Merry Christmas - in 1,000 Words

By Mendez, Teresa | The Christian Science Monitor, December 9, 2005 | Go to article overview

Merry Christmas - in 1,000 Words


Mendez, Teresa, The Christian Science Monitor


He has paddled the waters of the Mississippi River, channeling his inner Tom Sawyer. He's biked the length of South America, and from the northernmost city in Norway to Athens. He's ridden across the United States six times - and may even earn a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

And just like every year at this time, Forrest "Frosty" Wooldridge will regale his friends and family with tales of his exploits - in a holiday newsletter that's closer to a novella.

His newsletter defies all the accepted rules about such things: it's much too long, it's boastful, it's confessional. He says his life - a Peter Pan existence, he likes to call it - is just too "extraordinarily" interesting not to spill beyond the single page that proper etiquette dictates. Over the past 32 years, as Mr. Wooldridge's adventures have become ever further flung, his holiday newsletter has ballooned to four pages of "power verbs" and "jacked- up" prose.

But his friends don't seem to mind.

"It's awesome," says Sandy Colhoun of Sanbornton, N.H., who met Wooldridge in Antarctica seven years ago and has been on his mailing list ever since. "Frosty is an exceptional individual in every way, and I'm inspired by the approach he takes to life. You can't help but read the letter and share some of the energy and enthusiasm he has."

As the holiday season rolls around, so does the ubiquitous newsletter, making a sometimes welcome and often dreaded appearance. (Not every recipient is as welcoming as Mr. Colhoun. As one colleague offers: "My wife's aunt/cousin often sends out a 'newsletter,' or rather, a novel, around the Christmas season. I ceremoniously burn it as kindling for our traditional Christmas morning fire." But another co-worker gives them considerably higher marks than, say, "two fruitcakes" or a "postcard saying you have been given a gift subscription to Sea Monkey Monthly.")

Yet despite its many warts - too much information, grimy spots the glue stick left behind - the holiday letter seems to be a tradition not to be tampered with. It's a tangible touchstone in a time when communication can be fleeting and ephemeral.

"In this electronic age, it's so easy to send an e-mail. It's so easy to send an E-card," says Christine Louise Hohlbaum, an expatriate living near Munich, Germany, who keeps her family in Virginia abreast of her life through her Web log. "But having a card or picture in your hand makes all the difference. The paper connects you in some way."

Elaine Floyd, author of "Creating Family Newsletters," agrees. "We use technology in some ways, but I think people take great pleasure in the tactile," she says. "For the holidays there is something about ... getting mail, opening it up - having that be part of your Christmas decorations."

New twists

Where advances in the newsletter are apparent, however, is in the ease with which they are produced and their overall more handsome appearance. Digital cameras, scanners, and printers spit out sleek photos, while elegant decorative paper stock is widely available at specialty stores and discounters, thanks to the popularity of scrapbooking.

This month, Better Homes and Gardens magazine features an article called "The New Family Newsletter." It offers suggestions for pithy, crafty takes on a classic - including a paper ornament monogrammed with the recipient's initial, and a business card printed with your family's contact information to urge friends and family to keep in touch. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Merry Christmas - in 1,000 Words
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.