I LOVE Christmas mailings!  I sit down and read every word of every one of them, sometimes more than once.  I deeply appreciate that anyone takes the time and energy to assemble them and then includes me in their thoughts and on their list!  That said, I do have some definite opinions on style that I would like to share. I do this in an effort to serve–just in case you are wrestling with some of these decisions.  I do not write this to criticize as I truly do value the act of love that communication can be.  I expect we might have different opinions, and would love to hear yours in the comments!

Timing

Anytime is the right time.  I suppose my personal goal is to complete mine in early December and have them out to be enjoyed through the season (does that sound vain?) but, I love them anytime I get them.  After Christmas is totally OK.  I’ll enjoy January and February mailings, too, and I won’t even think “what a moron!” when I get it in the mail in early March; I’ll think “they must have been busy!  And to think, they still cared enough to write!”  So really, any and all communication that is not a bill or a solicitation is appreciated. Don’t be shy!

Pictures

No, you don’t NEED a picture.

But should you choose to include one (and we wish you would), I have a rough hierarchy of the kinds of pictures I like to see in these cards:

1–Group shots from some significant event of the year (truly, I prefer candids, but I know that is a tall order!)

2–Group shot specifically composed for the card (sans Christmas wear)

3–Individual portraits

4–Collage of individual portraits

5–Group shot specifically composed for the card including holiday sweatshirts and Santa hats

6–Pictures with Santa

7–Pictures of your pets

I have heard it articulated that people resent receiving pictures of their friends’ kids when actually the card is from their friend (and they don’t care about or actually know the kids).  I understand that and agree that I would rather see my college roommate than her kids.  However, I have (and probably will again) violated it.  What can I say?  My kids are much more attractive than I am!

Form

Like I said, I like this correspondence in any form: postcard, newsletter, traditional card, I’ll even take an e-mail (especially if you are hospitalized or in jail).    But I do have a dislike (although I still accept them) for the pre-printed card.  If you can’t sign your own name, your list of recipients is too long.  I would really really like a whole sentence in your hand, but your name is a must.

Content

Assuming you are providing news beyond season’s greetings, you can hardly go wrong.  I will love your letter.  I really do want to hear how old your kids are, where you went on vacation, what your spouse’s calling is, and even about your hobbies.  There are just two things I DON”T want to hear about (and unfortunately, I have): your (or husband’s) salary and weight.  The money thing goes without saying, right?  Americans don’t discuss money.  And if your weight is your major accomplishment, than I will feel sorry for you.  Seriously, even if you have experienced a Biggest Loser like transformation, if you tell me about your weight, it will make me think that you are vain and need bigger problems to worry about.  I would rather hear about your favorite TV show than your weight.  Besides, if you are in the picture, I’ll get the idea, right?