Thursday, November 17, 2011

Holiday Letter Writing

Gnome Holiday Card, from Paper-Source

Holiday Letter Writing

Tonight I'm writing holiday cards and a newsletter I'll tuck into them.


  • In case bad weather this winter keeps you from going to the store for a week or more, are you well stocked on toilet paper, Kleenex, plastic wrap, medicines, paper towels, laundry detergent, and dishwasher detergent?

  • Need to add rock salt, kitty litter or driveway de-icer to your shopping list?

  • Check your humidifier filter - does it need to be replaced? Need water in your humidifier?

  • Has your heater/furnace been inspected this year for filter replacement, efficiency and safety issues?

  • Maintenance cleaning - Wipe down all mirrors, sinks and counters in the house.

  • 6 weeks til Christmas! 3 weeks til Hanukkah! How is your gift shopping and wrapping going?

  • What are you wearing on Thanksgiving? Do you need to take an outfit to the dry cleaners? What shoes will you wear - are they clean? Do you have the right stockings or pantyhose? I like to dress up on Thanksgiving, especially if I am a guest at someone else's home.

  • Clean your dryer vent, if needed.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Holiday Cards and Newsletter

Meri Meri Character Christmas Cards, on Amazon

It's time to start writing our holiday cards! If you can write just three cards every night, you'll probably be done by December first (depending on how many you send out). The post office gets very bogged down in December, so it's always a good idea to mail holiday cards early.

I find that if I address and stamp my cards all at the same time, I have an easier time forcing myself to sit down and write a few. It really helps to put something silly or fun on the Tivo to listen to while I write: old reruns of How I Met Your Mother, for example, or repeats from the first seasons of Sex and the City or Desperate Housewives. Or of course you can put on a classic holiday movie to get yourself into the holiday spirit while writing your cards.

Erte "Starstruck" Christmas Cards, on eBay

I don't like to just sign my name on a card, or drop a printed-out Christmas newsletter into an envelope. I like to write several personal sentences or even paragraphs to each person. It's quite time consuming, but for many of these people it's the only letter they'll get from me this year. (I hope to change that in the future!)

If you take on this project tonight, make yourself hot cocoa or hot tea while you go about your writing. Perhaps later, a nip of ruby port or sherry as the night grows colder?


If you're writing a holiday newsletter, it might be a good idea to write it right now. Don't put it off until December. If you write it now, you can set it aside for a couple days, then read it over again before sending it.

Be sure everything you've said about someone else is positive - I'm thinking of a great-uncle who was known for writing horrible things like "Too bad my daughter in law didn't lose any weight this year", etc. Make sure you aren't spreading gossip.

Brag about your kids, sure, but be sure to mention something fun you yourself have done this year, or something you are proud of yourself for.

Add a few color pictures to the newsletter if you can - people will love to see a nice cheerful picture of you. And if you have kids, definitely include lots of current pictures of them.

I suggest keeping your newsletter brief (one page of text) and including a handwritten paragraph or two on a separate piece of paper. Happy writing!

10 Tips for Developing a Family Holiday Letter (Grammar/


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