Are you tired of dry, boring and braggy family Christmas letters? I will never forget the most real and creative family Christmas letter when a friend announced her divorce.
Many of the single moms and dads I’ve talked to tell me that the first year after their break up it is really hard to write the family Christmas letter. Many of us just don’t write a Christmas letter the first year, some of us send out cards and others it takes years if we ever get back to sending out Christmas cards and writing a Christmas letter.
Most Creative Christmas Letter Ever
One year I got a Christmas letter that shattered my expectations of a sweet family Christmas letter. It started out as expected. I opened her Christmas letter and saw a lovely picture of her happy smiling family. Then I turned to her letter. The headings were the good, the bad the ugly.
The good started out with all her family’s expected wins. She talked about the wonderful vacation where the picture was taken, her daughters gymnastic accomplishments, her son’s hockey wins, her thriving career and her husband’s promotion.
Then her letter got real. The bad news was my husband has taken a job and relocated.
Then she shared the ugly news. Things just didn’t feel right to me and after considering several strange occurrences I knew my life was not what I thought it was. So when he said he would be gone on a work trip for several days I hired a private investigator. I decided to file for divorce when the investigator sent me a picture of my husband with his mistress young enough to be our daughter. They were quite surprised when the PI introduced himself.
I was shocked. She later confessed that only about 3 of us got this Christmas letter. The rest of her Christmas list got a more normal version. She had a way of telling the story that made me laugh, cry and reach out to offer her support.
You don’t have to be that real, but it was a refreshing change of pace.
Creative Family Christmas Letter Ideas
1. The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
You don’t have to be quite as real as my friend, but even a little bad and ugly is more real-life than everything sounding like your life is rainbows and unicorns.
2. Monthly Highlights
One place we lived we got to know a family who had made their acreage into a virtual nature preserve. Along with the highlights of what the kids were doing, they included the first snow and different birds and animals they saw each month. Their Christmas letter was like a little piece of that place coming to visit when we got it.
3. Top 10 List
This keeps the letter short and lets you share the highlights without being too wordy.
4. Family Favorites
I have a friend who used to share each family members favorite food, favorite book, and favorite activity. It was fun to see how the kids’ favorites things changed as they grew up. I stole this idea for a few years. It was a way to share the kid’s personalities with my extended family who lives far away.
5. Written by the Family Cat, Dog or Fish
I think this could be really a fun creative way to share what is going on in your family.
6. Written by New Baby or Toddler
I did the kids’ birth announcements this way. My oldest spent his first 6 1/2 weeks in the NICU so he wrote a letter when he got home telling about how harrowing his first 6 weeks were and how glad he was to finally be home. When his brother arrived I wrote the letter from his 2 1/2 year old perspective.
It would be fun to write a Christmas letter from the perspective of a baby trying to figure out his new family or a toddler being promised a brother to play with, but all he does is eat, cry and take up all of mom and dad’s time.
7. Written by Your Teenager
I loved the Christmas letter I got from a friend’s teenage daughter that started with how busy her mom and dad were and because of that if the Christmas letter was going to get out this year the job fell to her. She filled us in on her life and almost as an afterthought mentions what her brother has been up to.
8. A Rhyming Poem
I think this is a lovely idea and I have a friend who does a lengthy poem in the style of the Night Before Christmas every year about all her family’s accomplishments. We all look forward to reading her creation. Honestly, I am no good at poetry so this will never be my choice, but it is creative.
9. Christmas Shape
You could do your Christmas letter with bullet points and made it in the shape of a tree, star or snowman.
10. Pictures with captions
If you have some fun pictures of the year try a photo collage with captions. A picture really can be worth a thousand words.
Best Tips for Meaningful Family Christmas Letters
Include a photo family extended family and friends from the past enjoy seeing how the children are growing. I have an in-town friend whose daughter-in-law is starting a photography business and she has the most lovely family pictures on her Christmas cards with her kids and grandkids. I always love it.
We all love to see a photo of the kids, but share photos sparingly so that they fit on one page and are large enough your friends and family can actually identify your children in the photos. Four carefully selected photos with captions says way more than 30 tiny photos where I need a magnifying glass to identify people.
Keep your letter short about a page long. Everyone is busy at Christmas. Do something a little out of the ordinary or unexpected like one of the ideas above. I’d love to hear about a creative family Christmas letter you’ve received or sent.
Use special stationery like this to make your letter extra festive.
Speaking of Christmas have your tired a Christmas light scavenger hunt?
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