Week Four - Christmas Bliss
27 Extra Extra Read all About It!
Todays post is dedicated to newsletters and Christmas Cards.
It's a past time that unfortunately is not as popular as it once was.
If I know you personally, please don't send me digital Christmas cards, not my favorite and I just think it requires so little effort to send a card. Especically if I send you one... Newsletters are passable because you took the time to write them, and I can print them out. Otherwise, if I only know you via digital media than send those digital cards at your pleasure.
Our first Christmas we used our budget to buy a good tree, decorations were sparse. So I used the Christmas cards that arrived in the branches as decorations. Still one of my favourite décor memories... my personal favourites are sparkly cards, or photo cards which go on the inside doors of my cupboards all year.
I also love handmade cards - though I do not make them myself. I love it when people take the time to write a personal message in each card - that is dedication and sincerity at it's finest.
I love going to the mail box and finding treasures. I wish we could force society to revive the art of letter and card writing...it's so perfectly perfect.
I have written a Holiday Newsletter since our first year of marriage. Mostly because I used to write alot for work. I was responsible for spreading holiday cheer to a giant team of creatively minded people in a church and in a Bible College. I thought then, "why not make this personal?"
It was an easy way to share the little bits people wanted to know to keep "in touch" and equally an opportunity to let people know that I care and encourage them by sharing from my heart even just a little, each year. So I continue to do it.
Every year, I contemplate discontinuing the Heaslip Herald...(not because it's troublesome, but because I guess I think I'm not working in that field with those people any more, and perhaps I am thinking I"m more important to people than I am in reality??
But then again, why bother blogging if that's the case? In light of eternity, I matter to God, so all that I have I am willing to share because...we ALL matter to God.
And every year around the fall, I get little notes via email or phone calls or thru friends of friends that go something like...
"I love getting that Heaslip Herald every year!"
"Can't wait for this years' edition!"
Which essentially is the green light to do another one. It's not hard because I save the template and fill in new information or bit and pieces that come to mind. Some years they are funny, some years they are sentimental, but every year it's heartfelt...and I think that's why people like them.
I also like the benefit of having it for the memory box/book to remind me of the little things I may forget if not for the creative effort to share the news with faraway friends and family (the funny thing is a lot of my nearby friends want them too...well maybe it's not funny, just nice.
Anyways, here are my tips from years of doing this.
1. Keep it simple. You don't need to even write it as a "letter"; though these are nice too. But if the thought of trying to find the right tone and what to include, etc is overwhelming... there are templates you can find for free that do it up like little "articles" - I like this way because I can separate my three boys, have one updated pic of each and it can even be point form.
This is obviously not The Heaslip Herald. I have no idea how to get that image into my blog posts, so I found this one which is an obvious template,
but is a perfect example to illustrate my point.
2. Have an opening note expressing gratitude and perhaps shed light on the kind of year you've had as a family, be honest but let your hope shine (downer letters aren't really fun to write or read). I also think it's nice to reflect on your focus or hope for the upcoming year.
3. Have a "highlights" or year in review section, but keep it brief. Feel free to include new adventures, challenges, etc. that anyone in your family encountered.
4. Don't overdo it with pictures - pic a few of the best and make sure they are big of enough to be enjoyed.
5. Embellish with favourite quotes, verses, comics, etc that you found thought provoking or funny if you like.
6. Have a proofreader. Either your spouse or a friend. Embarrassing typos can be simply avoided by having a fresh set of eyes read it over.
Finally, enjoy the process. If it's just another "do" on your "to Do" list, don't do it. But if you truly enjoy giving and receiving through the mail, then haul out your daytimer (use to remind yourself of what happened in 2011), and a cup of coffee and type away!
*Feel free to send one to me, and I'll send one to you - but please exchange addresses directly via emails not on the blog posts :)