Honest Mom’s 2012 Humble Brag Christmas Letter (it’s a doozy!)

One of my favorite parts of this time of year is receiving humble brag Christmas/holiday letters.

You know, those pretty little “here’s what our family has been up to” letters, printed on Crane’s stationary and tucked in custom-made holiday cards, which are naturally adorned with perfect family pictures.

I always know who is going to send them. And I rip them open in eager anticipation when they arrive. Not because I’m dying to know what the senders have been up to all year.

Because I am dying to mock them.

I mean, these letters are just filled with riveting details I cannot live without knowing!

  • The husband who works all the time but just made partner at the firm so you know, it’s all worth it.
  • The family who just bought a new house on Super Fancy Avenue and the wife who has been so busy decorating it.
  • The kid who is in the gifted and talented program, is playing two sports, won the county spelling bee, and was crowned junior-high prom king.

Oh, these letters amuse me to no end. Seriously. Reading them is a cherished holiday moment for me.

So when one of my favorite funny ladies, Jen from People I Want to Punch in the Throat, asked for her readers to send in their own humble brag holiday letters, how could I resist crafting my own?

But. The problem is, I don’t send a humble brag letter with my cards. My family is very, very ordinary. What’s there to brag about?

Yet I couldn’t NOT take Jen up on her challenge.

As a result, my humble brag letter is based on some real-life details, but is actually 95% embellished/exaggerated/not true at all. (For example, my name is not Janessa and my husband’s name isn’t Rick. But “JD” didn’t sound snooty enough and Hubs would kill me if I outed him.)

Part of me wants to send this letter out with our (very average) Christmas cards. But I’m not quite that ballsy. So I’m publishing it here, for your reading pleasure.

So without further ado, I present to you…

Dearest Family, Friends, PTA Members, and Club Cronies,

Merry, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Can you believe 2012 is almost over? Here at the Bailey homestead we have been soooo busy that the year positively flew by! Where to even start…?

Rick has been working around the clock this year at the firm. Now that he is the Executive Vice President of Sales (the youngest in the firm’s history!), he has been traveling around the world, closing deals for his team. It’s been a very successful year for Rick, which translated into our family finally buying that Cape house we’ve had our eye on for years!

Our new second home has five bedrooms, its own private beach, a pool (which was a must for little Anne, who can’t stand the salty ocean water), a guest house, and a lovely outdoor entertaining area. We do hope you can attend our New Home Party to celebrate with us, which we have scheduled for June 1, 2013. Janessa is already busily cooking up some great fun with our party planner – you won’t want to miss it!

When he’s not working Rick can be found at the Club, getting some much-deserved R&R, or at home helping little Grace build a record-setting train track course (which is a custom pink and purple set – no boy trains for our little princess!). Janessa swears that the last one spanned the entire downstairs – and given our house is 5,800 square feet, that’s one big railroad!

You might recall that before Anne and Grace appeared on the scene, Janessa was an award-winning copywriter-turned-advertising executive. Since she was pregnant with Anne, Janessa has been freelancing when time allows. Perhaps you saw her latest work in Fortune Magazine? If not, go get yourself a copy of the December 2012 issue and check out Janessa’s latest work – right there on the inside cover spread!

Of course, being a traditional kind of gal, Janessa is focused on family first. She’s president of Anne’s school PTA and Anne’s room mother, coaches Anne’s soccer team, coordinates Grace’s cooperative preschool’s fundraising programs, teaches religious education at church – and always manages to find time to bake cookies with the kids or get sandy in the sandbox with them!

Janessa also believes that fitness is very important for the entire family. No tubby tummies in this house! This year, she became a certified Zumba instructor and leads classes twice a week. She would do more, but with her yoga classes and training to run this year’s Boston Marathon … well, there’s only so much time in the day!

Janessa has even convinced Rick to start training with her, and the two of them run every morning at 5:30am on side-by-side treadmills in the new in-home gym that Janessa designed. And the kids are also fitness fanatics: In addition to their many team sports activities, Anne and Grace get their OM on while taking kids’ yoga classes at Sweeties Yoga, and both girls take ballet, tap, and jazz at Miss Meg’s, the top dance studio in the state. (Congrats on your first-place soloist award at the Dance Quest Competition, Anne!)

Speaking of Anne, she has been one busy little lady this year! She has conquered first grade like a rock star, getting 100% on all her spelling and math tests. If she’s not at soccer, dance, or yoga, Anne can usually be found at one of the many playdates or birthday parties she is constantly invited to.

As you can see from our card, Anne still has her beautiful curls and is as adorable as can be. In fact, when one of Janessa’s agency friends saw last year’s Christmas card, she passed it to a colleague – and as a result, Anne is now appearing in her first modeling gig in Tea Collection’s spring catalog! Keep an eye out for her!

Soon we will be having Anne’s 7th birthday bash at – where else? – the American Girl store. Not content with simply using a party room for our little angel, Janessa and our party planner rented out the whole store for Anne and 50 of her closest friends – and hired The Fresh Beat Band to play at the bash. It’s going to be unbelievable!

Little four-year-old Grace’s schedule rivals her big sister’s. Preschool, soccer, yoga, playdates, playgroup … she is also a busy little lady! At her private preschool, Grace has shown a real talent for letters and is already writing and reading. The school suggested that Grace move into the gifted program there, so she’ll be making that change in January. Wish her luck with the transition!

