Wednesday, November 20, 2013

5 Tips For Creating an Interesting "Merry Christmas" Letter This Holiday: Get Started Now!

The annual task of writing a letter to accompany your Christmas card can seem to be a chore, rather than a joy.
Do you struggle each year to find a creative and easy to read way to share our family news from the previous year with distant friends and family?
Instead of putting off your letter writing this holiday, here's our 5 tips to making your Christmas letter easier to write and more fun for your readers:-
  1. Introduction - write an upbeat, but short, introduction, no more than two lines. An example might be "It's been an exciting year, if unpredictable year, for the Carter family this year. I can't say we've loved every moment of it, but it's certainly been an adventure!"
  2. Include Photos and/or Clipart - if you have a photo taken during the year, include this, preferably printed in color. If not, add some simple holiday clip art to liven up the text. You probably don't need to buy the special Christmas letter paper available in some store. It's possible to create your own with software such as Microsoft Word, using the page border tool (Format/Borders and Shading/Page Border/Art) to create imaginative and festive borders.
  3. Include Family News - Add one or two sentences from each member of the family - one of a fun thing that they've done this year and the other of their best achievement. This is a great way of involving your children and can be a simple and helpful introduction for them to the art of letter writing. For younger members of the family, don't forget to add their news too.
  4. Use Your Own Samples from friends and family creatively - do you keep the newsletters that others send you from the previous year? If so, dig them out and have a quick read through and see what you enjoy, what catches your eye and use some of those ideas for your own writing. Find something that is in the style that you enjoy writing in and it can help you find your own "voice" with your letter reflecting your own personality and style.
  5. Keep it brief - anything over 500 words isn't a letter, it's an essay! With dozens of letters and cards coming through the mail at this busy time, folk simply don't have time to read lengthy letters. Make yours brief and succinct - even use bullet points or very short paragraphs, maximum 5 lines each. Everyone's going to appreciate your thoughtfulness in keeping it short!

One of the easiest ways of simplifying things further is to send a traditional Christmas poem or reading, with one or two lines of news for each family member - perfect if you're short of time and running short on holiday patience too.
Hope you enjoy writing and mailing your letters at Christmas this year!
For further tips & ideas, check out our sample Christmas letter.
This article was submitted by Jen Carter, creator of the Printable Letters from Santa Claus website.
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