As the first holiday cards appear in my mailbox, I greet them with a mix of delight and trepidation. So many photos of happy, smiling faces. So much good cheer. So much oversharing.
Yes. Oversharing. And selective sharing.
I am reminded of the year we received a holiday letter that described, in great detail, a college acquaintance’s fertility treatments. I have a familiarity with the medical procedures involved that I never wished to have. Oversharing.
And then, there are the inevitable public relations pieces. Johnny is first in his class at Yale; Janie is a math prodigy; Susie just helped broker peace in the Middle East. Selective sharing.
It’s akin to the friend that constantly posts congratulatory missives to her children on Facebook for every single darn thing. Just about every day. For a winning game. For being tops in Student Council. For finishing breakfast. Does she not find an opportunity every morning before school or evening at dinner to actually speak to her children? They live in the same house, for goodness sake. It’s not for them—it’s for us. The audience. It’s to complete the picture of a perfect home life. Which begs the question: If it is so perfect, why are you trying so hard to convince us of the fact?
Mea culpa. I am a blogger. Hello Kettle, I’m Pot; you’re black. I get it. I share with you twice a week. But hopefully I don’t overshare. Or share with you only the “perfect” bits of life.
This year, I’m voting for no public relations campaigns via holiday missives. Let’s just be real. And celebratory. And share. But not too much, please. I have too many friends who underwent colonoscopies this year. It could get ugly.
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Wow – ain’t it the truth? I actually alienated myself from one of my oldest friends, because I was so nauseated by her voluminous Christmas Letter, which was packed with superlatives about her superhuman children and their achievements. Sadly, I knew the truth to be that her family was a train wreck, and her kids are complete social morons. I couldn’t take it any longer! We no longer have contact. I don’t miss it.