I knew friends and family expected to hear from me at Christmas, but I wasn’t excited about writing one more holiday letter. Then I had an idea.
Every year, we read “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” so I simply changed the words and created “‘Twas a Year of Adventure.” I rhymed a story of the whole year’s family events—and judging by the response of the recipients, it was a hit.
I didn’t intend for it to become a tradition, but it did. A few years ago, I grew tired of writing one more version of the poem, so I wrote a regular letter. Wrong move! Complaints poured in—for them, the poem had become a tradition.
Writing the annual family letter doesn’t have to be a chore—it can be a fun family event. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Mix it up
There are lots of ways to format your letter. If your children are young, photos or simple drawings with captions may be a hit. With older children, a theme letter can be fun. Choose a theme, and make it a family project. Theme options may include:
- Family news: Let everyone be a journalist and write an article for your newspaper.
- Top 10 list: Your list might include the year’s best family events, funny sayings or moments to remember.
- Family firsts: Record anything from your child’s first words to your family’s first trip to Wisconsin.
Tweak the timing
Do you feel too busy to even think about writing a letter at Christmastime? Make Thanksgiving, New Year’s or even Valentine’s Day your special time to connect with family and friends. Establish it as a tradition, and your loved ones will look forward to it.
Whether you choose Christmas or a different holiday, e-mail or snail mail, a specific format or a variety of styles, try to stick to it. Your letters also become a record of your family’s history, and maybe you’ll create a family tradition for others, too.
Susan G Mathis is author of The ReMarriage Adventure: Preparing for a Lifetime of Love & Happiness, and Countdown for Couples: Preparing for the Adventure of Marriage with her husband, Dale. Visit www.SusanGMathis.com for more.