ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Write the Family Christmas Letter

Updated on November 18, 2009

Christmas letters can be one of the best parts of the holiday season. A well-written letter gives and update to friends and family who don’t live close enough to keep up with the important details of a family’s life throughout the year. Granted, with social networking applications like Facebook, this type of once-a-year catch up may not be as necessary as it once was, but it still makes a nice addition to your Christmas card.

The Christmas Letter is Not a Resume

There is nothing worse in my opinion than receiving the family Christmas letter that reads like a pitch session for mom and dad and a college entrance interview for the kids. While there’s nothing wrong with a little bragging—especially on the kids—remember that no one really cares if you were promoted to Vice President of dog food sales or if Junior scored in the top two percentile in calculus. Ditto goes for big purchases or vacations. I know it’s difficult, but try and focus on the things you can’t buy versus the things that are keeping you in debt.

Consider asking each member of the family what important milestone or accomplishment they would like to share for the year.

Format For the Christmas Letter

Who says you have to keep to a strict letter format? Play around. Have fun. I have received newsletter style letters, lists, and even a few spreadsheets. (I hang with accountants!) If you’re short on verbal inspiration, fill a page with pictures and add a few captions. Your friends and family will love to see how everyone has grown.

Get Different Perspectives

Once the kids are old enough, recruit them to write the annual Christmas letter. Sure, you never know what they might say, but you can always reserve the right to edit out the super embarrassing. The letter writer doesn’t even have to be a human member of your family. One of the best letters I ever wrote was told from the point of view of our Italian Greyhound. People are still talking about that silly thing all these years later.

Keep It Light

The best Christmas letters are fun to read. This is not to say that no serious news ought to be included in the annual letter. However, think about the fact that you are sending a mass communication in the Christmas letter. Omit anything that requires a slightly different approach depending on the audience. There’s nothing wrong with skipping a year if you’re just not feeling festive.

Follow these tips and you’ll create Christmas letters that are not only read, but tucked away until next year and brought out again to make friends and families smile.

Image Credit: scottfeldstein, Flickr


Submit a Comment

  • Millionaire Tips profile image

    Shasta Matova 

    6 years ago from USA

    I enjoy getting letters and newsletters with the Christmas cards. Haven't gotten a spreadsheet yet though! I like to make mine and save them as a family history, like Ralph said. It really helps to remember when "normal" used to be different.

  • profile image

    Duchess OBlunt 

    8 years ago

    Great advise! Letter writing has almost become extinct. This is a great Christmas tradition that should be kept up.

  • Ralph Deeds profile image

    Ralph Deeds 

    8 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

    Lela, that's good advice. I've been writing family Christmas letters for many years. Combined, they constitute a brief family history. I also produce a collage of pictures including each member of the family which we send along with the letter. We send the same letter to everybody, sometimes with a little note at the end. I'm sure some non-relatives who get the letter are less interested than others. I've probably overdone the bragging about our kids sometimes, and I agree this can be overdone and that a light touch is best. Your Hub is a good reminder not to get carried away.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)