It's always good to get news fom friends at Christmas. Some go for the full essay approach, some are short and snappy and I just put a few choice details in depending on the recipient. Not everyone wants or needs to hear the same stuff.
There is good news in my family this year, which is obviously not always the case, so it's been a pleasure to put that in cards.
I opened two cards today with bad news. One from a university friend whose mother has breast cancer and a poor prognosis and one from a friend I shared a house with about fifteen years ago whose father died this year. Not the best year, as he said.