Holiday Letters

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mailbox full of letters

Being December, it seems I can’t get away from writing about the holidays. Besides buying presents, another thing that comes up annually is our holiday letter. Not everybody participates in this tradition, but many of my family and friends always send out cards and often letters this time of year. I’m sure you’re familiar with the holiday photo card and possibly an insert about what loved ones have been doing over the past year. This can be yet another hurdle for those of us with children that are as unique as ours.

After Eddie was born I did not send out a holiday letter or card for a few years. It was just too hard to write and stay 100% positive. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t have anything good to write about Eddie. It was more the realization that I couldn’t write all the things I wanted to say. I wanted to brag on about his first steps, his first words, his sense of adventure, and other typical milestones. The hard part was that I couldn’t. His milestones did not match his peers and I felt few people could really understand our annual accomplishments.

I wanted to say “He crawled!” when he was three and that “He said his first word!” when he was three and even that he “Adventured outside on his own!” when he was four. These were all great things in our lives, but I was afraid they'd be met with pity from others. In hindsight, my worries were unfounded. The family and friends that I cherish enough to send out holiday greetings to have been nothing but supportive over the years.

I think they would have been happy to hear all of our news, the good and the bad, and would have felt blessed to be included in our lives. So, for the second year in a row, I am writing and mailing holiday pictures and a letter. Trying to keep it to a page, I don’t elaborate on every little thing, but simply let people know we are happy, healthy, and proud of the life we have.

For those of you that are struggling through the season, or maybe finding it hard to reach out for support from others, remember that everyone struggles at some point in their lives. We may be struggling with what to write about our kids, but others could be struggling with personal tragedies they endured since the last holiday season.

Remembering that we all need support in some way is reason enough to reach out this holiday season. Even if you don’t share with everybody, share with somebody. What are you thankful for this year? What do you wish for in the New Year? By giving words to your emotions and deepest wishes, you may find courage to make them come true.

There are currently 3 comments

Re: Holiday Letters

I really resonated with this post as I haven't written a holiday card for the last 3 years because I simply didn't know what to write and I was trying to come to terms with everything going on with Peter. This year I feel in a better spot, but wasn't sure how to start, so I didn't do it. I definitely want to start again next year. I appreciate your wisdom in your blog.

Re: Holiday Letters

I appreciate "jonandkristin"'s post and how they "didn't know where to start" with a holiday card. If anyone is up to it, why don't you post a couple sentences or a paragraph highlighting your visually impaired child's year, or one memorable moment. I'd love to hear a little something about your kiddos.

Re: Holiday Letters

My grandson Jonah is completely blind and has SOD. I can remember how worried we used to be about whether he would ever talk. The first 4 years he only made two sounds "ba" and "ma". During his 4th year he began talking and hasn't stopped since. The big thing is that much of what he says now, at 8, is understandable, definitely to his family and teachers. Another huge thing this year is that the topic of his blindness is now an open topic. He really didn't know he was blind until about 7 years old. By then he knew that he was 'different' in some way because it became obvious that his sister and other kids did things that he could not conceive or do. So his Mom explained that he was "blind" and tried to explain that difference. A person born blind is not going to have a concept of seeing -- he just knows there's something different about him that impacts what he can and can't do compared to sighted people. But the fact that the topic is open is a relief to me because we can actually talk about things sometimes that relate and are helpful. Also, us seeing folks cannot fathom the kind of hearing that blind people have. I can only imagine all the nuances and soft sounds that Jonah hears that we do not even "hear" because we are so dominantly visual.

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