The Better Christmas Letter

We have approached the time of year that sends many of us to our computers to wax poetic about the joys and tribulations of our family happenings. Yes, it’s time to write the Holiday Form Letter once again.

As my beloved sister can attest, I have never been a big fan of the Holiday Form Letter. I have always felt a bit insulted by it’s lack of a personal touch. After all, should my sister have the same things to say to me and an old college chum that she rarely speaks to? Of course not!

But, I must admit, that when I became a Mother, on top of being a career girl, that the Holiday Form Letter found it’s way into my life, as well. I had to go easier on my sister, once I clearly understood that her teaching schedule, mixed with her duties as a minister’s wife and Mother of 4, left her very little time to sit down and pen personal letters to each and every person on her holiday list.

Still, I was bothered by the idea of the Holiday Form Letter. Yes, I wrote and sent them. I received and read them. But did I enjoy them? No, not really. We should all strive to write a BETTER Holiday Letter! Keep these few simple tips in mind as your write your holiday greetings this year, and, I promise, your recipients will be thankful!


Have a large set of friends and family? How about trying a different letter for each group! That way, you can share only the information that you know would be relevant to your particular audience.


Judith Martin, also known as Miss Manners, says that we should always sign each letter with our own hand. A short personal note and your signature can make a world of difference to the reader. It shows that you have them in mind, instead of just methodically sending off a standard holiday greeting to them.


Only good news should accompany the holidays! If you have sad news, then a personal letter or phone call is much more appropriate.


Everyone may not have had as good of a year as you have. Maybe their kids didn’t make the honor roll, maybe they didn’t get a new car, or a new job. So, even though it’s wonderful to share all of your good news, be sure that you avoid boasting!


Often, envelopes get lost in the hubbub of the season. Make sure that you include contact information, including your current address, phone, and email address, so that your reader has an easy way of getting in touch with you.


Short on time? Send a recent family picture with a short note. Seeing you and your family happy and healthy will surely send a message of cheer! I love to receive new pictures of my far away (and not so far away) family and friends.


Let your letter express your personality. I’ve always thought that letters written in third party were a bit weird! I like to know who I’m speaking with or who’s writing what I’m reading!

Remember, we are sending the Holiday Letter for our readers enjoyment. Read through your letter from the eyes of your audience. Is this a letter that you would enjoy reading at the holidays? If so, you’ve done yourself, and your friends and family, justice. Happy Holidays!

© 2000 Mari Peckham About the Author: Mari Peckham is the President of Peckham Enterprises and webmistress of PowerPromoPlus, your online advertising solution at: To subscribe to her online advertising tips, tools and techniques ezine, Advertise_Online, send any email to: or visit:

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