It's early to be thinking about Christmas, but I have to admit I'm looking forward to some cooler weather. Along with cooler weather comes the holidays and the dreaded Christmas card. I was raised to always write a personal note in each of my cards. I remember my mother opening cards from friends she hadn't talked to in ages only to find a Hallmark greeting inside with a signed name. Sometimes there was a typed note inside. Not really a note, but a bragging list of all that family had accomplished over the year. If during the holidays you don't have time to reach out and send a personal note or thought to your loved ones, than maybe your missing the whole point of the holiday altogether was my thinking.
But now I'm grown and I realize that there are a lot of people on your list you want to wish a Merry Christmas to. People that you don't get to talk to on a regular basis, but would love to catch up with. I began to see the Christmas letter not so much as evil, but as a form of desperate communication. I still cringe when I read a bragging list of accomplishments, etc., etc. So it has became a challenge for me to write creative Christmas cards. Cards that let people know what we are up to, what we have done, but didn't ooze "look at how great I am". Honestly, I just have a lot of fun whenever I get to write and this is just another excuse.
I just found our card from a couple of years ago. I used the format of The Christmas Carol, with Ghost of Christmas Past, Present and Future. I've written poems, used scripture to tell our story, even interviews of the family. I love to write like this because not only am I getting my creative juices flowing, I'm writing a living history of sorts. One that won't ever be published, but one that will be read and cherished by my family and friends.
Which leads me to a question. Do you put your writing skills to use outside of the project you are working on? And I have to know, what are your thoughts on the Holiday Letter?