Help! How do I write a holiday newsletter?

The holiday hustle is officially on. And “write the family holiday newsletter” is glaring at you from the top of your “to-do” list. Relatives near and far love to receive your family newsletter every year. But it takes a good amount of time and commitment to sit down and pull it all together doesn’t it?

Victorian brass letterbox

Here are five tips to get your holiday creativity humming:

  1. Consider your audience. I know, I lead off with this one a lot. That’s because this is probably the single most important tip for any kind of writing you do. You’re not writing a brag book or a year in review. The goal here is to help make others feel closer to your family.  Think about who will be receiving the letter. If they were sitting across the kitchen table from you, what would the conversation be about? Pick out some of these topics so you can create an experience for your readers.
  2. Enlist the help of your family. What does your husband or wife want to say? Your kids? You may want to talk about how little Sophie started kindergarten this year. Sophie on the other hand won’t stop talking about the town fair. Let her talk about the highlight of her year, and capture it in her own words.
  3. Keep it brief. Family is a naturally favorite topic for many of us. Let’s be honest with ourselves for just a quick second though. Sometimes going on and on (and on) about our family can get a little boring for the person listening or reading on the other end. A holiday newsletter that’s thoughtful, charming,  humorous and BRIEF will be more memorable than pages upon pages about the minutiae of our lives. General rule of thumb? Try to keep it to about a page to a page and a half.
  4. Have fun. Write from your heart. Use your own voice. Don’t use a letter writing template that strips out all the personality. No one is grading you on your letter so just let ‘er rip.
  5. Get a second opinion. Or third, fourth, fifth. Gather up the family and read your letter out loud. Then let them each read it to themselves. Ask them if they want to change any items that reference them. Also enlist them as your personal proofreaders too. You don’t want to run the risk of embarrassing the whole family with a misspelled word.

Now I’m off to write my own holiday letter. Wish me luck!

P.S. Already have your holiday letter written? I’m happy to give it a FREE critique (I’ll be nice, I promise), and I’ll proofread it too. My gift to you.

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