Letters are great to bring in the holiday cheer. I am going to provide you with six quick tips and a sample holiday letter to help you get the jingle bells rolling!
- Think of puppies and kittens: Try to start out on a positive, uplifting note. Avoid openers like: "Wow, I can't believe that this year is over" or "We haven't spoken in so long." These lines sound a bit trite and don't have the bang to get your reader's attention. perhaps start off with something like: "It's been a wonderful and busy year full of many blessing and lots of happiness."
- Size matters: Keep your letters short and to the point. Focus on two to three exciting moments your year has brought you. For example: maybe you have a new baby in the family, you got a promoted at work, or you traveled to an exotic destination. Just make sure your not showing off! You can limit bragging in writing by removing too many instances of "I" from your writing. For example: "Our new addition to our family was a true blessing and we appreciate all your warm wishes."
- Wear your own voice: Avoid writing in a voice that isn't you! Your family and friends want to hear from you and not some...well...editor. Write how you talk by incorporating phrases that are common to you.
- Letters don't fit all: Think about your audience. Are you sending your holiday letter to family only or are you also including your office? Whatever the case may be, be sure to use "identifiers," meaning make sure you reiterate/remind your connection with the people you are sending your letter. For example, "Maggie is happy in her new setting this year," can be very confusing to people who don't remember her. Try this instead: "Our mother, Maggie, is happier in her assisted living home, now."
- Resist the urge to be font happy: Choose one font and stick with it. You may also want to choose a font that is readable. There is nothing worse than receiving correspondence that is difficult to read.
- Photos are forever: I love to seal a holiday letter with a photo, but remember, pick your photo wisely. Make sure your photos are cropped correctly and that they are not pixelated.
Click HERE for a sample holiday by Ami Peltier!
For more questions on holiday writing, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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