Why I Don’t Send Christmas Letters

Shannon Page
4 min readDec 25, 2018
This is not a stock photo. This is literally our tree, in our literal living room, right now. So at least we have THAT going on.

Dear Friends and Family,

2018 has been another year for the books! Five books, actually, or six; I mean that’s how many books I wrote, depending on how you count; but I can only tell you about two of them, because the others are secret, due to a kind of complicated set of reasons why I can’t —

Okay, scratch that. Start again.

Dear Friends and Family,

What a busy year! So many things happened! Good things, most of them, except the things that were bad; those things were VERY bad, horrible really, but we’re all going to be all right, I have to believe that; because if we don’t have that, that faith, that belief, well, we —

No, no, no.

Dear Family and Friends,

Family comes first this year. Nothing is more important than family. Except for those particular friends, our very good friends, who are as close as family. You’re that important; no, MORE important. (And that’s why you’re getting a form letter!) :-) Because I mean, there’s family and there’s family, right? When I say family here I mean the nice family, the close family, the ones that don’t —

Whoah, don’t go there.

Dear Beloved Ones,

What a year it’s been! So much news! We live on this lovely island now, did you know we moved away from Portland? That’s right! I’m sorry we’ve been so out of touch. I’m sorry if you were planning to visit us in Portland. You should come visit us on the island instead! It’s kind of remote, but it’s a really nice trip. I mean, the last part of it is, the part where you ride a ferry through placid waters with views of mountains and other islands and sometimes even orcas. Not the part with the big airport, or the freeway, or the major city you have to drive through, or its half a dozen even more congested suburbs. But after that! Anyway you’ll be so ready to relax when you get here. The island is very peaceful. Assuming we have power; the electricity goes out a lot here, especially in the winter. The power structure of the whole island chain is organized sort of like a great big extension cord. A tree falls on the first island, and — BAM! We’re lighting candles and not opening the fridge for two or three days. But I guess that’s peaceful too. REALLY peaceful.

Shannon Page

Writer, editor, thinker of things, living on Orcas Island, Washington state. https://www.shannonpage.net