By Natalie, Contributing Writer
“It’s the MOST wonderful time of the year!” Can you hear the music?
For some of us, it’s time to figure out if we’ll send out Christmas cards, letters, family pictures,or all three. Sending out a Christmas letter doesn’t have to be a chore.
Here are ten creative Christmas letter ideas.
1. Have a child write it.
Even if they are young, a child’s perspective, along with their singular spelling habits, can be quite entertaining. You can type it up when they’re finished, or even better, simply photocopy their letter in their very own handwriting, and it makes a unique snapshot of this time in your family history.
If you have more than one child, have them all participate. With each one writing a paragraph about their experiences the previous year, you’ll have a letter whipped up in no time. Make it even simpler by having each child write one highlight and one low-light of their year.
2. Write the letter TOGETHER with your younger child.
Write a letter with your family highlights, but leave blanks. You can ask your child to fill in the blanks with the words that come into his/her head. These can be pretty funny sometimes. For example:
“In May we added a new family member. He weighed ______ pounds and looked just like ______ when he was born. He loves to ______ and _______ all day long.”
3. Announce that year’s awards for the various family members.
This is not supposed to be pretentious. Be charming. For example:
Pretentious: “The award for the most straight A’s in school AND solos in choir AND Bible verses memorized in Sunday School for 57 months straight goes to the Amazing Wanda.”
Charming: “The award for the most artistic TP job goes to Penelope (2), who carefully decorated the master bathroom AND bedroom 7 times for us this year.”
Notice how one example tells the reader what the little girl DID and makes us want to roll our eyes, while the other example gives the reader a glimpse of what the little girl IS LIKE, as a person. And it makes us smile.
4. Write a poem.
The sky is the limit here. You can be corny and make it rhyme, like Dr. Suess, OR you can make it more free flowing – as if you are writing a serious piece, but of course, you aren’t.
You can also select a famous poem, nursery rhyme, or Christmas song and change the words to tell your own family story.
5. Lay out your letter like a newspaper.
Again, you can have different family members be the different reporters if you want to minimize your own time investment. Otherwise, just select some of that year’s highlights and write a news story for each one.
6. Use an acronym.
Pick “MERRY CHRISTMAS,” or the last name of your family (we did “KLEJWA 2010” one year), or something like “PEACE, JOY, LOVE.” Write the letters down the side of the page and have each one begin a sentence that tells something about your family that year.
Alternatively, you can do a 12 Days of Christmas countdown with each number representing something about your family. For example:
12 puppies born to Rover this spring.
11 bags of poop in our garbage every Saturday.
…and so forth. (That one could really go places, I think.)
7. Write from the perspective of your dog, cat, bird or hamster.
Have you ever listened to Hank the Cow Dog? Oh dearie me. I almost wet my pants listening to Hank. If you ever have the misfortune of needing to be in a vehicle with lots of kids for several hours at a time, I highly recommend taking Hank along. (Make sure you haven’t recently sucked down a Super Slurpy. Just sayin’.)
An added bonus is that you’ll find out how animals think, and then you can write your next Christmas letter from their point of view.
8. Do a “Famous Quotes” letter.
If you already write down the funny things your kids (or your husbands) say, then you’ve got a Christmas letter! They can tell a lot about your family and make for very entertaining reading. (If you don’t already write them down, consider doing it for the following year.)
Not only does this make a great Christmas letter, but these quotes provide endless kicks for the kids when they grow older.
9. Write a Family Recipe.
Makes One Big Batch of Jones’s
“2 Cups of Ballerina: Cleopatra and Geraldine dance the days away in tutus.
1 teaspoon of Temper: Maxwell blew out our eardrums 285 times this year.”
10. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.
See how this adorable picture tells a story? I love that. And the picture at the very top of this post is going to be our “family letter” for 2013. I usually write a letter every other year, and since this is our “in-between” year, we decided to do something different.
What are some creative Christmas letters you’ve either sent out or received?