Hello Christmas
Guideposts|December /January 2021
PEOPLE HAVE A LOVE-hate relationship with Christmas letters. I’m a lifelong letter writer, and even I struggle to hit the right note—newsy, fun, filled with holiday spirit but not bragging or full of details that no one cares about.
LISA BOGART, San Rafael, California
This year, the struggle is off the charts. Who has good news to share at the end of one of the hardest years of our lives? I lost an uncle, friends were diagnosed with Covid, my son moved away, and my husband and I holed up in our house for months. For a social person like me, whose favorite part of the day is time spent with friends and loved ones, life felt on hold.

No Christmas letter? Quite the opposite! This year, I need to write a Christmas letter. I encourage you to write one too. Christmas letters are a gift of hope. And what could the world use more of now than the hope of Christmas?

I sent my first Christmas letter in my early twenties and, with a few exceptions, have sent one every year since. Even if you’ve never sent a holiday letter in your life, and even if you think you have no artistic talent, trust me, you can do this. Let’s make this year’s Christmas letter a highlight of the season. Here’s how:

1 Let it all hang out.

No vacation? No graduation? Day after day spent at home? What news does anyone have to share this year? Plenty! Okay, so you didn’t take that long-awaited trip to Greece. That doesn’t mean 2020 wasn’t full of accomplishments.

Write about the fabulous loaves of bread you baked. The harvest from your garden. The knitting project you started. Your new daily yoga practice. How about the 100 Sudokus you completed? Or how you managed to juggle working from home and wrangling kids? Now is the time to share and laugh at your epic fails. You’ve had adventures just getting your groceries!

2 Embrace the strangeness.

With travel and big family gatherings hard to pull off, this Christmas will be different. Why not write about some of the creative ways you plan to celebrate the holiday?

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM GUIDEPOSTSView All

Rock Steady

A World War II veteran gravely ill with Covid-19, an Army social worker on his first deployment and the relationship they forged

9 mins read
Guideposts
December /January 2021

Love's Pure Light

Ease back in front of the fire and let the singer from Checotah tell you about the gift we can all give at Christmas

7 mins read
Guideposts
December /January 2021

KEEPING THE FAITH

TY’ANN BROWN, Vice President, Ministries

2 mins read
Guideposts
December /January 2021

Sandwich Generation Blues

First my daughter and her husband had to move in. Then my mother-in-law. So much for my empty nest

9 mins read
Guideposts
December /January 2021

I'll never forget you…Grandma Honeybunch

EVERY WEDNESDAY WHEN I WAS 16, I’d change into a nice button-down and my best jeans after school. Then I’d ride my bike on the path between our house and my grandmother’s outside Meadville, Pennsylvania. Exactly at four, Grandma Honeybunch— we always called her that, though I don’t know why except that it fit her sweetness—would pull her dark green Dodge Stratus sedan into the dirt driveway.

3 mins read
Guideposts
December /January 2021

Hello Christmas

PEOPLE HAVE A LOVE-hate relationship with Christmas letters. I’m a lifelong letter writer, and even I struggle to hit the right note—newsy, fun, filled with holiday spirit but not bragging or full of details that no one cares about.

5 mins read
Guideposts
December /January 2021

Grieving Shirley

It was his first Christmas in 58 years without his wife. Author Cecil Murphey shares how he faced his loss

8 mins read
Guideposts
December /January 2021

Emilie's Light

The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary eight years ago was one of the saddest events we have ever covered. Yet as her story from 2017 shows, this mother of a young victim found hope and healing

8 mins read
Guideposts
December /January 2021

Faith in Food

The acclaimed food writer gives tips to make this difficult holiday season joyous

6 mins read
Guideposts
December /January 2021

SOMEONE CARES PASS IT ON

SIMPLY THE BEST The first few months of the Covid-19 pandemic got my husband, Kevin, and me down. We slipped into the habit of saying “That’s the worst” whenever we heard an alarming news report or encountered a rude person. Griping only added to our unhappiness.

2 mins read
Guideposts
November 2020
RELATED STORIES

CALLS TO REOPEN CLASSROOMS GROW AS TEACHERS GET VACCINATED

State leaders around the U.S. are increasingly pushing for schools to reopen this winter — pressuring them, even — as teachers begin to gain access to the vaccine against the raging pandemic.

5 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #481

Liz “Snorkel” Thomas HIKING ICON

Thomas has thru-hiked more than 20 long trails, including the Pacific Crest, Continental Divide and Appalachian Trails (the Triple Crown). On top of that, she set a fastest known time on the AT for an unsupported woman and has completed dozens of urban thru-hikes as well. This issue, she joins Backpacker as a contributing editor. Here’s some of Thomas’s best advice and insight fed by more than 20,000 trail miles.

2 mins read
Backpacker
January - February 2021

love conquers all

AMBER CLAIRE HUDDLESTON & GRIFFIN LOUIS BROWN MAY 9, 2020 • WEST POINT

4 mins read
Mississippi Magazine
January - February 2021

BULLETS, BEANS, AND BINKIES

A Recon Marine’s Assessment of One Family’s COVID Bugout

10 mins read
OFFGRID
Issue 41

A NOSE FOR COVID-19

Central Florida Company Trains Canines to Detect Virus

3 mins read
Central Florida Health News
January 2021

A DIAGNOSIS OF CHARLOTTE'S COVID ECONOMY

Business Alliance digests data that illustrates how virus has swamped commerce

3 mins read
Charlotte Magazine
December 2020

DISCONNECTION

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools have increasingly segregated along racial and class lines since a federal judge’s 1999 ruling ended a successful, 28-year desegregation program. The COVID lockdown of schools has hurt everybody in the system—and widened the gap between its haves and have-nots

10+ mins read
Charlotte Magazine
January 2021

Goodbye 2020 Hello 2021!

A writing “round robin” by Cat Talk staffers Teresa Keiger, Jean Aldrich, Lucy Drury, and Iris Zinck

6 mins read
Cat Talk
December 2020

REMOTE WORKING: VIRUS ENCOURAGES BUSINESSES TO THINK DIFFERENTLY

With the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak forcing governments to close schools, sporting events, communal spaces and more, businesses are taking the situation into their own hands, encouraging their staff to work from home.

6 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #479 *Special Edition

Back To School: Return To The Classroom Safely

Five months on from the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and policymakers and public health officials have decided it’s time to return to the classroom. Around the world, schools and colleges are preparing for a new semester, and though environments may be different, one thing is clear: teachers and students will be depending on technology more than ever.

7 mins read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #479 *Special Edition