Dec 05 2012

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A Christmas Letter Gift with 10 ideas to make it easier

A Christmas Letter Gift

Every year, our family writes a letter to each member within our immediate family–parent to child, child to parent, spouse to spouse, sibling to sibling. There are six of us ages 3 to 40. That means each of us receives and writes 5 letters.

Once the letter was written, we placed them into our respective stockings to open on Christmas morning.

It is the gift I most look forward to opening. We all look forward to reading our gifts as well as seeing our letters being read. It is a tradition I hope we continue.

Each year, we set aside some evenings to write our letters. This year, we started on Sunday night. I didn’t finish one letter, but I am ahead of my tradition of writing all my letters on Christmas Eve.

Here are some suggestions if you are considering doing a Christmas letter gift in your family:

  1. Print a picture and write a note on behalf of a baby or toddler too little to write his or her own. Print pictures that have a picture of the baby with the recipient.
  2. Have young children draw a picture and dictate a message. He or she can tell you what the picture is and what words he/she wants to written.
  3. Write a poem. One year, I did a haiku.
  4. Give enough time. Start early enough to allow time to create. We are planning on writing each Sunday.
  5. Children may need some prompts to help them write: a favorite memory together, a compliment, a blessing and hope for the new year. Provide some sentence starters: “I am thankful for…, I remember when we…”
  6. It doesn’t have to be a long letter. Short and heart-felt wins over lengthy obligation.
  7. Part of the joy of the letter is looking forward to reading it on Christmas morning, so no peeking.
  8. Instead of a personal letter to the recipient, write a fictional adventure story with the recipient as the main character.
  9. Type or handwrite the letter. I prefer children handwriting letters because it is a treasure to see how they grow over the years.
  10. Allow children to write without correcting word choice or spelling (unless the child requests it). Like the handwriting, it is fun to see the progress–and it is super cute.
  11. Bonus: Play Christmas music in the background. It adds to the ambiance.

I hope this gets the creative juices flowing. It may be the beginning of a favorite Christmas tradition.

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