Our Family Tradition: Annual Newsletters


(image via newsletter)

I love mail. I love sending mail, I love receiving mail (minus credit applications, I’m not made of money you fools). I’ve always loved the idea of pen-pals, and the idea of a mail man on foot. There is something genuine and old-fashioned about mail, it says, “I was thinking about you and think you are totally worth this stamp and the envelope it’s on.” So, when Jacey and I moved to Raleigh and were officially living together I started sending Christmas cards in mass quantities every year. We were away from family and friends that we’d grown to know and it just seemed like an adult thing to do, sending Christmas cards.

I was never the type to just sign our names in cards, I was always an updater, writing in every card all the details of our lives to keep everyone up to date. For the first two years I didn’t mind the hand cramps, I took it as a Christmas right, the hand cramp and indentation where the pen would dig into my middle finger. Then when we got engaged and more was happening I had enough, to the point were one year I thought, “This is too much.” At the time, a co-worker of mine introduced me to the idea of a Holiday Newsletter. Suddenly, I was un-Grinched. This Newsletter idea was brilliant. What was more brilliant was that I was apparently the last one on the train because when I went looking for Newsletter templates they were all over the place.

I finally found one that I liked. This is actually exact template I use and update every year: holiday template. This past year was our third year sending it out and I can confirm as someone who loves sending mail, that I actually look forward to putting this together every year! It is a great way to not only update your family and friends, but personally it is great to reminisce and look back on the year.

This is how we format our Newsletter:

1. A main content area where we talk about major changes, our jobs, and what we are looking forward to in the coming year.
2. A smaller section where we highlight the biggest event of our year. A year ago we talked about our wedding and linked the page to our wedding photos. This year I wrote about my trip to China.
3. In a smaller section we list all of the concerts, plays, or trips we made.
4. 2-3 pictures (small-scale). Just so our family doesn’t forget what we look like if we haven’t seen them in a couple of months!

Not only have I been able to avoid carpel tunnel syndrome, but this year I really got to thinking about family traditions. It was fun to go back and read what I wrote the last two years. I look forward to being a granny and my grandkids reading these and saying, “Wow, Granny, it took you 24 hours to fly to China when you were in your 20’s? That is so old-fashioned, now that teleporters exist.” Or something like that. Newsletters are also great for the procrastinators or those that don’t necessarily celebrate Christmas. We tend to write “Happy Holidays” for our non-Christmas celebrators. Also, if you ever get lazy and I couldn’t send the Newsletter until after the holidays, you’re covered!

For those that haven’t sent one yet this year, it’s not too late! The fam wants to hear how you’re doing, it’s the least you could do.


One thought on “Our Family Tradition: Annual Newsletters

  1. Pingback: The Importance of Breathing During December | under the oaks

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