As a child, one of the highlights of Christmas was receiving all the Christmas cards and letters from friends near and far. We’d keep the letters in a basket, string the cards around our living room, and put the family pictures on the refrigerator.
Sometimes, the Christmas letter was our only real communication with friends from our past. But it kept us up on their lives and gave us a small sense of connection, even though our paths had drifted apart.
It was always exciting to hear of marriages, babies, grandchildren, trips, new jobs, and exciting adventures. It was fun to see how the family pictures changed over the years. And it was always somewhat of a thrill to see how many strings of cards we’d be able to hang up.
Many people opt not to send Christmas cards or letters any more. There are many valid reasons given: “We’re too busy living life to take the time to write about it.” “We can’t afford to mail cards since postage has gone up so much.” Or maybe, “We didn’t get a decent family picture.”
I definitely think that Christmas cards and letters are an optional aspect of Christmas and I totally respect people who have chosen not to send cards in order to keep Christmas simple. That said, I think that we’ve become so used to texting and Facebooking and emailing, that sometimes we forget the joy of sending and receiving real physical mail via the postal service.
Creative Christmas Letter Ideas
If the thought of writing a detailed letter is overwhelming to you, here are some creative Christmas letter ideas:
Put together a Top 10 list from the past year.
Make a graph of some interesting facts from the past year.
Create a newspaper-style letter with short stories and tidbits from the past year.
Other Simple and Inexpensive Ideas
If you’ve decided that sending a Christmas letter isn’t your thing or mailing out a lot of cards or letters is outside your budget, here are some other ideas:
::Send photo cards.
We’ve skipped sending a letter for the past few years, but we have sent out photo cards. It’s a very simple way to send a Christmas greeting and share pictures of our family with dear friends and those we don’t get to see often. Plus, with deals like the one available from SeeHere (20 photo cards for $1.49 shipped!), creating photo cards can be very inexpensive!
::Send out your letter as a PDF via email.
Can’t afford to mail your letter? It’s perfectly okay to send it out as a PDF attachment via email. Be sure to include some sort of teaser in the email you send out so that people will be sure to open the attachment and read the letter!
::Post your Christmas card on Facebook.
Jenae’s family decided to post their Christmas picture/card on Facebook this year in lieu of sending out a Christmas card. This might not work for everyone–especially if most of your recipients are not on Facebook–but it’s definitely an inexpensive option!
Do you send out a Christmas card or letter or do some sort of creative alternative? I’d love to hear what works for your family!
1. Decide whether or not you are sending out a Christmas card or letter this year.
2. If you decide to send out something, get it created or written sometime in the next 48 hours.
3. Create your address list (if you’re mailing cards) or the email list (if you’re emailing out your card/letter) and save it in a file to have next year. (I did not set up an address list on the computer until this past year and it’s been a lifesaver to have all the addresses in one place and a place to file new addresses as I collect them. Believe me, the whole scraps of paper thing wasn’t working too well!)
4. Mail or email your cards out by the end of this week so that they will arrive before Christmas.