I am always fascinated by this time of the season when people you have not heard from for an entire year, not one tiny little peep from, feel compelled to send not only a Christmas card but a lengthy three-page letter detailing every aspect of their loved ones’ accomplishments.

I understand completely that life gets in the way of communicating and staying in touch on a regular basis, however, if you made ZERO contact and ZERO effort throughout the 364 days preceding Christmas, for goodness sake, send the darn card and forget the letter.

There’s a strong likelihood that the receiver does not know your children’s names, nor you theirs and they probably could not recognize you on a Most Wanted poster or pick you out of a line-up.

Christmas is a time for celebrating Christ and I know that and I’m Jewish. I am also pretty certain that there is no proverb in the Bible that says, “Thou shalt be braggadocious on or about December 25th by telling the world how fabulous your family is doing.”

I always care about the loves of the people I love and when I hang their Christmas cards I stare at pictures of littles who are bigger and I do that with pride and abundant joy.

Those other cards?

Our neighbor has a beautiful fireplace and is always running low on kindling.

I wrote my own letter to include in the culprits’ Christmas cards hoping it will act as a deterrent, although I have my doubts.

“Dear Beautiful Friends,

Oy! What a year it has been!

Grandpa bought a chain saw for cutting down trees but cut his lawn chair in half instead.

He’s trying to sue the manufacturer because he feels the chair was not sturdy enough to withstand a little cut.

Grandma threatened to leave him if he doesn’t return the chainsaw to the store and Grandpa told her to go.

She’s packing as I write and we’re preparing the spare bedroom with the rooster comforter.

Our plumbing has taken a hit with the recent rains and there’s enough raw sewage seeping through the screened porch that a thousand spritzes of Febreze could not disguise.

Our daughter dropped out of college to travel with a band. Her boyfriend plays the triangle and she is so good at the tambourine and background vocals you could die listening.

Her father and I are going to support her financially so she can pursue her dream of auditioning for The Voice.

We’re hoping to get an in-ground pool next year if the sewage issue abates.

I have been on a mission to find myself lately and my therapist thinks that I am close to a breakthrough. I am thinking of joining a retreat in the Himalayas for a month or two to speed up the process.

I tried Botox for my upper lip and now it sags slightly to the right. If it does not correct itself in three weeks I can go back for a 2nd injection at a discount price.

While our daughter is on the road we are going to act as surrogate parents for two ferrets, a chubby bunny, and a smelly hamster.

My husband mistakenly kissed some woman coming out of the nail salon who he thought was my old friend and she thinks he’s cute. More on that to follow later.

Hoping this holiday season finds you well!

Merry Christmas!”

Lisa Leshaw

Lisa Leshaw has worked as a mental health professional for the past 31 years. She currently conducts Parenting Skills Workshops, Group Counseling for Blended Families and Empowerment Circles for Women. As a consultant, Lisa travels throughout teaching Communication and Listening Skills, Behavioral Management Techniques and Motivational Strategies. To de-stress she performs in children's theatre and plays piano whenever requested. She is hoping to either write the next memorable musical composition or Great American Novel!