Get out your letter-opener girls, today we’re talking Holiday Letters! Holiday Letters are a great way to keep up with those friends and family that we don’t see on a daily basis or might not be on the facebook front.
Where manners and our Holiday Cards are concerned, it’s like my mom has always says…
“It’s not what you say, but how you say it.”
So, Join Me As We Look at Holiday Letters:
Have a plan. Holiday letters arrive from Thanksgiving through New Year’s. When you send out your letter is entirely up to you and your schedule. Some like to get it out early so they aren’t reminded every day the mail arrives that they have yet to send a holiday greeting. Others like to wait until the New Year when the hustle and bustle of the holidays has subsided. Keep in mind that we send cards to extend holiday cheer, not to race or compete with our friends and loved ones. Each card and its timing are unique to the family!
Organization and Creativity are Key! Pick a theme to keep your reader engaged and your writing focused. A theme will also help you eliminate topics that are exciting but not relevant. Themes don’t have to be over the top. Here are a few examples:
Season’s Greetings: Feature the top adventure from all four seasons.
Family Update: Focus on a major happening from each family member.
Our Favorite Things: Highlight your top five events from 2010.
Next, create an outline. I’m not kidding: an outline is the perfect place to start when drafting a holiday letter, so take a journey back to junior high and revisit our friends the Roman numerals. It will help you focus your ideas and keep your readers focused on your letter.
Keep it Short and Sweet. With a twelve days of Christmas theme, you risk losing your readership at “seven swans a-swimming.” Remember that your letter will not arrive alone. It will be accompanied by many other letters and cards. If you choose a theme, break it into a maximum of five highlights, and devote no more than a few sentences to each item or event. Where holiday letters are concerned, one page of sharing is enough, two is considered a bit much, and three outright bragging!
Quick question? Has keeping up with friends and family on social media changed how or if you send a family Holiday Card or Letter? Do you think it should?