Thursday, December 04, 2008

Three Cheers for Christmas Letters

About time to write the ol' Christmas letter. I do one every year for our family. It's sent to a fairly small list of around 100 addresses--family members and friends. It's our chance to give the highlights of the year on each member of our family, with little pictures scattered throughout. This year's no doubt will have photos of our son's wedding in our Idaho home. Pics of our sorority daughter at college. It'll mention the books I've had released this year, and highlights from my husband's work. I try to make it visually appealing and entertaining. And no--I don't end it with a hook!

I like receiving Christmas letters. I don't mind that they're impersonal. To me they're far more personal than just sending a card. For those people whom you don't keep in touch with regularly, it's a good way to know what's happened in their lives. And we'll often write a short personal note on top of the typed letter.

I've noticed something interesting, though. So many of the letters we receive from couples in their 50s and 60s talk about their many travels. "We frolicked in Japan, rode a camel backwards in Egypt. Camped on the African veldt. Stuffed ourselves on tamales in Guadalajara."

What did we do? We worked.

What's wrong with this picture?

All the same, one of the coolest things I've included in our letters came two years ago--and it had to do with work. That year my husband (in executive search) was ranked #1 in the world in customer satisfaction in the huge, international search firm he works for. (It's the world's biggest search firm.) Don't you know this proud wifey did some braggin' on her man. He'd never have done it. So I made sure everybody knew.

Your turn. Do you send a Christmas letter? If so, what's one or two of the best news items you've been able to include?


Anonymous said...

I like the idea but haven't gotten to the execution yet. ;) Maybe when I'm done with the baby years...

Pam Meyers said...

I've written one for years. As far as the best news about me, I can't think of any one particular thing. I always chronicle my writing journey and every year hope the next one will say that I have a contract, God willing. So far that is a letter in the future.

But the best news of all, contract or no contract, is that I always end the letter with an evangelical message regarding the Reason for the Season--Jesus! And how the Reason is much more than the babe in the manger, and about the Man on the Cross.

Karen said...

Yay! I love Christmas letters too. When I receive them I tuck them in a drawer until after Christmas when it's cold and snowy outside. I fix a cup of flavored coffee and sit down to catch up with all our friends and family.

My letters have lots of pictures-grands and travel. We are known as travel addicts but we are in that stage of life. Hang on, those of you who have kids, family, and work. The world will still be there when you have the time to see it--just be sure your kids understand that you're spending the inheritance ;-)

Anonymous said...

Great post. And I loved the pictures of your son's wedding. Breathtaking.

We do a letter every year. This year will be interesting as I might mention I began writing. Yeah, until I started FaceBook and Blogging a few months ago, most didn't know I'd begun the writing adventure....that, along with sharing that my sweet hubby completed his first half iron man triathlon will be big news for the letter.

Thanks. Have a great day!

Valerie said...

This year I'm tootin' my husband's horn for finishing his first 1/2 marathon! I could NEVER do that, so I'm really proud of him.

Deena said...

I don't send them, but if I did, I'd include the following:

1) 3 came to Christ in our little church in the hills this year

2) We have two adopting families pending final papers

3) My middle daughter is winging her way to adult freedom by graduating in May

4) My son is following his father's steps into the ministry and is serving as a jr. deacon and children's minister

5) I got to speak by phone to one of my all time favorite authors and she was SO MUCH FUN to talk with:-) Her name? Brandilyn Collins

6) And news of all news: my husband stepped out in huge faith and resigned his position with Sutter County in order to pastor our church full time. This is huge because we are trusting God for our finances totally now, and it's fun and scary to watch how He works!

Please pray for all of the above mentioned, and Merry and Blessed Christmas to everyone! Love you!

That is what I'd send:-)

Anonymous said...

I do a Christmas letter almost every year. I send them to all of my family, friends, and missions supporters. I update them on the success of the ministry that I work for. But my favorite part is telling testimonies about the mission trips I go on. This year, I'll tell about the 1,500 patients that we served in 8 days in the Dominican Republic.

-- Sarah Salter

Kim Vogel Sawyer said...

Yes, I do a Christmas letter every year. I love condensing the year into a few carefully worded paragraphs and scattering pictures throughout. The best news items since 2003 have included the arrivals of my darling grandchildren (2008 was especially good to us--TWO grandbabies!), and I tremendously relished sharing how God healed me. Like Pam, I always close with a reminder of why we celebrate Christmas: to honor the most precious Gift of all, Jesus.

Leslie said...

I've never done one, simply because there has never been enough news to warrant a letter (I'm single, no kids or anything). This is probably the first year where I did enough in a year to warrant a paragraph.