Monday, December 8, 2008

Family Moment Monday - Christmas Letter Tips

Motherhood for Dummies hosts Family Moment Mondays, check her out to get more ideas on how to spend time together as a family!

I know there are some really good, organized families out there that already have their Christmas cards written, stamped, and mailed. I'm pretty sure though that there are other procrastinating mommies like me, absolutely determined to get those cards out as soon as possible. I always seem to have writers block, so this year I did a few google searches to see if I could get any help. Here are some of the most common suggestions I've seen:

*Start positive - Always start your letter on a positive note. Nobody wants to hear about how sad you are that the year has already come and gone.

*Keep it Simple and Short - While family and friends do want to know about the highlights of your year, they don't want to read through 2 or 3 pages of it. Try to keep your letter to a page or less for maximum family enjoyment.

*Restrain the Adjectives - I myself am 100% guilty of this one. "Our wonderful family had a fantastic year doing many amazing things, etc." Try to use your normal every-day conversational voice. Use adjectives sparingly so that when you do use one, it has a real impact.

*Include Photos (But not too many) - A photo is worth a thousand words, use them to add to your letter without making it longer. On the other hand, cramming thirty tiny thumbprint pictures from your last family vacation is just going to make your letter look sloppy. If Grandma really does want to see all those pictures, consider adding a CD full of photos for her to peruse at her own leisure.

*Use White Space - Make your letter visually appealing by leaving plenty of white space around the borders and in between paragraphs. Also consider using italics and bold to really highlight the main points of the letter.

*Be Creative - Consider using an alternative format for your card this year. I found so many neat ideas like making your letter a quiz, writing a comic strip, and rewriting a classic Christmas poem or song. I also found this great form letter, for those who have no time, but still want to make it fun.

*Read it Out Loud - Before you hit print, read your letter out loud. Most grammatical, punctuation, and vocabulary errors can be found by reading out loud. If the letter sounds awkward, it will also read awkward. (See Philip, I used my English degree for something!)

If all else fails, and there is no way that card is going to go out in time, consider sending out New Years cards! Happy letter writing! :)


Motherhood for Dummies said...

This is a great tutorial for Christmas letters! Seriously! I am so going to have to follow this when we write ours.