Yes, Virginia, You Can Write a Christmas Letter: Tips & Ideas for Writing

There is nothing like writing a family Christmas letter that strikes fear into the heart of a reluctant writer. Most would rather just slide the cute family photo into the envelope and call it good. I confess, I have failed to write a Christmas letter more times than not.

But before you seal those envelopes, I’d like to encourage you in this — a Christmas letter can be more than an update to friends and family. It can be a thoughtful and fun reflection to enjoy for years to come.  


For most of us, the last time we sat down to write anything longer than a text message was during high school or college. We forget that the act of writing – even for those who claim not to write well – can be more worthwhile than you think. Writing can be therapeutic, encouraging, eye-opening, and a keepsake for years to come.

Someday, you’ll stumble across your old Christmas letter and smile. You’ll get a glimpse of what life was like in the midst of raising kids. Your grown children will also love reading your perspective on their childhood years. 

Writing your Christmas letter also gives you the gift of taking a thoughtful look at your year. What was hard? What was hilarious? What was beautiful? Thinking over these questions allows us to sort through the events of our lives instead of barging forward into the next year like an overtired toddler at the Chick-fil-A playplace.

Have I convinced you yet?

Here’s my advice if you’re writing a Christmas letter for the first time:

Keep it brief.

You may be tempted to recount every event from the year, but you’ll overwhelm your friends and families with pages and pages of 8 point font. The front side of a single sheet of paper is plenty.  Instead, save the long version for your immediate family to enjoy.

Avoid the mystery author.

Many times I’ll read a Christmas letter and say, “Who wrote this?” The letter reads as though some mysterious freelance writer stopped by to write your family’s news.

“Gerald celebrated his fifth year at the Raisinet factory, while Janet started her own amateur Wiffleball league.”  

Instead, write, “My husband, Gerald celebrated his fifth year at the Raisinet factory, while I started my own amateur Wiffleball league.”

Now, if you’re still totally intimidated by the thought of sitting down to write, here are a five easy approaches to get you started:

5 Fun and Easy Christmas Letter Ideas:

1. Acrostic

Take the letters of your family’s last name and list them vertically down the page. Then think of one bit of news you can share that begins with each letter.

2. By the Numbers

Think of your year in terms of numbers, and then include a short description below each number.

412 school pick-ups.

With kids in ninth and third grade, it’s hard to believe my days as the family Uber driver are limited.

18 basketball games.

Christopher played point guard for the team this year.  

13 Hallmark Christmas movies.

I’ll take a happy ending any day.

1 thankful family.

We wish you and yours a very merry Christmas this year!

You’ll be surprised how creatively you can share about your family through numbers.

3. Life in pictures

Choose a photo from each month that represents it well. Then put a small caption under each photo and organize them on a single sheet of paper.

(Side note: Last year at the office supply store, I saw a woman with at least 40 pictures she hoped to cram onto a single sheet of Christmas stationery!)

4. “Best of ” List

 Not up for sharing many life updates this year? Write a unique “Best of” list in your letter by brainstorming with the rest of the family your recommendations from the year: Some ideas include:

  • Movie
  • Song
  • Game
  • Restaurant
  • Life Hack
  • 2018 Memory
  • Playground
  • Recipe
  • Place We Visited
  • Bible verse
  • Anything else you think of!

5. Personalized Haiku

This one’s for the aspiring poets… ask each family member to write a haiku representing their year for you letter. It will be a fun exercise and get the creativity flowing!  Then, pair their photo with their haiku.. This could be one from the family dog:

Dog years say I’m old.  

What do they know? Spry and fun.

I can still play ball.

Good luck and enjoy writing! 

Make sure you never miss out on a parenting or community-related blog postsign up to receive CRMB posts in your inbox.  While you’re at it, join our VIP List to ensure you’re one of the first to know about upcoming Cedar Rapids Moms Blog events and promotions!!


Leprechaun Hat S’mores

For St. Patrick's Day, a fun and kid-friendly treat that combines both the festive spirit and a touch of whimsy is Leprechaun Hat S'mores. This treat is visually appealing, easy to make with kids,...

Pizza Pinwheel Waffles

Watch as these playful and tasty Pizza Pinwheel Waffles become an instant hit with kids! It's a creative twist on pizza and waffles, blending two beloved favorites into a fun and delicious meal. Ingredients: For the...

Overcoming the Challenges of Making Connections

As a mom, one of the most rewarding aspects of parenthood is the opportunity to connect with other like-minded individuals who share similar values, interests, and experiences. However, in today's fast-paced world, meeting new...

Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Enjoy these savory Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms as a delightful appetizer or a satisfying main course! The combination of earthy mushrooms, creamy filling, and crunchy topping will tantalize your taste buds. Ingredients: For the...

Navigating the Rollercoaster of Single Parenthood: Finding Strength in the Journey

Life has a way of presenting us with unexpected twists and turns, challenging us to rise to the occasion and discover the depths of our resilience. For those of us who find ourselves on...
Join our community.
Be the first to know about new resources, can't-miss happenings, and new blog articles! 
Yay, we're so glad you're here! Keep an eye on your inbox