One of my favorite things to do in the spirit of Christmas is to open my mail and see all the beautiful cards and display them around my home. It wasn’t until I had kids of my own that I understood why someone would want to send out a card, much less open a card with a photo of someone else’s kids. Too harsh? But seriously, I just didn’t understand it back then.
One thing I’ve come to love is that good ol’ fashion Christmas letter. You know, the letter that comes and updates you on everyone’s age, awards won, etc etc. Kidding! I loathe those letters. I want to read a letter that has me laughing, crying, crying from laughing so hard and just relating to it, every bit of it. I want to read the letter, tell you I read your letter, laugh about it some more and then go back and re-read it!
How do you accomplish this? Easy. Be yourself!
- Be honest. Was your trip to Florida sunny and did you spend every hour basking in the sun? No? That’s right. It rained the entire time and you sought shelter from a tornado in a TJ Maxx where you coincidentally picked up the perfect Aggie maroon dress.
- Be real. For me that means I’m not going to talk about how fun and easy and blessed we are (you know I’m blessed!) to have three kids. I’m going to tell you that we are outnumbered and that some days, it’s hard. Really hard. So hard that summer months occasionally means bathtime happened in our neighborhood pool and the day was saved by pizza and that we have stock in McDonald’s and they know me by name in the drive thru. Diet Coke is my drug.
- Be positive. Maybe the year wasn’t great. Some years seem downright awful. Don’t dwell on that. (You can apply this to every letter, note, phone call, day…)
- Be mindful. Who are you writing to? Many of my letters go to extended family and clients who turned friends – people who I see occasionally but not often but adore my kids. Those people don’t care about hearing about me or Pete. It’s all about the kids.
Personally, I find that writing our letter each year has me reflecting on the good and the bad. It makes me take a step back and be thankful for it all. Before you begin, take a few moments to look back at last year’s letter. I find that it helps me get in the mood and that the words seem to flow from my fingetips.
But most of all, enjoy it.