Let’s talk about the "Christmas Letter"…

Hi friends~ Have you sent your Christmas cards or letters yet? In asking, I certainly don’t want to heap guilt upon you and add more to the “to do” list! In fact, I’m really wondering. Because this year, for the first time in MANY, we are not sending out Christmas cards/letters. In faith, I’m believing that soon we’ll know what God has for us, and we may need to send “change of address” cards, so I thought I would roll all of that postage and time into one.

If you are planning on sending cards and letters this year, I thought you might enjoy a “re-posting” of a Frappuccino Fun with Amy post from last year about the CHRISTMAS LETTER.

Blessings to you all…whether you send cards or not! 🙂

The Christmas Letter… A Blessing or A Curse?

By now, I’m sure you have received some Christmas cards, and maybe even a letter or two. Maybe you are in the process of composing a Christmas letter to send. Christmas letters can be a great way to touch base with those you don’t communicate with all year long. But like most things that start out well, a Christmas letter can go “down hill” real fast.

Like me, I’m sure you have received a letter chronicling all of the bad things and hardships that have occurred that year. I call this letter, the “Debbie Downer” letter.

Or, how about the “Betty Bragger” letter that expounds on every high achievement of every person in the entire family – every award, every A+, every trip, and every purchase. All is so perfect for this family, there is NO way it could all be true!

And how about “Super Spiritual Sally”? Now this family goes on mission trips, prays daily together, has a perfect Quiet Time record, serves at the local homeless shelter, and donates all their Christmas money to charity. Don’t get me wrong – all of these activities in and of themselves are wonderful. But the Christmas letter is not the venue to list one’s spiritual accomplishments for the year.

To keep from being “Debbie Downer,” “Betty Bragger,” or “Super Spiritual Sally,” here are some simple guidelines for a great Christmas letter:

1. Keep it short. A two sentence update on each family member is plenty.

2. Be positive. If you have had a hard year, don’t focus on the negatives. Instead, share what God is teaching you in the process.

3. Don’t brag. Be careful not to cross the line between sharing great news and bragging. Enough said.

(Jennifer here: Amy wanted me to show my Christmas card and letter. I ordered these inexpensively from Vista Print. The picture is on one side and the letter is printed on the back.)

A good Christmas letter should be like a sweet conversation with friends. One where, when you finish reading the letter, you feel encouraged and have a huge smile on your face.

Personally, I think that if you must choose between sending a letter or a picture, you should always send the picture. As they say, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Happy letter writing. ttfn… Amy

PS: Back to the present (12-09), The Inspired Room has lots of blog links on today’s post all about Christmas~ ideas, decorating, gifts, etc. I could spend hours on her blog reading links… Hope you enjoy!

About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at SmellingCoffee.com


  1. bluecottonmemory says:

    We just send a picture of the boys (we're in it this year with the oldest son's new wife) – no letter – I would have to write a novel with so many sons! Sometimes I get behind and send them in July! My friends love me anyhow!

    Merry Christmas!

  2. Oh Jen, this is a great message and reminder. It had me thinking of the year my youngest brother took his life (July 1994). I was devastated to say the least. I received a "Christmas letter" three pages long from someone I knew very well who knew the situation with my brother. She went on and on in the letter about all the wonderful things that had happened that year with her family members. I was happy for her but I was also hurting as I read about her 2 brothers and 1 sister and their kids and how all of them were coming together for Christmas. I knew that one of my brothers was dead just a few months prior, the other a muslim and the other was young and struggling in the things of God. I felt like I had no siblings at that moment as I read her letter. I know she met well but the letter bragged on and on about "them" and was very long and a bit insensitive. At the end, I'll never forget, she had typed the letter as she sent it out to everyone she knew but at the end she hand wrote a P.S. "Lisa, still praying about your brother. I know you must be missing him bad". I still have that letter. I don't know why I kept it but it blessed and hurt my heart all at once.

    Ok, I wrote a book here but anyway, LOVE YOU and Merry Christmas.

  3. Not usually a big fan of 'the letter', mainly because of those reasons. Although I do enjoy hearing what people are up to, sometimes 'the letter' is still hard to handle. LOL

  4. This was great. I can never quite decide on rather or not to send a letter or not. I've done it ALL ways. Card only, letter only, picture only, and combo's thereof. lol I have a name for one you have left out. Polly Perk. So upbeat and perky you can't imagine anything having ever gone wrong in their life…EVER! She sometimes mixes with Sally, but not always. HAHA I try to make mine a simple conversation with me, but don't know if I have pulled it off. I have a few times received the truly gifted ones where someone has put their year to very cleaver rhyme. I would LOVE to do that as I always enjoy reading those. Anyway, thanks for this, I needed it this morning. Have a great week-end. Blessings, Debbie