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The Dreaded Holiday Letter

Salutations


Dear Friends and Family
Oops. So, you put friends before family?

Dear Family and Friends
My family is comprised of a few individuals who are not my friends. I have to separate the two entities, like peanut butter and jelly, church and state.

Season’s Greetings
Better. But why the tail end of December and crack of January are a ‘season’ to be greeted might run offend some of your recipients

[FIRST NAME]
This advanced tool available to the software savvy could solve the salutation conundrum; however, it could put a snag in holiday cheer. Your address book must be up-to-date. My data includes dead people. I don’t know why I don’t delete anyone, living or dead. I still have the contact information for a co-worker who wanted me fired. Would she be snuffed out if I push DELETE? I’ve been around long enough to know that karma works better than revenge.

Five Don'ts
Choose your words wisely.
1. Don’t write about finding grandma’s secret pickle recipe
Family will attack the validity of the dill to peppercorn ratio in the pickles.
2. Don't write about the loss of your pet pit bull
People on your list who have suffered a loss of a loved one will not like being reminded of said death. Others might scold you for having a Pit Bull as a canine companion
3. Don't write about exotic vacations
Go to the local park for the 4th of July? Great. Include it. Took an extended vacation to the Greek Islands and stopped by The Vatican to see the Pope? Keep it simple. If you did something that spectacular, you probably don't write Holiday letters. [I didn't get invited to the Greek Islands. This is personal.]
4. Don't write about winning the lottery
Expect to find a campsite on your front lawn within 48 hours, or as long as it takes for Uncle Clem to make it from Arkansas.
5. Don't assume that your friends will appreciate family news. Separate co-workers from friends from family. This will solve the "Salutation" issue.

What TO do
Include photographs, a recipe [that pickle recipe, with one ingredient missing]. Show your letter to a pro – that would be me at The Writing Loft.

A successful holiday letter will keep you dear all year.

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