39 responses to “The Holiday Card No One Ever Sends”

  1. JT

    Hi Jen –

    I am a single father and uncle of many living in Eugene, OR. I can’t express how much I cried and reading this. Beautiful. Thank you.


    1. jen singer

      I am glad it touched you so. Wishing you well from one single parent to another.

  2. Lisa

    This is beautiful and so accurately sums up a year. Our year was much like this. Happy New Year to you and your family!

  3. Manal The Go Go Girl

    Great post Jen! I’ve been thinking about the same subject for couple of years. Since we’ve been having a tough time so over the weekend I wrote a post about my 2013 recap which I haven’t had the courage to post. Today, I will post. It took me hours of tears and rewrites to write it. Thanks!
    Those perfect Christmas letter always gave me nausea anyway!
    I followed a link on the Huffington Press.

  4. Victoria

    Wow! What a brave, beautiful letter. I followed a link on Huffington Press to get here. I love your honesty and your writing style. Miss hope your 2014 is filled with love and laughter.

    1. Victoria

      Oh boy. I know better than to try and post comments from my phone. Not sure how that “miss” got in there, but I think you get my gist. :)

  5. Kat Montgomery

    Getting a divorce years ago was one of the smartesr things I have ever done for myself and my girls. It was the most positive, scary, amazing thing I have ever done. 14 years later, I love my life. (Lots of insane crap happened in between, don’t get me wrong.But it all worked out). Jen’s post was heartfelt and honest. She has been through the wringer and has shared it with the world, which in my opinion, takes some serious cajones. If you don’t like it, there are alot of other blogs to read. You may want to be a little less judgy in the new year, m’kay? Here’s to a freakin awesome 2014!

  6. Jen Singer

    No, Malory. I am not f-ing kidding.

  7. Malory

    Um – got a divorce in the midst of such revelry – BIG SMILE – get real.

    seriously. who the f are you kidding.

    1. hfish

      Hey Malory,

      Don’t you have anything better to do with your pathetic life than harass people who have persevered through hell and still have a kind spirit. I know Jen Singer very well and everything she said is the truth, so NO she isn’t kidding. Maybe you ought to stick to what we all learned as children… If you don’t have anything nice to say… SHUT UP!!!!

    2. Amy T

      I think I might take this up as a new tradition. Thanks!
      Malory, that’s just ugly and uncalled for. Some people don’t wallow, and are able to get past/through things w/out it defining every single moment of their year/life. Some grown ups get divorced and it’s amicable and they move on, even if it is/was a really difficult decision for their family as a whole.

  8. UP

    Awesome, I so wish someone one would do this, and quite frankly, next year, I just might!


  9. Rajean

    Jen, I’m here for you during the good and the bad and I hope to share a bad drink with you and good times while drinking it in the coming year! Somewhere.

  10. Kim

    Well said, Jen. Wishing you a peaceful and healthy new year!

  11. Bobbi Hawks

    Jan, thanks for ‘telling it like it is’, warts and all. You are part of a strong group……….cancer survivor. Those two words stand for a myriad of issues that have to be experienced by you and your loved ones. Sounds like you and your children are going through this with a building of strength and love. Kudos to you! My prayers for you are that your family continues to grow together through this harrowing time, that you continue to communicate, and that you continue to heal in all areas. Blessings.

  12. Gilda

    Love it and thank you for being honest and sharing this with the world. May 2014 bring about more joy and laughter. The divorce is over and hearts will mend; the kids are happy; the cat’s safe (for now) though that fox is cute, I hope he moves along and you are apart of an elite group. You’re a cancer survivor. Again thanks, I’m off now to pen a letter to those closes to me.

  13. Jen Singer

    Welcome! Where are you all coming from in this sudden rush of likes?

