If you’re anything like me, you haven’t thought (not even once) about writing your holiday letter yet. Or, maybe, you’re someone who never-in-history-of-ever writes holiday letters for friends and family because the thought of reliving the past 11 months makes you want to lay down in traffic.
Today, I want to give you a fresh take on the holiday letter and spread a few tips on how to write one that people actually want to read. The kind of letter that will make your friends & family breathe deep sighs of refreshment and delight. Let me give you few reasons why you should at least consider writing a Holiday letter for your dearest people and a few tips to make yours stand out among the rest (and maybe even become the refrigerator fave). Even if you only post it to Facebook. No judgement. *wink*
Holiday letters aren’t meant to be a brag, though so many of them are. They are meant to send a connective, authentic recap of the year’s blessings and struggles. Some of my favorite letters that I’ve received over the years are ones of struggle and hardship. The kind of letters that say, “This year kinda sucked but I’m still standing and I wanted to share my story with you.” Those letters still resonate with me, not only because of their vulnerable nature but, because they invite me into the lives of my friends and family in a unique way. They are “big picture” letters that share the heart of my friend as they are right now.
I won’t lie… it’s tempting to write a letter that sounds a lot like a highlight reel. Big wins in the family business, a seven-year-old soccer prodigy, a new house, a new marriage, kids off to college or an invitation to the new family cabin.
But, what if, you just got real? What if you ditched the highlight reel for good, this year, and sent a letter that told the real story? Your story.
For newlyweds, maybe you write the struggles & triumphs of a first year of marriage. Talk about that ridiculous argument you had over where to eat for dinner and what it taught you about your new level of partnership. Talk about how you’ve finally compromised on the perfect grounds-to-water ratio for your morning coffee. Share the moments that seem too small because those are the ones that are the gift of an invitation. An invitation for your friends and family to know your story and not just your highlight reel.
For entrepreneurs, write about the struggles of owning a business. Share your wins and courageously share your fails. Find a connection point or make a metaphor out of what you’ve learned through a tough, or maybe particularly profitable, year.
For new parents, try writing about the time you searched high and low for the missing sock only to find it (three hours later) in the cupboard next to the peanut butter. True story. It’s mine but you can use it if you’d like. *wink*
Don’t know how to actually write your letter? Try using three stories from your year:
- Of tough stuff
- Of laughter
- Of hope (even if it’s another tough stuff story).
Letter Writing Tips
Don’t sweat transitions between paragraphs or eloquent language. Write like you speak – in your most authentic voice.
And my biggest tip? Ask for a reply! Even if it’s a Facebook comment, ask your people to engage with you. Ask for their stories. Give them the space to share their tough stuff with you. You’ll be amazed at the magic waiting for you in your inbox (or maybe even your snail mail box!)
Happy letter-writing and happy holidays, Friends!
PS: If you find your brave to write the story of your heart and your life this year, would you share it with me? I’d love to read along and maybe even share some of my own. Pass me a note at Dearest Olive Studio .