Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Christmas Letter

There are all sorts of things that you receive in the mail at Christmas time. There's the popular Christmas Card, There are picture cards with a picture of the entire family. There are Christmas letters and now in the day and age of rapidly increasing postage rates, there are the internet letters and e-cards. I send a slightly different

Christmas Letter. Most of it is some form of Christmas memory or maybe even a Christmas story.

The Christmas Letter was first written on a year that was so black that I couldn’t even bring myself to wish anyone a Merry Christmas. Initially, I sat down to write a simple letter notifying friends and family that we had a new grandchild. However, something happened in the process of writing. As I sat at the computer that day, other bleak Christmas’ played out in my memories and I realized that there were unexpected blessings in the bleakest years. I wrote out the various vignettes as a record for my new granddaughter. After reading what I had written, my daughter, Jennifer urged me to send it out instead of a Christmas card that year.

There was a surprising response to that first letter. Family and friends I hadn’t heard from in a long time called and wrote, sharing their own memories or simply acknowledging that the simple stories reminded them of those same Christmases.

Most years since then I’ve sat down in front of the computer and written about something that has touched me through that year. Some offerings have been better than others, but each year several people delicately inquire about when that year’s letter is going to arrive. That alone has been encouragement enough to continue as it has given me the feeling that I’ve reached out and touched others both near and far in a way that doesn’t happen any other time of year.

The letters usually have the briefest of news sections... new addresses, new babies, new jobs. Mostly, they're some Christmas thoughts that I share with my friends and family. In the next two or three weeks I'll try to share them with you, my readers, as I can fit them in the schedule. I encourage you to drop by and comment on them or add your own memories of Christmas past.


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Anny Cook Winter Hearts
Sandra Cox Boji Stones
Bronwyn Green Ronan’s Grail
Heather Hiestand Cards Never Lie
Barbara Huffert Deal of a Lifetime
Amarinda Jones Mad About Mirabelle
Kelly Kirch Time for Love
Cindy Spencer Pape Cowboy’s Christmas Bride
Brynn Paulin Fallen
JacquƩline Roth Access Denied
KZ Snow Mrs. Claws
Lacey Thorn Earth Moves

Don't forget to stop by Kelly's blog at for her Sunday Quote! And then pop over to Amarinda's blog at for her take on life in Oz. Blessings on your day!


  1. I generally hand write erratic messy xmas cards that are specific to the person. I'm not into the one letter fits all thing but that's me...if I wrote more than 20then I may change my mind

  2. jeanthedruid@gmail.comDecember 2, 2007 at 12:03 PM

    I decided several years ago t give up the written Xmas card as it caused too much stress with everything else Xmasey going on. So I notified everybbody but told them I'd answer their cards in January, which I do. Makes it easy, becasue I can comment on what to them. New friends get e-mail cards. Works for me. Jean

  3. Nice blog. Loved the snowmen pic:)

  4. I used to write individual cards but there was never enough room in the card to say all the stuff I wanted to say so then I would add a sheet of paper for a real letter... by the time I finished all of them it was February.

  5. We have about 50 people or groups to notify. Personalized cards are out. BUT we do the "this was our year" thing. As a lousy letter writer, I enjoy getting these updates because I haven't made the effort all year long to see what's happening. We tend to put additional handwritten notes at the bottom to people we are very close to or family.

    I see this continuing in the years to come. Congregations, organizations, seminary families which have all had a part in our development WANT that info from us and we hear about it if we don't send. Easier to do, than argue.

  6. I started our Christmas Newsletter back in '03, when I knew no one would believe the 'year of hell' we'd gone through (see 'My Life as a Soap Opera' post!) and now my mother anxiously awaits each year's installment and even starts making suggestions around T-day:)

  7. I understand what it's like to have a bleak Christmas and then to have something positive come out of it. One bleak Christmas inspired a poem I later had published. I like your idea of a letter instead of a card. It is a great tradition.

  8. About long ago Christmases. My brother and I always wakened in the early morning dark and crept downstairs. It was always wonderful to sit in the dim light and stare at the tree and the gifts under it. We both received skates one Christmas, laced them on and tried them out on the ice- covered driveway before anyone was up. I guess we got dressed but all I can remember is the swish of our blades on the ice. I wasn't a doll kind of girl. Give me skates or a sleigh or books and Christmas will be perfect. Then there was the time I lived in Wales ... but that's another story.