Have you ever noticed how we post only our best selfies, profile pics, and family pictures on Instagram and Facebook?
Then, when Christmas rolls around, we search our phones for the absolute best of the best.
I get it. No one wants to see an ugly picture of my mug (trust me), so I do the same thing. I’ve been known to edit a good photo to make it even better.
There’s nothing wrong with putting our best foot forward (though I’m not really sure where that phrase originated), but there’s something disingenuous about social media.
We always look good—even when we don’t.
Maybe you’ve noticed I tend to do the same thing with my annual Christmas letter. I don’t think I’m trying to be deceitful, and passing along all the bad news about our family makes it tough to end the letter with “Merry Christmas!”
But for all of us, life is filled with the good and the not-so-good. That’s real. That’s honest. That’s you and me.
For the record, I’m not a contrarian. (Someone who rejects popular opinion or goes against current practice.) But this year I am rejecting the idea of sending out a “Christmas Letter” with cute family pictures and all the wonderful news about the Bubna clan.
I know, I know . . . Some of you wait all year to get caught up on my family. You open my email with bated breath (similar to morning breath, but not as bad), just to see how many grandkids we’re up to (10, btw).
With great anticipation, you devour my family stories about how my youngest granddaughter is walking (and she is, at just nine months), or to see if I’ve written any more books (I have, and number seven is on the way).
A few of you (like my mom), actually print out the letter and read it multiple times. How sweet.
But here’s my problem, and I own it as my problem: I’d rather talk with you than bore you with a long letter, and I’d rather we exchange the good, the bad, and the ugly about this past year.
Why? Because that’s what real friends do—they share life—all of it.
I’m serious. In fact, here’s my phone number: 509-210-1002. If you’re up to it, let’s talk about your life and mine, and not just give each other the happy highlights.
Radical idea, huh?
But wouldn’t it be better to chat rather than to gloss over a letter or email that is probably too long and doesn’t truly answer the questions you may have about us? Wouldn’t it be cool to reconnect in a more meaningful way?
So, if you want to get caught up, then pick up the phone. (I’ll accept collect calls from everyone except my cousin Jeff.) We don’t have to talk long. We don’t have to speak often. But let’s talk. We could even Facetime or Skype or WhatsApp.
I fear that in a world in which texting, messaging and emailing have become the norm, we’ve forgotten the power of our voice, and the value of meaningful conversation.
Imagine a Christmas where people actually talk to each other.
Until then, Merry Christmas!
You are loved,
Kurt & Laura Bubna
PS If you really must see pics of my grandkids, you can find me on Instagram and Facebook.