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Creative Christmas Letter Ideas

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Christmas Letter Ideas That Will Add the Jolly to your Holly Jolly Holiday Update

Do you dread writing your annual Christmas letter? Is it a chore to put words to paper? Then forget everything you learned in high school about writing and just have fun! these creative Christmas letter ideas will help you break out of the humdrum holiday mold and create a letter you'll have fun writing and your recipients will have fun reading.

(Image of Christmas letter paper from Zazzle)

Who says a family Christmas letter has to be a letter? Here are some creative Christmas letter ideas to help you create a holiday update that everyone will enjoy reading.

1. Christmas Newsletter - If detailing your entire year in one long letter seems too daunting, think of a few major events and write a short summary of each one to create a personal newsletter. You can use programs such as Microsoft Publisher to format your Christmas newsletter into a fun update, or try using a ready-made Christmas letter template.

2. Multiple choice quiz or crossword puzzle - What did your son do in the school talent contest this year? How many colors did you look at before you decided to paint the kitchen walls a light blue? Keep your readers guessing by putting together a quiz or crossword puzzle that gives highlights from your year. You can find free online programs to help you with the formatting.

3. Christmas story - If you enjoy creative writing, create a story that weaves the events of your year into a Christmas-themed narrative. For some people, writing a short story is easier than writing a narrative letter.

4. Christmas Slideshow - If you have a digital camera and a CD burner, consider making a slideshow CD to include with your Christmas card instead of a letter. Simply select a favorite song or a Christmas carol and add photos for a fun way to share images of your year. Services such as Shutterfly make it easy to create your photo show, or use an online digital scrapbooking service such as Smilebox.

5. Photo Layout - If writing isn't your strength, skip the Christmas letter all together and send family and friends a page of photos printed from your computer. Make the photos different shapes and sizes and use captions to tell about things that happened to your family throughout the year.

6. Top 10 list - What are the 10 most important things that happened to your family this year? How about the most humorous? Or most unbelievable? A top 10 list can be a fun and easy way to describe your family's year. Think David Letterman and you'll be on your way.

7. C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S spells Christmas - Eddy Arnold's 1961 song that gives a meaning for each letter of the word "Christmas" is a great example of how to turn a single word into a story. What did those letters mean to your family this year? C is for a trip to California? H is for the new house you bought? Use the letters of a Christmas-related word or phrase to create a Christmas letter people will be sure to remember.

8. Guest Author - How would your five-year-old child describe the year? Try writing your letter from the perspective of your child, another family member, your new neighbors, a pet, or any other person that could give your letter a fresh new outlook.

Let your imagination run wild! There are plenty of other creative ways to write your Christmas letter. Once you stop thinking about all the rules of letter writing and instead focus on having fun and telling your story, you'll be on your way to a great creative Christmas letter that will be fun for you to create and for others to read (or watch, or otherwise enjoy!).

Integrate Your Christmas Letter with Your Holiday Cards

There's no need to print and stuff separate sheets of paper into these holiday cards. You can include your Christmas letter right in these cards.

Photo Blocks and StripesCHECK PRICE

Photo Collage Holiday CardsCHECK PRICE

Creative Storybook Holiday CardCHECK PRICE

Candy Cane NewsletterCHECK PRICE

Merry Year NewsletterCHECK PRICE

North Pole NewsletterCHECK PRICE

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Personalized Postage Stamps for Your Christmas Letter

Adding personalized USPS postage stamps is another great way to have fun with your holiday cards and letters. Here are a few of the options you can customize online at Zazzle.

Personalized Ink Stamps for Your Christmas Letters

Make a mark with these self-inking stamps

Another way to add a personal touch to your Christmas letters is to stamp a personal message either on the letter itself or on the outer envelope. You can buy inexpensive rubber stamps depicting holiday images, or if you want to splurge, you can get a customized self-inking stamp with your choice of image and your own personalized text. Expressionery carries a nice selection, including stamps with candy canes, snowflakes, Christmas trees, reindeer, and messages such as "Peace on Earth." You can use the outer ring of the stamp to include your return address, or you can create a custom message such as "Happy Holidays from the Smith Family" or "Merry Christmas from John, Sue and Bobby Smith."

(Image of self-inking Christmas stamp provided by Expressionery)

More Ideas for Creative Christmas Letters - Need more ideas?

There's more to writing a great Christmas letter than choosing the right Christmas letterhead paper designs. This book will give you dozens of great ideas for years to come.

You might know JibJab as the creative force behind the popular Elf Yourself site. But that's not all they do. They also make a fun selection of holiday ecards Starring You!. It only takes a few minutes to personalize a card, and they're lots of fun.

If all your friends and family have kept up with you on Facebook and you don't need to send a whole letter to summarize your year, one of these fun cards might be a great alternative!

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Do You Have Creative Christmas Letter Ideas You'd Like to Share?

Kristen from Boston on October 10, 2012:

Great Christmas letter ideas. I love the idea of doing it in the format of a quiz. Makes it more fun for the reader.

shandigp on December 11, 2011:

actually, just bold. :) If I make a letter using any of your ideas I'll send you a copy to use as an example.

shandigp on December 11, 2011:

Great Christmas letter (and all family-type letters) ideas!

I think making the letter idea names bold (e.g. 5. Photo Layout -) or even breaking them out into individual modules would make each idea more important, less easy to skip over, and easier to read. Thanks for this lens. *blessed*

starzraven on November 27, 2011:

nice! :)

Joy Neasley from Nashville, TN on December 24, 2010:

great ideas. Thanks.

Gamganny on October 07, 2010:

Great Ideas for Christmas Letters.

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