  14. Brenda C.

    I always send cards with real news: the good, bad, and something funny. I keep it real and honest and hopefully inspirational and encouraging in the end. Because in the end, through divorce, foreclosure, and troubled teens, I survived. There are those who can draw hope from our stories. :-)

  15. Stacey

    The good, the bad, and the reality of an authentic life. I hear you. This year, I sent out our first Christmas card since 2007 (when the proverbial s*&t hit the fan). Happy to say that this holiday season, I’m embracing it all…the sorrow, which fortunately is less these days, but present…and the sweet, which I’ve been making a huge effort to consciously express gratitude each day (and I have much to be grateful for). So far, so good! Thanks for being so honest and authentic…wishing you peace this holiday season!

  16. debra

    Wow, this is good stuff. I just separated from my husband of 29 years a few months ago. All I wanted for Christmas was a divorce, but it hasn’t come through yet. Had cancer in 2009 and the biggest side effect was a much lower bullshit tolerance level. Since life has proven itself to be both fragile and relatively short, I couldn’t wait any longer for him to be my partner. Thankful that our almost grown kids are healthy, smart and supportive. Can’t wish for any more than that. I am living alone for the first time ever, at 58. Silence is golden. Happy NEW year to us all.

  17. Cari

    I love and echo. Here’s to keeping on keeping on in 2014.

  18. kristina

    Finally, reality and honesty. Life in it’s beauty. Happy holidays!

  19. Monica

    Thank you! I have said for years (in private and from a microphone on a stage) that I really want to read someone’s Christmas letter that would sound like my life … divorced, widowed, unemployed, one kid in treatment, another kid who’s drinking too much, and yet another who had a pregnancy scare (as a teen), mental health issues (a little bit for each of us!), and the list goes on.

    Those are just the highlights, of course, but that’s how it is for so many people. The false comparisons can be so hurtful. And that’s why I haven’t done Christmas cards or letters since 2005. And I am more than okay with that! It’s nice to have reached the point where I don’t feel I have to prove anything, and especially not through a Christmas card. BRAVO!

    Here’s to a year of health and growth for you and yours! :-)


  20. Liz

    This is perfection, my friend.

  21. Colleen Friesen

    This is my kind of Christmas letter!
    Life is gloriously messy and I’d rather hear the real story, told with irony and humour, than be subjected to some photoshopped and shiny version of events.
    Bless you for this…
    Merry Christmas Singers!

  22. michele peterson

    Pick a year and this could have been my holiday greeting card. Thanks for telling it like it is! Best wishes for 2014!

  23. Leigh

    Hi Jen,

    I found my way here through a link on Gwen M’s FB page. Just wanted to say, yes, perfectly said.

    Here’s wishing you a very human, but very wonderful 2014! It’s lovely to meet you.

  24. Lisa McClintick

    Wow! Now that’s a beautifully honest letter that everyone should read. We’re on our second year of some pretty good kicks in the gut of life as we know it. I spent all of last Christmas rocking the sickly blue hospital gown with a tube down my throat. Even without the extra drama, holidays flare our kids’ anxieties. Hooray for keeping things simple, bracing for what comes our way and plowing forward with as much love as we can give. I hope 2014 will be kind and gentle to all of you.

  25. kara

    Real. Beautiful. Thank you.

  26. John

    Prioritizing: easier said than done. Thanks for detailing the benefits.

  27. Beverly Harzog

    This is the best Christmas letter I’ve ever read. It was real and touched my heart. I’m proud to know you!

  28. Kelly Kautz

    I love this. Thank you. And happy holidays!

  29. Heather Johnson Durocher

    Beautiful and real. Thank you.

    Happy Holidays, friend.

  30. Gwen Moran

    So thankful to call you my friend.

  31. Kathy Sena

    Jen, this is beautiful and strong and funny and not funny and it made me teary and I just so appreciate you as a fellow writer and ASJA buddy and friend. You always tell it like it is and you have such a signature way of doing it.

  32. Gwenn

    One of the best holiday cards I’ve ever read! Thanks for sharing
    And reminding us what’s really important in life.

    Happy holidays, Jen!


  33. Joni Rodgers

    Beautiful. Happy Holidays, Jen.


  34. lisa iannucci

    you are seriously one of the strongest people i know. cancer, divorce, everything, you face it with such strength and yet such reality and a huge dose of humor it’s amazing. I am honored to know you.

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