on in their families during the year that you didn’t want to know. It’s terrible - I mean, it’s terrorism. There should be a law!
I don’t send Christmas letters. Why should I? I write so many letters as it is that chances are everyone who knows me has received mail from me every few weeks continuously anyway - year after year - making Christmas letters superfluous. People tell me that my letters are essays or diatribes, and that they tell them very little about what is going on in my life (thus reducing their motivation for reading them). I think that is ridiculous. My letters tell people exactly what is going on in my life (and what I think about it).
In the past there were occasions when, if I wrote a movie review as a letter, people complained that it didn’t communicate to them anything about what was going on in my life, which is what they were really interested in. But I think a movie review letters tells people that what is going on in my life is that I watched a movie. Other than that, I think my view of the appropriate content of exchanges between people is a lot different than others’.
One Canadian friend admitted that she threw out my postal letters unread for exactly the reasons I mentioned above. She didn’t want to read essays and diatribes. However, since I got connected for E-mail three years ago, she faithfully reads and responds to my E-mail correspondence all of which is exaclty in keeping with the nature of my old postal correspondence. Her hypocrycy robs her of credibility and she probably doesn’t recognize it.