It's that time of year again. The holidays are coming up quickly and it's time to start thinking about meals, parties, presents, and cards.
We have a family friend who has written holiday letters in place of a card for years. He is witty and funny and the letters are something I look forward to reading every year. If you enjoy composing and sending out a holiday letter to your friends and family, here are some tips to help you highlight your year.
· Keep it light and funny. A holiday letter isn't necessarily the venue for going into great detail about health problems, hardships, or crises over the past year. At the same time, don't force the jokes. If you aren't prone to humorous writing, consider another format for your letter.
· Think outside the box. Your letter doesn't have to be a letter at all. My sister-in-law once created a fold out timeline for the previous year, complete with pictures. It was so unique and interesting that I wanted to keep it after the holidays.
· Add pictures. Using pictures and short anecdotes from the year is a great way to feature the accomplishments and milestones of your children.
· Embellish! No, not your achievements for the year; embellish your letter physically. Use decorative paper, add holiday themed clip art, or choose holiday related text colors. You don't want to make the letter too busy, but if you're sending this in place of a traditional card, take a minute to make it fun and festive.
· Short and sweet. You may have had a busy year, but try to keep your letter to one page. Everyone loves to catch up, but if you try to limit yourself to a page, you'll be sure to hit the highlights of the year without rambling on about other things that you don't really mean to include.
· Edit! Draft your letter and then let it sit for a day or two. Have a family member read it to make sure you've covered everything that happened. Then, read it closely or have someone else read it for you to make sure it makes sense, your spelling is good, and your grammar is correct. Sending a polished letter is a nice token, especially for relatives.
· Connect! Close with an invitation to connect. Add your phone number and email address or your blog address so that friends and family have your current information. Hopefully they will take advantage of it and keep in touch throughout the year.
If you’re running out of time this holiday season, contact me to help get your thoughts in order and design your holiday letter.