Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 7, 2016

Columnist promises to pen that Christmas message

By Trisha Phelps

By TRISHA PHELPS

Mt. Pleasant News

It’s a pet peeve of mine to do anything Christmas related before Thanksgiving is over.

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, I fully intend to embrace the Christmas season and all of the traditions that accompany the holiday.

One tradition that exists in many houses is the sending of Christmas cards.

My mother came up with an idea when my brother and I were quite young that all four members of our family should take part in writing the Christmas letter.

The Christmas letter is set up so that each member of the family writes their own perspective of the past year.

I think my mother likes these letters, as she saves a copy from each year and displays them with the other decorations at Christmas.

While it does serve as a cute little history of our immediate family, I hate writing my part and I try to get out of it every year. My older brother was actually successful once at getting out of it.

The little summaries in each year’s Christmas letter remind me of other family letters that have been compiled.

Last year, my mother gave my brother and me each a set of three books. These books were made up of letters spanning from 1944 to 2005. The letters were mostly written by my maternal grandmother with a couple by my grandfather and serve as a 61-year history of my family.

The first letter is one my grandfather wrote to my grandmother during his Air Force training in 1944 and the last is a Christmas letter my grandmother wrote in 2005.

My grandmother wrote letters nearly every day to family members and friends, telling them of what was going on in her life. She would keep a carbon copy, so they could remember what she had written to each person.

After my grandfather passed away in 2002, my mom began helping my grandmother clean out their apartment when she came across the stacks of old letters.

After reading through the letters, my mother sorted them by date, and put them all in order. She then made copies for each of her siblings, and had the letters but into books.

With my maternal grandparents now deceased, reading the old letters brings a lot of comfort, It also is very entertaining to read about certain adult family members getting into trouble in their younger years.

While the Christmas letters my mother sends out aren’t nearly as detailed or sent as often as the letters my grandmother sent, I am very glad my grandmother didn’t drag her feet as much as I do when it comes to letter writing.

Maybe this year my mom will only have to ask me once to write my part in the letter.