It’s that time again — to sit down and write our annual family newsletter. I’ve been debating about it — do I really need to write one since I’ve been blogging this year?
I know some people don’t enjoy reading other people’s braggity news. But I do! I love hearing how people relate the events of their year in a written form. Details…details! It still just costs 37 cents, so the more the better.
There are some amazing people who can sit down and write lovely, handwritten notes on all their Christmas cards — but I can barely get them addressed and stamped. My aunt writes me a long, personal letter every year. She tells me about her children and grandchildren and asks all about our family. Unfortunately, she only gets a form letter (signed personally!) from me.
But it still helps her keep up with what’s going on with us. Last summer, we attended a family reunion for my aunt and uncle’s 50th wedding anniversary. I got to see tons of my cousins who I don’t see often anymore. I had to warm up to a few — but the ones I exchange Christmas cards with developed instant rapport with me — it was like no time had passed since those years we used to see each other more often. I wasn’t so shocked to see my teenage cousin who was the flower girl in my wedding. (She’s a beautiful young lady now.)
When I was growing up, my dad always handled our family Christmas newsletter. He and my mom moved around some while they were a young married couple, and they have friends all over. I enjoyed watching the children of their friends grow up through Christmas pictures — a few have even become my close friends through the years. Now I’m seeing how my dad’s meticulous correspondence is paying off — they’re able to go visit many of these old friends they still keep up with.
That would be a dream for me as well. One year, maybe we’ll do it — rent a big RV and travel around the country visiting all the families we keep up with.
Today, things are a little different since the advent of blogs and group emails — it’s easier now than ever to keep up with people. So the newsletter may someday go the way of 8-track tapes. But for now, I’ll uphold the tradition.
How about you? Do you write a family newsletter? You may think you don’t have much going on — but you really do. If you’re a parent, it’s good for your kids to see how you record the highlights of the year. It’s also a way to tangibly count your blessings — as you write them all down. One day, your kids will be grown and wonder what kind of childhood they had. I don’t have to wonder: my dad has it all written down in years of family newsletters (along with hilarious pictures of year after year of bad hair days for me!).
If you’ve never written one before, I encourage you to try. Some people like to share the events of the year chronologically — moving through the seasons. Others do it by family member — pointing out a few key updates and details. I loved it when my uncle, who is a retired engineer, wrote his newsletter a few years back. Nearly every phrase had a number in it — the size of the room they’d remodeled, the number of miles on the car they traded in, the model number of the new garage door they installed. I loved it! And it makes me smile every time I think about it.
Even a half a page will do. Did you take any short or long trips this year? Any special events? Did anyone in your family experience a milestone? Do you have any new pets? Have you started a new hobby? People want to know what’s up!
Here’s a verse that reminds me how I feel when I open my mailbox in December: “Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land” (Proverbs 25:25).
May God bless your writing endeavors!
P.S. You can send me comments now. Somebody please send me a comment!