Christmas letter writing should be fun, but many people worry so much about what they’re writing and how they’re writing it that they become paralyzed with fear. Relax! Here are 10 simple tips to help you write a great family Christmas letter and have more time to shop for Christmas gifts.
1. Be yourself – For some reason, people often feel the need to include “big” words in their Christmas letter that they’d never use in real life. Stick to words you use when you’re speaking. It will help your readers “hear” you when they’re reading.
2. Don’t exaggerate – Some Christmas letter writers to try to make every daily event sound as if it’s the discovery of the Holy Grail. Don’t embellish the truth. The events will speak for themselves.
3. Keep it short and focused – What were the best things that happened to you? The funniest events? Or the most important changes in your life? You don’t need to write about all 365 days of the year. Focus on the important ones, and try to keep your letter to one or two typed pages.
4. Avoid unnecessary adjectives – This is a follow-up to rules #1 and #2 above. Excessive use of adjectives that you’d never use in everyday conversation is a common pitfall for many Christmas letter writers. Avoid sentences such as, “My beautiful wife Jane and I took our wonderful kids to the fabulous city of New York and spent exciting hours visiting the incredible museums.” Keep the modifiers to a minimum.
5. Write for your audience – Do you send your Christmas letter just to close friends and family who already know the details of your everyday life? Or to casual acquaintances and business associates? Your letter should entertain the people who aren’t intimately familiar with your daily happenings without boring those who are.
6. Make it visually appealing – Your letter will be more interesting if you include photos, clip art, or other images. Photos will liven up any Christmas letter, and many people find it easier to describe one photo at a time than to chronicle an entire year. You can get buy clipart collections online or at your local store or buy individual artwork from sites selling royalty-free images. A little artwork will make your letter more interesting. Plus, the more art you have, the less text you need to write. 🙂
7. Be creative – A Christmas letter doesn’t have to be a letter at all. Check out some of these creative Christmas letter ideas for fun ways to give your annual holiday update a fresh new look.
8. Add a personal note – A quick handwritten note at the bottom of each recipient’s Christmas letter will make the update feel more personal and less like an anonymous form letter.
9. Read it aloud – Read your letter aloud, or have someone else read it to you. Does it flow well? Is it interesting to listen to? If not, you might want to rewrite some sections.
10. Have fun! – Remember that Christmas letter writing is an opportunity to have fun and keep others up to date about what you and your family have been doing all year. It should be one of the family Christmas traditions you to look forward to doing! It shouldn’t feel like a chore to write your letter – or to read it. If you don’t enjoy writing your letters, others won’t enjoy reading them.
So relax, have fun, and happy writing!