One man. One woman. Twelve children. Twenty-five years. Share the love, relive the adventure, as faithfully chronicled in the enjoyable, enlightening, and extraordinarily entertaining Flanders Family Christmas letters.
These refreshingly candid Christmas letters have been resonating with readers for twenty-five years. Now available for the first time in a single volume, together with collected quotes, favorite traditions, family recipes, and other assorted lists and ideas, GLAD TIDINGS has something for everyone.
As our family grew, my reasons for writing Christmas letters changed. I found myself writing not so much to inform, but to remember. Although I continued to share what I'd written with our family and friends, I was really writing for myself. The letters allowed me to freeze those moments in time that I wished never to forget--significant milestones, everyday graces, hard-learned lessons, crazy mistakes, funny remarks. I wrote down the things that made me think or smile or laugh or cry, the things I wanted to treasure in my heart and to ponder for years to come.
It was a subtle shift, really, but it elicited an unexpected response. This willingness to share our foibles, to laugh at ourselves, to be sincerely vulnerable, allowed others to connect with us in a way that a brag sheet could never do. I guess it made our family more real and more accessible, because we began to get requests for extra copies of our updates.
Never mind that most of our letters were four pages long--people were passing them around the dinner table, forwarding them to friends, saving them in three-ring binders. I had one friend tell me that her husband insisted on reading the entire thing aloud at his office party one Christmas. We even received postcards from complete strangers, asking to be put on our mailing list.
It was really bizarre.
But it explains why, when I decided to publish our first twenty-five letters in a book to give our kids and grandkids, my husband urged me to make copies available to people outside our family, as well.