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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Write a poem. One year, I did a haiku.
- Give enough time. Start early enough to allow time to create. We are planning on writing each Sunday.
- 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…”
- It doesn’t have to be a long letter. Short and heart-felt wins over lengthy obligation.
- Part of the joy of the letter is looking forward to reading it on Christmas morning, so no peeking.
- Instead of a personal letter to the recipient, write a fictional adventure story with the recipient as the main character.
- Type or handwrite the letter. I prefer children handwriting letters because it is a treasure to see how they grow over the years.
- 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.
- 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.