The Writing of the Christmas Letter

8 Dec

When I was in high school, my parents wrote a Christmas letter every year.

But they never mailed it.

They always started arguing over what it should say and how they should jump the hurdle of the “I” and “We” pronouns when just my dad was writing it.

So the letter never left our house.

I love receiving Christmas cards so I was excited last year when I was finally married (finally an adult!) and could write a Christmas letter. We are doing the same thing this year. I am designing it at work (“on my break”) so that I can use Adobe InDesign. I heart that program.

Tonight, Travis and I were going to edit the letter that I had written. He didn’t like the way I had described our skiing adventures (couldn’t stand having me make mention of using my parents’ old ski equipment) so I changed it. But I added the detail that we had gone skiing 3 times in April (which is very strange to me coming from MN) and Travis promptly said “No, that’s too much detail.”

I immediately took offense because Travis is always making fun of the way I tell stories–I give names of all the people I mention as well as the lifelong history I have with them; I set the scene; I narrate. I tell stories in about 10 times the amount of time it takes Travis. (But do I get on him for leaving those details out?)

I know Travis pokes fun at me out of love (I like to think it’s one of my cute little quirks) but tonight, it just made me mad. I just about broke our keyboard. Travis left the room and only came back after much persuading by me.

We continued on, me still very angry, and Travis replying with those sarcastic comments that push my buttons in all the wrong places. I called him a mean name under my breath and that just took the wind out of his sails.

He went and watched TV. I felt bad so I went to apologize. I turned the TV off. He turned it back on. I turned it off. He turned it on. I turned it off and threatened to unplug it, which would make him have to reprogram it after we plugged it back in. He agreed to leave the TV off. 

I apologized for the namecalling. He told me that the Christmas letter was fine as it was (though a few days ago, he said that he wanted to reword the part about him). I asked him if he was sure. He said yes. I repeated the question a few more times and he answered the same.

“It’s fine. You did a good job.”

A comment that appears to be a compliment but is really just a cop-out so that he doesn’t have to deal with me anymore.

I retreated into the office and shut the door. I could hear that he had turned the TV back on. “Ouch. He didn’t even feel the need to apologize? He could just get on with his night like nothing happened? WHY are guys like that? WHY doesn’t my husband understand that I need to be loved right now? I know God is the only One who loves me perfectly…so I should just be content. But it hurts when he does that!”

After about 20 minutes, Travis came in to the office and apologized. He said that when I call him names, he feels completely defeated. I told him that I understood. After all, isn’t that what I’ve learned through reading all those marriage books–that men need respect above all?

I’ve often wondered how married couples make it through all of this “Ness” without the hope and forgiveness found in Christ. If I didn’t have the Holy Spirit and didn’t have the example of Christ to follow, I would…well, I don’t even want to know what I would do. It’s hard to be a sinful person married to another sinful person. But it’s worth it. And it’s possible. God’s grace is amazing.

So the Christmas letter will be edited, printed, and mailed after all. Hooray!

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