In an era when we are (whether we like it or not) updated on the lives of our friends, family and Justin Bieber minute by minute, the idea of writing a letter might seem unnecessary.
After all, you know your friend from college had a baby because she posted a picture of the little one for all her Twitter followers and Facebook friends to see. You know that your cousin got engaged because she changed her relationship status. And you know that your parents went to Costa Rica because a video of your father zip lining popped up in your News Feed.
Living in a stream-happy society is fun. It’s exciting. It helps us miss our loved ones who live far away a little less. But there are still occasions when sending a text message or posting on someone’s wall just isn’t enough. The holidays is one of those occasions, and the holiday letter is one of those traditions that helps us remember the power of the written (or at least typed) word.
This year, Crane & Co. launched a new line of holiday photo cards that exudes the same luxury craftsmanship our Enthusiasts expect from us. Among the designs offered is our Photo & Letter Card, which allows you to include your holiday letter. Just send it along with your order and we’ll do the rest.
Click here for our holiday letter example
The only thing you need to do is write it, so we’ve cobbled together five tips on how to craft the perfect holiday letter. Happy writing!
Make a timeline. Travel back in time and outline all the major events of the year. Be sure to ask your spouse and children for their input as well — you might not remember a soccer goal, but your daughter who scored it certainly will.
Keep it conversational. It’s a holiday letter, not a chapter in a history textbook. Let your personality shine through. Picture yourself telling your stories to your friends and family — after all, they’re the ones who are going to read it.
Keep it balanced. It’s important to share your accomplishments and fun vacations, but it’s also important to share obstacles and challenges. No one needs to know you’re in marriage counseling, but losing a job or severe illness is as much of a significant event as a new job or a new baby.
Include everyone. Life may revolve around the kids, but loved ones want to hear about you, too. You may not have climbed Mount Everest, but you may have finished your first marathon. Or walked for Breast Cancer Awareness. It’s important to celebrate everyone’s accomplishments, both big and small.
Keep it brief. You can share that you’re writing a novel, but your holiday letter doesn’t have to be the length of one. Keep it to around 600 words — you don’t need to include every basketball game, just that one great shot.