Saturday, 17 December 2011

Round Robins. And the winner so far is...

...M and K's letter.

Every year, we put the round robins aside, and finally choose a winner at Christmas. Well, so far the entries have been disappointing, but M and K's letter has been a stonker. We hardly know M and K; in fact I don't think I've ever spoken to K. But now, thanks to the round robin, we know aaaaaalll about them.

M and K have very many - and I mean seriously many - children. And now, scores (or so it seems) of grandchildren. And are those grandchildren wonderful! Here are some of the epithets applied to them: happy, sporty, laid back, charming, feisty, fun, tall, elegant, warm smile, glorious pre-Raphaelite hair, gorgeous looking, great singing voice, outstanding (in an acting role). All in all, a family to be proud of. Oh yes. And not a fault or a failing in sight.

My brother (a lovely man, and father of three clever children) and I have an annual argument about these letters. He says "people like to know". I say that those who need to know, already do. And those who don't, probably would rather not know. If, through no fault or choice of their own, they have no children, or perhaps one very dim one (or worse. One who has turned to crime), then they certainly won't want to know. Do you want to know how wonderful my children/grandchildren are? Of course you don't (and they aren't always, anyway, much as I love them all).

But I do enjoy these round robins, if for all the wrong reasons (new year's resolution no. 17: to be a much nicer person. But it's still 2011, so I can say this).


  1. I hate those things with a passion and your M and K sound very much like a couple who send us one every year right down to the many many children (they never did seem to find out what was causing it) and the endless gushy epithets.

    For the past few years they've gone directly from envelope to shredder. Apart from anything else, I find them downright rude.

    Maybe I should make a resolution to stop being such a grumpy old woman, but I'm too grumpy to care :-) x

  2. I think I have worked out what "Round Robins" are - your blog post here is the very first time in my life that I have come across this term.
    While I don't think such letters should entirely focus on children's and grandchildren's achievements, but talk about a bit of all that was going on in someone's household during the past year, if that is what the author of such a letter is mostly preoccupied with, it is only natural they should write mainly about this topic.
    If I were to summarize my 2011, I'd say: New job, new boyfriend, new hobby - that combined was enough to keep me busy :-)

  3. I like the round robins, but I never feel obliged to read any that seem dull or are about people I'm not interested in.

  4. Two questions for the round-robin writers. The answer to the first one is "No. Of course we wouldn't!" The question is . . "If you didn't have Office WORD, a PC and a printer, would you hand write 50 or 60 copies and include them with your Christmas cards?"

    The second question is "Whatever leads you to believe that 50 or 60 people, most of whom you scarcely know, are interested in your phenomenal achievements, bladder catheters, Open University degrees, 72" HD TV sets, new Lexuses etc?"

    Patsy . . would you care to quote a few sentences from any round-robin that you ever recieved that weren't dull?

  5. I don't think I've ever had one. Aren't I lucky? I just scribble a few lines on my Christmas cards to old friends we don't see any more, and get the same back. But a one-suits-all letter is a very lazy way of keeping in touch.

  6. Oh Teresa, don't shred them! You may be missing a gem!

    Librarian, I suspect that in Germany people have far more sense than to bother with this kind of rubbish. Count yourself lucky!

    Patsy, you're just a bit too nice.

    Doctor FTSE, you and I are obviously on the same side over this!

    Maggie May, you have the right kinds of friends!