Christmas Letters

I am one of those people.

And if I’m being honest, I have contemplated not being one of them this year.

As best I can calculate, I’ve been one of them for the past thirteen years. And after thirteen years, I think you have to ask, is it time?

 Is it time to ax the McFamily Christmas letter?

I’ve written poems. I’ve used numbers. I’ve written from Alex’s perspective. I’ve used a multiple choice quiz. I’ve used the Merry Christmas down the side of the page (which has a name, but for the life of me I can’t think of it), and I’ve used the plain letter.

I’ve been thinking about the letter for a couple of weeks, and I feel like I’m stuck in a non-creative and non-humorous rut. If you’re one of those people who send a family letter, or if you are thinking of sending one for the first time this holiday season, here are some helpful hints and ideas to remember when writing your annual Christmas letter.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I absolutely love receiving Christmas letters, and cards, and holiday pictures. In the mail. As in the U.S. MAIL. In fact, it’s one of my favorite parts about the Christmas season.

1. Don’t be a Braggy McBraggerson. Seriously, your child is not the next Nobel Peace Prize winner.

2. Stay positive. – A fun, positive letter is so much more enjoyable than the depressing, boring one.

3. Keep it short and sweet. Or at least all on the same side of the paper.

4.  Use big words sparingly. Your friends and family don’t want to hear from an English professor, they want to hear from you.

5. Don’t brag.

6. Proofread the letter twice three times before sending it to print.

7. Pick a font and stick with it. As much as I love fonts, the Christmas letter is not the place to go all crazy with several different ones, or one that is difficult to read.

8. Pictures add so much. So long as they are clear.

9. This is a biggie – DON’T BRAG.

10. Target your audience. Will the general readership be able to understand the content? If your husband is a rocket scientist, you probably shouldn’t go on and on about the aerodynamic characteristics of his aircraft.

Is there even such a thing?

See what I mean?

11. Make stuff up. Sometimes, the best Christmas letters have a little bit of fun sprinkled throughout the madness. Part of the point is asking your readers to figure out which parts are made up.

12. Have fun. – If you had fun writing it, chances are, your readers will enjoy reading it.

I’d love to hear about the best and worst Christmas letter you’ve ever gotten. And if you happen to be on my Christmas card list, would you care to share which one was your favorite. Or least favorite?

Was it the one with MERRY CHRISTMAS down the side?

The one about the FAQ’s?

The one written to the tune of Twas The Night Before Christmas?

The one that Alex wrote?

Or my personal favorite and the one I can’t find right now because it is nowhere to be found on the blog, Our year in numbers?

Aw yes, the year that Stevie swallowed the penny and Alex fell into a cactus.

And what a year it was….

This post is linked to Works For Me Wednesday.

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