Simple Steps for How to Write a Great Christmas Letter This Year is a post by contributing writer Kathryn Whitaker of Team Whitaker.
Since our first year of marriage, we’ve always written a letter to accompany our Christmas photo. Some I’ve banished to the back of the scrapbook, but most have been a complete joy to craft, write, and mail to our friends and family during the holiday season.
With the influx of electronic communication, I know how tempting it can be to save the money and time and not do a Christmas card at all. For me, it’s always been about the chance to reconnect, in a tangible way, with people that formed and shaped me and my family. You don’t have to spend hours at the crafting table or loads of money on a card website to make your Christmas letter one to remember and cherish.
Simple Steps for How to Write a Christmas Letter This Year
1. Be authentic.
I know you might be tempted to be cute and funny, but if you’re not, don’t try to be. I think the biggest fail of a Christmas card is when someone writes it with the hopes of impressing everyone who happens to read it. DON’T do that. Share what you want, but share it with authenticity, not with the intent of outdoing the Jones’.
2. Write your letter and then let it sit.
I suggest writing it about a week before you really need it. Sleep on it, have someone else read it, and then make some edits.
You might even consider jotting down a few bullet points of things you’d like to say, then come back to those a few days later and string them into decipherable text. Avoid too many cliches, emoticons, or cute adjectives.
Stuck with how to make it unique? You could try one of these great Christmas letter templates.
3. Writer’s block? Just picture the people you’re writing it for and see if the juices start flowing.
Often times, I get to a point in the letter and I’m just stuck. When this happens, I pull up the Christmas card mailing list and as I read each name, I become inspired.
You’re writing this letter for real people who love and adore you!
4. Include photos of your children, but don’t forget to include yourself.
We receive so many beautiful cards each year of just children. Don’t get me wrong, I love to see a cute child smiling back at me. But years from now, when you’re an empty nester, you will want to have pictures of you with your children.
I know you want to lose a few more pounds or get a better haircut, but quit making excuses and get your tail in the photo. Those are the photos you will cherish.
5. Jazz it up a little.
Nobody wants to read line after line of text. Did you take a vacation and shoot a fun photo? Show it!
Did you make a fun craft with the kids or enjoy an extracurricular activity? Put it in there!
Photos tell the story and the text should be a great complement.
6. If time permits, jot a quick personal note on your card.
I don’t do it for all our cards, but I know when I receive a letter with a handwritten note it makes it that much sweeter.
7. My best advice? Collect all those cards people send you and pray for them throughout the year.
We started doing this several years ago and it is THE highlight of the dinner hour. My children race to the basket, pull out a card and anxiously await our prayers for that family. It’s win-win, really. We offer prayers for a sweet family and our children learn a bit about the people we love.
Other Christmas Projects and Printables You May Love:
Kathryn Whitaker is a freelance graphic designer and mom of five. She loves writing her own holiday letter and believes there’s no better time of the year than Christmas, when going to your mailbox means more cards than bills and junk mail. You can find her at Team Whitaker, blogging about Advent, decorating, celebrating and loving the most wonderful time of the year.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. They don’t change the price you pay. However, when you shop through them, we may receive a small compensation.
Simple Steps for How to Write a Christmas Letter This Year was originally posted on December 3, 2012. It was updated in November 2018.
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