Here are two holiday traditions we love: Writing our Christmas letter and reading those we receive. Both are great ways to connect with our loved ones during this joyous season. Here’s how we do it, and here’s how YOU can participate in it…
As we receive letters, we tape them to our wall in our home, making quite the conversation piece when people visit.
We begin thinking about our yearly letter over Thanksgiving. The things we share we are thankful for become material for our Christmas letter. This time of the year is a time for us to reflect on blessings God has given us.
We’ve been writing Christmas letters to family and friends since we married. We’ve got a pretty good routine, one that the entire family participates in. Our letter is typically four pages long with plenty of pictures: quite the project! Here’s the checkoff list for what needs to get done.
- Scroll through the photos. We reflect by scrolling through our digital photos. Like most families, we always have a camera with us. The pictures remind us of the year’s busy days.
- Make a chronological list of events. The pictures will remind us of the debate tournaments, vacations, business developments, holidays, births, etc. We make a list of all of them, like a business meeting would brainstorm a list on a whiteboard.
- Choose the best events. Perhaps the top 5-6 events “make the cut.” These are the events that bring the fondest memories from everyone in the family.
- Assign an older child to write the letter. This year, Lydia is up to bat. She’s the Oratory Queen in the family (national contender three years running), so she’s in charge of the big letter.
- Family editing process. Cynthia and Dad are the editors of the family, so we’ll touch it up after Lydia’s done. We then read it to the entire family, get more feedback, etc. Final changes are made to the last draft.
- Update our mailing list. We have nearly 300 people on our list. Updating the list used to be a 1/2 day project, but last year we transferred the list to a Google Spreadsheet. This allowed us to make changes as the year progressed. We will likely not have to do much touch up at all. We export the list into a CSV for easy mail merge.
- Print the letter. We go through our local print shop. We like printing nice color copies, and our friends at the print shop always have a deal this time of the year. Our letter is a 4-page letter that will be tri-folded in a #10 envelope.
- Package and mail. With 300 letters to go out, all hands are on deck. We fold, package, stamp and mail all letters.
No small project, but the Christmas Letter is a way for us to reconnect with our friends and family. When we are writing, we enjoy thinking of how our loved ones will enjoy reading the letter.
Just as exciting is receiving the letters from friends and family–and that includes you! We have another tradition that I will post about later, but here it is in a nutshell: We read every single letter we receive, but not right away. We tape letters we receive all over our wall in our home (pictured above). They are quite the discussion piece when people visit over the busy holiday season. After New Year’s, we read a few letters every day during breakfast through the month of January. It’s our way of reconnecting with our friends and family, too!
Therefore: We would LOVE to receive YOUR Christmas letter! You may either email firstname.lastname@example.org with your letter, or mail to:
c/o Chris & Wendy Jeub
PO Box 3527
Monument, CO 80132
We hope to receive your letter. Letter writing is one way we reconnect with loved ones. I suppose you can say this blog is a way to connect everyday, making everyday Christmas in our home! What ways do you connect with your family?