So you’ve decided the write a letter to include with your holiday card. Every year you’ve read the letters from your friends and thought to yourself “I’ll do that next year.” Well this is it!
If you’re like me, you have a favorite style that you look forward to reading. And it’s likely not the 3-page version that chronicles each and every event that occurred in the family’s past 12 months! In the final part of this series, I’ll share some pitfalls to holiday letter writing and some suggestions for sharing the best of your year!
Guidelines for Writing a Holiday Letter (that everyone will read)!
- Sharing accomplishments can be tricky. If you only include the highlights without sprinkling some real life challenges along the way, it can be off-putting.
- Don’t use a tiny or script-type font that’s barely distinguishable. If the average reader needs a magnifying lens to read your letter – it’s too small.
- Share milestone events without too much elaboration. I’d venture to guess that most mailing lists include a mix of close friends, family and those we only communicate with during the holidays. I’m going out on a limb here, but in my opinion, most readers aren’t interested in the elaborate details.
- Medical updates are another tricky area. Our loved ones care about our health but unlikely to be interested in the gory stuff. So if you’re thinking about how to include the x-rays from your latest operation, guess again! Just sayin!
- Poems can be fun to write and nauseating to read. They can be cute or downright cheesy. Is that what you’re going for? Just my opinion.
- Be careful how you share your travels because frankly, it can sound braggadocious. “We took a trip to Italy” sounds better than “Our luxury trip to Italy started with a private guide through Florence.” Even if the second version is true, why are you sharing this?
- Who really cares about your letter? If you’ve keep it brief and newsy, it might work to share it with the whole list. However, do your work acquaintances care about your children’s achievements? Might want to spare them the trouble.
- Do you have something to share? Some years have more news/updates than others. The photos can be the update. Wouldn’t you agree that a photo of your daughter’s wedding tells the story?
- Include a hand-written note. Even if you’ve included a letter, you could at least sign your name or include a short phrase such as “Always look forward to hearing from you”.
Writing a holiday letter doesn’t have to be difficult. You can involve your family and let each person write their own year’s summary. If you would like some help with this process, contact us. We can help you share your year’s story.