How to Write Holiday Cards and Newsletters
It’s not easy to sit down and write out heartfelt messages. That’s why so many would prefer just to buy a greeting card with the message already written down in it. It might take a minute, but you can often find one that’s seemingly perfect. Besides, writing is a lot of pressure. That blank, white card or piece of paper is just staring at you. What to do? Don’t panic! Here are some helpful tips for how to write holiday cards and newsletters so people will read and enjoy them.
Personalize each message.
Who is on your list to receive holiday cards and newsletters? Take a moment and think of each one before you get started on their card.
What have they been up to this past year? If you’re unsure, or can’t remember, take a look at their social media profiles. Scan through old text messages or emails.
When you’re writing to them, feel free to mention any big things that have occurred in your life this past year. For sure, write about happy moments like weddings, graduations, or other lifecycle events.
But also ask specific questions about them. Mention their new grandchild or a trip they took. This shows you’ve been paying attention to their lives as well. It makes people feel important.
Pick out festive, friendly holiday-themed stationery.
If you’re going to write a newsletter and include it in the envelope with a holiday card, consider the paper you’re going to use. Online or in-person, shop a wide variety of themes and stationary to use for newsletters. There are millions of templates available that will add a festive flavor to your words.
You could even make your own holiday theme, or border. Many computer programs allow you to peruse their templates, edit and download for free. Use it on plain paper (or colored stock) for something truly original.
Most of the holiday card, and definitely the signature, should be in your own handwriting. The card seems more personal and meaningful with your handwritten messages and signature.
But a newsletter can definitely be done on the computer. Choose an easy-to-read font. And large letters for older loved ones who might have trouble reading small print.
Consider sending a picture on the front.
People love the pictures on holiday cards. They can be posed or candid shots. Professional sittings or taken with your smartphone.
Take a selfie. Or you can include a partner, kids, and pets.
These pictures can be heartfelt, or funny. Serious or smiling.
Some people would rather choose two or three from the year and use those for a holiday collage. Especially if there is a new addition to your family or you did something memorable.
There are no rules! Except make sure it’s appropriate for all audiences.
Keep it light. The world is a weary place these days for so many people. The holiday season is a good time to spread hope with your holiday cards and newsletters.
Use humor where you can. Poking gentle fun at oneself can prevent a newsletter of good news from appearing to brag. It can also keep a mention of minor setbacks from bringing people down.
Funny words always make a holiday newsletter easier to read.
Above all, remember to wish people good cheer. Let them know you love them and hope for a happy new year.
Include your favorite holiday dish or cocktail recipe.
If you can’t remember what details to include from this year, review a journal. Your bank statements can trigger memories of what you’ve spent your money on, especially trips or vacations. Check your social media accounts as well.
Play around with formats when writing your newsletter. Of course, it can be written in a traditional style, but you can also write it as:
- the front page of a newspaper.
- a travel itinerary.
- a script.
- a funny blog post.
Your new year’s resolution can be to keep better track of funny things your kids say throughout the year. Jot them down in a diary or on your phone. Then they can be included in next year’s newsletter!
Choose a paper color other than white for a festive touch.
If you go with white, buy holiday stickers to put in the margins or envelopes. There are also Chanukah and Kwanzaa stickers you can include.
Let your children read the newsletter before it goes out. This is especially important if you mention them at all. They might not find your yearly review as hilarious as you do. Kids sometimes get embarrassed. Seek out their permission before you tell their stories.
Send holiday cards to everyone on your list. But only send longer newsletters to people who are personal friends or family members. Others, like business associates, might get annoyed.
Use first names if you’re close with each other. Business associates or religious leaders require a more formal tone.
Tips for e-cards
Use only a reputable, trusted website for e-cards. You don’t want anyone hacked or spammed. That’s kind of a damper on what should otherwise be merry wishes.
Ensure your message and graphics don’t take a long time to download. Many older folks have slow connections. They might not be able to view something that doesn’t load quickly.
Choose an e-card that allows the recipient to save the message. That’s one of the things people like best about more traditional holiday cards.
Email to each person individually, especially in families. That way, you can guarantee that the whole gang sees it.
Avoid common grammatical errors such as…
“Season’s Greetings” not “Seasons Greetings.”
“Happy Holidays” not “Happy Holiday’s.”
“The Anderson Family” or “The Andersons” not “The Anderson’s” on the envelope.
“Dear Aunt Alice, Uncle John, and Mary” or “Dear Aunt Alice, Uncle John and Mary” – the oxford comma is your choice.
“It’s” is only acceptable when you’re shorting “it has” or “it is.” Otherwise it’s its.
“Christmas” not “X-mas.”
“Happy New Year” or “New Year’s Eve.”