Me? I love them! (Tho’–true confession–if a typewritten letter runs beyond a one-sided page, I’m likely to skim.) I love collecting the mail throughout the month of December: the mounting anticipation as I walk to my mailbox, the holding-my-breath peek inside, the pleasure of returning to the house with a fistful of personal missives from far-flung friends and family. I love sitting down in the warmth of my home, in the merry light of the Christmas tree, to read the updates from folks I hold dear. And to gaze upon their photos. Photos! These are my faves, and after the holidays, every one of them ends up on my bulletin board, where I see them daily and am reminded of all of my best-loved people.
I personally gave up writing an annual recap of the year’s highlights when I had children. Ironic, huh? That after I had really interesting news to report, I no longer had the time to write about it–at least, not as an annual letter. But I am faithful to send a current family photo, usually taken on one of our adventures of the past year. I trust that a picture really is worth a thousand words.
I’m full of admiration for those who do manage to write a letter every year. I’m sure you’ll agree that the best ones are those that contain a fair reporting of the years events–not just the wonderful stuff but the challenges too. I also like the growing trend to invite the kids to write some or all of the family’s letter. Kid-written epistles give a year’s recap its own flair–and usually a few chuckles as well.
It occurs to me that if you’re among those who make it a faithful habit to pen an annual Christmas letter, you have an almost effortless way to document the landmarks of your family’s story. Simply a save a copy each year for your own files. After a number of years, you’ll have a small book that represents the years’ highlights. Include the same family photos you included with your letters, and voila! Instant family history.
P.S. If you’re not already on it, I would love to add you to my Christmas card mailing list. And may I receive your card too? Drop me a line at email@example.com so that we can swap mailing addresses. I look forward to receiving your letter, card or photo in my mailbox this Christmas!