It is the time of year when we have to start thinking about any Christmas preparations that take long-range planning. (Make the Springerle’s NOW!!)
One of the first things that I always do is write a Christmas letter and update my Christmas card list. I send the letter to friends and family we don’t see often (who generally live out of town), and Christmas cards to friends and family who already know all the stuff in the Christmas letter and to in-town acquaintances.
I have a mental template for our yearly Christmas letter that I adhere to pretty closely: A welcoming of the reason for the season, a couple paragraphs about what Hubby and I are doing, a couple paragraphs about Gunny and his family, a couple paragraphs about DD and her family, and a closing that honors Christ’s birth.
I work very hard to keep the letter to one page (one-side). I add a handwritten note on each one I send that is specific to that person/family.
Now, to me, this is a pretty good way to keep in touch, especially with people we only hear from this one time of year. We receive many Christmas letters in return, some that have obviously been written just as a reply to OUR letter, but that’s all right, because the whole point is to just do a little re-connecting. And, if the letter they receive from us makes them want to let us know what THEY are doing — perfect!!
I never know what to think when I hear people rant about how awful they consider Christmas letters. The objections I hear are that they are too long and they are “braggy”. Well, would they rather not hear from that family at all? As I said earlier, sometimes a Christmas letter is the ONLY time you hear from someone. I have to admit that if one we receive is realllly long, I do sometimes read just the beginning of each paragraph, unless something just catches my interest, but I’m STILL glad that I heard from that family! Just from skimming the letter I know alot more about what is going on with them than I would if I DIDN’T get the letter!
As for bragging — in my mind — bragging is window dressing. The person has taken the things that have happened in their lives and shared only the highlights and presented those in a really “dressed up” way, but if you can make yourself look past the bragging, you are still getting information that tells you what is going on with them!
So, in conclusion, as I’m sure you have already figured out — I am ALL FOR Christmas letters. I love getting them, even the lonnnnng ones and the “braggy” ones, because I’m glad they thought of us and wanted to stay in touch with us.
May any Christmas letter you receive be seen as a little “gift” from the sender — some more “pleasingly wrapped” than others, but all “gifts.”
Update: Click here to see A Christmas Letter — Making It Better.