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Monday, December 2, 2013

How To Write A Happy Holiday Newsletter

Happy Monday! How are your holiday preparations shaping up?

Early last week I posted the following message on Facebook and Twitter:

“So I have all of my Christmas cards addressed... but I fed my kids ramen for dinner and the piles of dirty clothes blocking the laundry room might be a fire hazard.”

That single sentence brought on a lot of belly laughs and inquires as to what type of card I was sending out this year.

I usually purchase approximately 100 Christmas cards the day after Christmas when they are deeply discounted. For some reason I did not do this last year. As we are on a strict budget I put my thinking cap on and thought “I will do a year in review letter!”

There are numerous free holiday newsletter templates available online. My kids loved this one from Better Homes & Gardens.

Long Dog Christmas Letter

Keep reading to see how I altered it.

I have to tell you, I am hooked on holiday newsletters! I used to spend several days signing cards and drafting a letter. I created and printed out the 2013 Gunn family year in review in less than two hours.

I imported the template into word perfect and used various fonts and colors to create a festive and frolic greeting.


I mailed the newsletters off last week and the response from our friends and family has been fantastic!

Here are a few tips when writing your own newsletter.

1. Keep it merry and bright. Think “highlights” avoid “lowlights”.

2. Involve your family. One night at dinner I asked each family member what they wanted their section to say.

3. Be humble. A few lines about each family member are all the average recipient wants to read. Any more and it may come off as boasting.

4. Try to keep it to one page. It makes for easier printing, folding and ultimately reading.

5. Send your newsletter to only those who know your family well. We’re going to send a handmade card to teachers and neighbors.

6. If you opt to include photos remember that just a few are fine. Any more and it becomes an album.

Lastly and most importantly…

7. Make sure you proofread your letter. Spell check is a great tool to use as well.

Here are a few favorite newsletters that inspired me. (Clicking on the image will take you to the original site.)

Sharp Family Year in Review by Amanda Jane Jones

Our greetings were mailed out in red envelopes I found at the Dollar Store and sealed with a bit of green and white striped washi tape. I used these stamps. Is it just me or does The Blessed Mother Mary looks a bit weary this holiday season?

Are you sending out holiday greetings this year?


Today is the last day to enter my annual Black Friday Giveaway.

Linking to:

Between Naps On The Porch , A Stroll Thru Life, Not Just A HousewifeA Bowl Full of Lemons, We Are That Family, Someday Crafts,The 36th Avenue, Craftberry Bush, Stonegable, Jennifer Rizzo, No Minimalist Here, Country Cottage, The Shabby Nest, Imparting Grace, My Romantic Home, Common Ground , The Charm of Home, Tatertots and Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, Under The Table and Dreaming


Karena Albert said...

Beautiful Newsletter Laura,
I love the doxie image, so cute for the holidays.

You are truly a wonder woman, getting through finals is such a challenge, especially with your busy life.

The Arts by Karena

martinealison said...

Bonjour chère amie,

Une très belle manière de souhaiter les voeux...
Une très jolie lettre, bravo !

Gros bisous

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Such a CUTE letter and LOVING the tips!!!!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Such a super idea, love your letter. Hugs, Marty

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Great idea, Laura! Yours is really cute and festive. More importantly, it is cheerful. We all need cheerful right now.



Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

That is a super cute idea Laura.
So many come off as braggy and this one is just right!

Vel Criste said...

Love all these examples Laura, I made ours thru Minted and absolutely am pleased, will share it eventually in the blog, but your ideas are right on target! Thanks!

Lisa said...

Really cute! I love the idea of hitting just the highlights...and of course keepin' it real.

Louise said...

This has given me a whole new perspective. The first year in review Christmas letter I ever received, several years ago was just so "braggy" or at least it seemed to me. It was all we are so wonderful, we are so wonderful, we are so wonderful. I remember thinking wow, these people have a perfect (and wonderful) life. Then of course I found out that they are perfectly normal and not everything was totally amazing in their lives and I then felt that their letter had been insincere. I have had a slight aversion to these types of letters ever since, and have certainly never wanted to write one.
Your letter is different.
You of course focus on the highlights but it comes across as real, not at all braggy. That has been my problem. How to write such a letter that is positive, thankful but doesn't sound like we live in lala fairytale land. Thank you for showing me it can be done! I also really like the templates!

AshTreeCottage said...

I really should write one this year because we have so many changes to share. Thanks for the nudge!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

AshTreeCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lorrie said...

I was glad to get a copy of your newsletter with the earrings. I've done these in the past, but not recently. Maybe it's time again. Lovely examples.

Butterfly 8)(8 Bungalow said...

Yours is cute.

I use to have a nice list, but I cut mine way down. I got tired of sending cards to people who never reciprocate. It sounds like Scrooge, but it is true.

This year I will send under ten.