Make fun if you will, but I adore holiday letters.
I open every card with anticipation and feel a little sense of disappointment whenever one fails to flutter out of the envelope.
The minute I enter anyone's home during December, I immediately start snooping around for their card basket, and I start reading. I don't care if I know the people or not, I find it fascinating to see what people deem significant enough and appropriate to put in "the" letter of the year.
While they're notorious for being filled with the boastings of parents trying to impress everyone on their list, I say so what.
In fact, I don't think people brag enough about their children.
Sure there are exceptions that drip with every step, syllable, and sign language sign their child has made complete with his IQ score, but for the most part, they're too vague references to the fact that the kids are alright, when you can tell there's so much more they want to say.
While I may not be all that riveted by each and every song your daughter has memorized, if she's done so in three different languages, I want to know.
Did your son hit the home run that took his team to the Little League World Series?
Is she 3 and doing quadratic equations?
Modesty is one thing, but holding back from touting our children's accomplishments is almost like saying we're responsible for them instead of our children.
And that's what's really annoying -- parents who believe their children's accomplishments are theirs instead of letting their children own them.
So if we let them own their accomplishments, then it's really not boasting anymore; it's recognizing the accomplishments of someone you love.
And why are people so quick to bristle when people "brag" anyway?
Are we that insecure that hearing about other people's good news makes us feel bad about our own lives? Can't we just be happy for one another -- especially for one another's children?
Sure, if your 4-year-old just peed his pants, and you open a letter from your college roommate who proclaims her 11-month-old is fully potty trained, it might sting a bit.
But get over it. I'm sure your kid could kick that baby's ass ... at something else.
For whatever reason, bragging about our children clearly isn't socially acceptable in much of our day-to-day lives. So at least this one time of year we should be able to to do so with a little bravado.
What do you think of people who brag about their children in holiday letters or elsewhere?
Image via drcornelius/Flickr