How To Write An Interesting, Engaging "Christmas Letter" To Send With Your Cards
I know it's early, but sometimes it takes time to write these!
Now, I know it might be "too early" to start thinking about Christmas cards already, but you know, there are only three month's left until Christmas! Ok, I know I might have to start dodging flying ornaments here... but I usually like to at least start writing a Christmas letter to send with our cards nice and early, so I have time to think about what I want to put in it, and do revisions up until it is time to mail out Christmas cards. If you have it ready ahead of time, all you need to do is print copies of it onto pretty Christmas stationery, put it in with your cards, and mail it!
If you're anything like me, Christmas will be upon us before we know it and in the hustle and bustle of shopping, wrapping, mailing, not to mention if you do some entertaining, the cooking and cleaning involved with that... your Christmas card will get the very last of your attention!
If you allow that to happen, your card could end up just being a "generic" card with a "generic" Christmas letter. You might even know the kind of letter I'm talking about here, "Little Bobby got first place in jousting and little Susie is going to be a ballet star..." on and on... ad nauseum. A lot of Christmas letters become simply a litany of "achievements" either that we've made or our children have. AND, to add insult to this, they end up boring our readers into a partially egg nog induced semi-coma!
To keep this from happening to you this year, I will show you some examples of interesting Christmas letters that you can write to send with your cards this year, that will have people engaged in reading them, smiling, maybe even laughing!
We had a year just a few years back that was FILLED with all kinds of new things for us, one of our son's became engaged to his girlfriend, we got a new little kitten, that we named "Dixie Rose" - she was a little light of our life that year! And then, to top off all of the "firsts"... we found out that our first grand-daughter was coming that following Spring! And our son (who, with his fiancee was expecting our little grand-daughter) had just found out that he was to start a very good job. Not only that, but my husband and I had gone on a walk for the local Children's Hospital, and my husband celebrated his 50th Birthday. See how I could have just written a "list" letter? But I didn't!
Therein was my dilemma, I needed to write a Christmas letter that didn't just contain a long list of all the new "stuff" that was going to be happening in our lives soon (and had already happened)... I wanted something different and exciting, and that people who read our Christmas letter would be entertained by.
My idea for that year (2007) was to write a letter in the form of SONG TITLES. I titled it "Sing A Song Of Christmas"... and I found song titles on the internet that pertained to the events that had happened in our lives, or were about to happen! To this day, I still get nice comments about that letter, so I thought I would share how I wrote our letter that year.
First of all, I went with the song by Kenny Chesney called "Don't Blink" to talk about our son's engagement. I used the lines "Don't Blink, just like that, you're six years old and you take a nap, wake up and you're 25, and your high school sweetheart becomes your wife"... and then I talked about our son and his engagement!
The next paragraph, I talked about our darling new little addition to the family, our kitten that we had named "Dixie Rose"... now this was truly a coincidence that I actually FOUND a song title that had the name "Dixie Rose" in it... things like this just don't happen very often, but it did happen to us. And no, I did NOT even know this song EXISTED when we named our kitten! She was actually named "Dixie Rose" because I love the South, have been to many southern states, and honestly, I thought it sounded like a CUTE Southern name for a kitten. The song I found is called "Dixie Rose Deluxe's Honky Tonk, Feed Store, Gun Shop, Used Car, Beer, Bait, BBQ, Barber Shop, Laundromat…" Honestly, that IS the song title! And after I quoted that title in our letter, I went on to explain how little Dixie Rose was the SECOND best Mother's Day gift I had ever received ... since she came into our home on Mother's Day of that year!
Then I used the song title "Thank God For Kids" when I wrote about going on a walk to raise money for the Children's hospital... even with my "noisy knees" we went on the walk and thoroughly enjoyed it, and knowing it would raise money for a great cause was just a bonus!
The song "Built To Last" seemed like a good one to talk about my husband's 50th birthday that year... part of the song goes "He said, here's to the makers of things built to last, like church bells and bridges, and baseball on grass. Like Ferguson tractors and Lucchese boots - My Daddy's old tools I still use - the Pledge of Allegiance, the stars and the stripes, still there after 50 years passed - Here's to the makers of things built to last." I thought it was a great way to start a paragraph about my husband's 50th birthday!
When I went into our son getting a new job, I used the song title "Hard Days Night" and I used the title "Life Happened" to talk about the coming of our brand new grand-daughter, she was expected five months after Christmas.
That was how we did our Christmas letter that year, I tried to keep it to around two typewritten pages, but there also were spaces, as well as a few cute pictures to add interest.
Now, another way to make your Christmas letter interesting to the reader is to make it in a poem form, if you are good at rhyming, and a lot of times you find out that you are better at rhyming than you might think you are! This will capture and hold the reader's attention.
One way that I really enjoyed doing our letter one year was typing the words in it into the shape of a Christmas tree! You start with maybe one word at the top, two or three words on the next line, and on down until you have the bottom line which is a longer line. Then you can do several lines that are about equal and centered to make the "trunk" of your tree. You can even experiment using green and brown colored fonts for this.
If you experiment with some of these ideas, you might be pleasantly surprised that you actually enjoy doing your Christmas letter this year! If you make it something that you do creatively, it will be a letter that will be remembered long after Christmas has passed!
OUCH! Who threw the FRUITCAKE?? (KIDDING!!!!!) I really DO hope you have some fun creating your Christmas letter this year!