Christmas Letters

1 comment Posted on December 10, 2015

Susan Mathisby Susan G Mathis

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.

Take notes

The-Remarriage-AdventureKeep a family calendar where you can quickly record events. Then simply review this calendar to draft your letter’s content.

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 for more.


  • 07/02/2016
    Shirley Bennett said:

    I’meant reading your magazine for the first time. I’mean glad I found it!!

    Iam Native American enrolled in the Colville tribe. My husband, my boys, grandchildren & great grandchildren are enrolled in the Nisqually tribe. My husband were the first generation to not drink & provided a “safe” home for everyone. All glory goes to my Lord for all we have!! Anyway, I was thinking …. that your magazine should write about the Native Americans & intergenerational dysfunction that we live in. A prime example of the dysfunction that satan holds us in. There was boarding school shame, extreme poverty, alcohol & drug abuse (extremely high statistics) extreme suicide numbers & extreme mistrust of “white man’s religion. Native American religions hasve many trapped!! Satan is within these & has a strong hold on the ones he is holding!

    But, all glory goes to my Lord for reaching across these facts & saved some of us!!

    If you want to write an article there is a wonderful missionary group working in reservation. Their name is North American Indian Mission. They may work with you in giving you names of Native Americans you can interview. Thank you so much for listening. The article may touch people’s heart & than we would have more prayers going before God to interven for them. Thank you, Feel free to contact me if you go forward with this. My number is 253-831-1981.


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