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Review: Ideas for Writing Creative Christmas Letters by Janet Colbrunn

Updated on September 3, 2013

Creative Christmas Letter Book Has Great Ideas

I bought Ideas for Writing Creative Christmas Letters That People Are Actually Eager to Read by Janet Colbrunn based on the title alone because I wanted some inspiration for my annual holiday updates. Unfortunately, the book's publisher must not have provided a description for bookstores because neither Amazon or Barnes and Noble has any details on the book. That's a shame because it's well worth the money if you're looking for creative Christmas letter ideas.

The book's website says, "You can quickly learn to transform a traditional letter into one that is so entertaining that even the busiest holiday reveler can't lay it aside." In fact, I enjoyed reading all of the sample letters inside the book, despite the fact that I don't know the author or her family. Colbrunn's creative examples prove that holiday letters don't have to be boring or bragging.

The author doesn't just give a list of ideas. She gives real examples of actual letters she has sent over the years, from the 1988 Diary letter to the 2005 End of Year Statistics letter and many in between.

Personally, I really enjoyed the 1995 Monopoly-like trivia game, which included a game board with squares around the outside with answers such as "Surprise Un-Birthday Party" and trivia cards you had to match up, such as "Stick around longer at Cousin Corrie's and Christy's graduation party and it magically turns into Grandma Chamber's 75th Surprise Birthday Party..." (At least, I think that was the card that went with that square. There's no cheat sheet in the book.)

I also enjoyed the Christmas letter that was a compilation of fake letters to Santa and the "2003 by the Numbers" letter that included info such as:

3 times we visited the Toledo Zoo with friends and family. The kids liked the monkeys best
30 toddler teeth brushed at the beginning of the year
60 toddler teeth brushed at the end of the year
98 hours per week that Jen works as a full-time triplet mom

The book inlcudes a brief explanation of each letter and then offers work space for you to make notes for your own version of each one. Some of the other creative Christmas letters you'll find inside:

- List letters to highlight your family news as top 10 TV shows or best selling books.
- Format letters to disguise your update as a crossword puzzle or a board game. (Both very fun!)
- Perspective letters that appear to be written by the baby, the family pet or a guardian angel.

There's something in here for everyone and you'll almost certainly be inspired to write more creative Christmas letters after reading Ideas for Writing Creative Christmas Letters That People Are Actually Eager to Read.

Love 'Em or Hate 'Em?

Do you enjoy receiving holiday letters from your friends and family?

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