Grace is really looking forward to soccer this spring. She is finally old enough to play on the town team. For the past year Grace has been playing at Kickin’, a local soccer club, and has developed a great little soccer foot! We are nervous she may be a bit further along in her soccer talents and find the town team a little boring, but we’ll see. If she wants to make the varsity team someday, it’s important for her skills to be seen early on!

At this time of year, we want to be mindful of the reason for the season and that it is Christ our Lord whom we are celebrating. The Bailey family goes to services each and every Sunday at Holy Family church. We always make a contribution to the church this time every year, and since we have been so blessed in 2012, we decided to donate the needed funds to put in an air conditioning system at church. So this summer, when you’re at Holy Family, your whole family will be comfortable while worshipping! Of course, we will be at the Cape most of the summer and attending services elsewhere, but we’ll be thrilled to know our church friends will be comfortable back home.

We hope that 2012 was a blessed year for you, too, and that 2013 will be even better!

All the best,

Rick, Janessa, Anne, Grace, and the Bump

(Yes – you read that right. Surprise! Janessa is due in May! Get ready for the biggest and best gender reveal party EVER!!!)


Oh, and by the way? I’m thinking about posting what the Bailey household Humble Brag letter would *really* sound like if I sent one out. Like completely poking fun at our ordinariness. All the “highlights” of the year. Ha. Should I?

photo credit: gadl via photopin cc


A bunch of my favorite bloggers are participating in a holiday link-up all month long. Check out their funny posts!

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22 Replies to “Honest Mom’s 2012 Humble Brag Christmas Letter (it’s a doozy!)”

  1. OMG “Janessa”, I wanted to come through the computer and choke you, especially when I read that last part about “the bump” (nice touch, by the way). Oh, I seriously know people like this though. This is why I will never send out one of these letters. My sister does, and her middle son is such a slacker and screw-up, his paragraph is like, one line while his brother and sister each have a super long paragraph. Hope they are saving money for his therapy sessions.

    1. Oh, yeah, gotta love when one family member gets barely a mention. Or a very generic, “Bobby is enjoying school and his extra-curricular activities this year.” When we all know that his “extra-curricular activities” are of the pot-smoking variety. LOL!

  2. "Janessa" you are so awesome. The sad thing is I have received letters exactly like these in the past and they were for real. However, we don't receive them anymore because these people are no longer on my Christmas card list. With Facebook, we don't need these Christmas updates because these same people are posting exactly this crap on a daily "real time" basis. Can't these people be a little more modest about all their bragging.

    The year my 19 y/o went to rehab, I debated about whether or not to send a newsletter. It would have been such a downer. My mom and my dad passed away that same year. The economy went south and we had to take a second mortgage on our house to pay our taxes. Now, THAT's a Christmas newsletter. ( on a positive note, said 19 y/o is now 25 and is doing great, employed, and living on his own. So that is good news).

  3. LOL, this would make me pity the family that felt desperate enough to send it out. I'd LOVE to read a real letter. Mine would include such details like, He's 18 months old and though he's still not talking I've been assured it has nothing to do with the number of times as a single mom I had to use the electronic baby sitter JUST to get dinner in the oven.

    1. HA! The electronic babysitter is my BFF. There would be no eating dinner in this house without it.

      Some of the letters we have received have been pretty unreal. Not as bad as the one I wrote … but pretty awful. I remember one that went on and on about all the fabulous places the couple had traveled to during the year, and how hard it was to readjust to "The States" when they came back. Gag. Me.

  4. You nailed it with the pregnancy reveal in the closing . Well done. I would love to see the yang brag letter to this yin – “Mitchell made us all proud when he cleared the yard of dog poop for the annual Easter egg hunt, well, except for that one pile that little Charlotte found. She sure is a searcher!” Ellen

  5. We have family members who write Christmas letters every year, and thankfully only one of them is this painful to read. I’m not altogether sure it’s intentional, but it’s awful just the same.

  6. That is SOME letter. Your family is just spectacular! Sounds like the real letter I get every year from my brother-in-law, who is a attorney/veterinarian/teaches at an Ivy League school and his kids all won full scholarships to their dream schools so they took the college savings and went on a safari to Africa. True story. I love how the cards are all written in the third person – like a biographer is writing it for them & it's not actually being written by the actual person it's coming from. We once receive one from the family dog. That was a good one.

  7. A little mindless reading & emotional/stress reprieve for those who get a kick out of Holiday letters like I do……;) Enjoy!

  8. LMAO! Thanks for starting my day with a laugh and a smile! I have one of those too except its worse not usually in a letter, its a daily dose on FB! Makes me want to barf every day….mine would read more like…."Lucky to have made it thru to another holiday season… Hubby and I still have the house, between a teenager, a 6yr old, and a screaming 3 yr old, we're pretty much broke right about now after Christmas, so gift cards welcomed. Thank you, and oh, have a lovely new year."

  9. LMAO! Thanks for starting my day with a laugh and a smile! I have a "Janessa" in my family too except its worse not usually in a letter, its a daily dose on FB! Makes me want to barf every day….mine would read more like…."Lucky to have made it thru to another holiday season… Hubby and I have managed to keep our house, kids are kids. But between a teenager, a 6yr old, and a screaming 3 yr old, we're pretty much broke right about now after Christmas, so gift cards welcomed. Thank you, and oh, have a lovely new year. Cats send their regards, too. "

  10. Are you asking to read one of "Honest Mom's" real letters which she's received, or will one of the letters I annually receive from the "Braggarts from Taggart" [special name & location I made up, JUST for the people who send me their annual brag-fest) – would one of their letters do?

    Because I've saved a few of theirs… [Eeeeeeeeeeee-vil grin!]

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