Saturday, December 25, 2010
Xmas letters and happiness in the Fargo Forum.
She’s surprised at how often people include too much detail about their illnesses. One in the batch she’s studying now reports on a relative’s annual colonoscopy.

Others letter-writers attempt to be creative or clever, but often come off as bizarre.

One man sent her letters in which he writes from the perspective of his stuffed dog and cat. Another opened with the line “We’ve got spirit, yes we do. We’ve got spirit, not swine flu.”

“Maybe you have to know people, but they think they’re funny,” Burnett said.

Burnett also worked with graduate student Becky DeGreeff and NDSU associate professor Dennis Cooley to study how “authentic” people are according to a theory from the philosopher Martin Heidegger. The paper was published in the Journal of Happiness Studies.
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