The return of the dreaded Christmas letter | Life in Ludlow

Ned Luce
Posted 12/22/22

“Are you ready for Christmas?”  

It could be the most asked question around this time of year or well maybe second to “What are you getting me for Christmas?”  

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The return of the dreaded Christmas letter | Life in Ludlow


“Are you ready for Christmas?” 

It could be the most asked question around this time of year or well maybe second to “What are you getting me for Christmas?” 

I think I am ready this year. The house is decorated with some old lights. My “Charlie Brown Christmas Tree” sits proudly in the middle of the living room. The Christmas letters are done and stamped, ready to drop in the mail box. BJ has bought all the Christmas presents for me. 

BJ has also bought all the Christmas presents for the children and grandchildren. Finally, BJ has also bought the presents for her from me, except for one surprise. At least it will be a surprise if she has not examined the Amazon charges too closely. 

Yep, we send out a Christmas letter each year. Our first edition was in 1975, so this year was number 48. 

I confess that many of them, certainly the ones from the 1970s and 1980s, spent more time than necessary, or even literarily advisable, on BJ’s and my professional activities, our children’s achievements, the family travel, and new home locations. 

I now claim to take it all a little more lightly. I have been writing this column since 2009 and when our daughter was advised I was going to take this on she accurately portrayed the effort as a Christmas letter every week. 

The Christmas letters have generally provided a positive summary of the year and we enjoy getting them out and reviewing them during the season. (We did what this year??) It has been made somewhat easier since one of BJ’s sisters-in-law gave us a book of the first 15 or so letters many years ago. With that little bit of encouragement, we started to save our letters, too. 

We do enjoy Christmas greetings from many of our friends sent over the years. We like getting the handmade card and message from Susie in Pittsburgh. The last time we saw her was in 1975. We put the letters together and send them to several people we think may have even passed on but we don’t get the letters back so somebody must be reading them. A few years ago I decided to check on an old friend by calling the assisted living facility where we send the card. When I asked the front desk about her, I was assured she was just fine and would I like to talk to her? We had a delightful conversation. 

She says she enjoys getting our letter. I enjoy sending her the letter because I am reminded of the accident I had driving her 1956 Ford convertible in the winter of 1961. The car was totaled; the five of us teenagers were fine. 

There are a number of folks who are recipients of our letter who send us a card with only their signature. We would really like to get a little more news than just that but there may be circumstances not known to us restraining their ability to communicate more. We are grateful to hear from them as I try to not be too “judgey.” 

We appreciate the growing trend of using electronic cards and sending them via email or Facebook or TikTok or even Twitter. We figure we are at least on their distribution list. 

Finally, there are the folks who have chosen to not communicate at all. Bah humbug. All this being said, if you live in the neighborhood, like here in Jefferson County, don’t expect to get a letter. There is a good chance we will see you during the holidays, so you can expect a personal greeting at the grocery store, the gas station, Rotary lunch, or whatever. No letter, though! Get over it! Yeah, like you even cared.

If you want to have a great Christmas letter laugh, look up the famous letter from Martha Stewart to columnist Erma Bombeck and Erma’s response. It is wonderful stuff. 

So, consider this my Christmas letter to you and those you love. May the season be happy and healthy for you all.

Love a curmudgeon and have a Merry Christmas. 

(Ned Luce is a retired IBM executive and Port Ludlow resident. Ned’s favorite gift is a copy of the Kelley Blue Book. How much did Santa pay for his sleigh? Nothing. It was on the house. Contact Ned at