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?

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