Like most families, mine has a lot of crazy.
My mother's sister, whom we actually refer to as Crazy Aunt [Martha] is growing less crazy as she ages. Or perhaps I'm understanding her better as I age.
For as long as I can remember, Crazy Aunt Martha has tucked notes to herself among her Christmas decorations. Her notes simmered (decayed?) for about eleven months until it was time to deck the halls anew. As I helped her unwrap ancient ornaments or her awesome Lionel train set (which just fit the edges of her tree skirt, mind,) she always snatched from me the note she'd written to herself nearly eleven months prior.
I do that now. The writing, not the snatching. My kids can't read yet, and 1977 doesn't do decorations.
I have no idea what Crazy Aunt Martha wrote about--broken bulbs or hidden treasures or grocery lists or a great date--and I don't really care. Most of her notes were written in Sharpie on paper towels. I use stationery and envelopes because, unlike Martha's, my house includes lots of prying eyes that enjoy excavating cardboard boxes.
I spend a lot of December thinking about what I'll write about in my letters to Future Michele. I want to be pointed without inducing panic. I don't try to be profound, though that would be nice. I'm not particularly gentle with myself, so I don't want to set lofty goals whose memory will ruin my holidays when I open the envelope and confront them.
By February, I've forgotten the specifics of what I wrote (except in 2008, when it was all about baby names and plans and what kind of parents I hopes we'd be. Oh, naive Michele-from-the-past!) and by October I'm pretty excited to read what I wrote.
This year, for the first time, I included advice.
Is offering unsolicited advice to one's future self crazy?
I blog rarely, because I'm writing books. When I do blog, I focus on writing, friendship, family, and books. Because my family's best nicknames are private, I use their birth years for shorthand: