Each year since around 1996 I have created a holiday newsletter to send along with our Christmas cards. I know that many of you may consider this extremely lame and in very poor taste, but before you judge me too harshly, it is nothing more than a photo collage made to resemble a little newspaper, with a brief paragraph or two and captions. I have seen and heard stories of holiday tell-all style newsletters that have one postage stamp sized photo of the family surrounded by a 2 page thesis describing every detail of their family’s life from New Year’s Day to Thanksgiving.

I’ll admit, I was guilty of producing a yearly bore-fest of this genre myself at the beginning, but switched to an all photo newsletter after realizing how much less work it was. Plus, it just looks better. Folks would rather glance quickly at a bunch of photos of the family and move onto the next card rather than having to find your reading glasses, a comfortable chair, and set aside 20 minutes to read my yearly version of War and Peace.

This year I haven’t been able to find the time to do it. When I have the time and the computer is free, the chore slips my mind. When I do think about it, I’m at work and don’t have access to my photos and files, or the computer at home is not free. Having a 16 year old and a 10 year old leaves me with little computer time at the house. Plus, after a day of graphic design the last thing I want to do is spend another 2 hours laying out a newsletter.

I also haven’t been able to find the inspiration to do it. To be honest, 2011 was a pretty crappy year for me, and it’s difficult to think of churning out a merry, cheerful missive dripping with glad tidings and hopes for a great new year. Going through all our family photos from the past year only underscores the fact that we really didn’t do shit this year.

The only thing keeping me from totally bailing on this is the fact that a handful of my older relatives really like receiving the newsletter each Christmas. The truly look forward to it, and I’d feel like the douche of the century if I just blew it off and sent them a card with nothing more than my signature in it. The rest of the family could probably care less if they got it or not. I mean, each year I send out roughly 40 Christmas cards. I am lucky if I get 18 cards back. It seriously chaps my ass.

But not wanting to disappoint my sweet and deserving elders, yesterday morning I began the task of putting it all together. I’ll finish it tonight, print it tomorrow and mail them on Thursday morning. Some folks should get it before Christmas, others may get it the day after.

Ugh. I really need to spend 2012 trying to figure out if this is worth the trouble.