DIY holiday letter

With the holiday season wrapping up and a new year dawning, many Americans feel compelled to write "holiday letters" full of family news.

These missives, often sent instead of Christmas cards, allow the sender to update everyone on the mailing list with tantalizing tidbits from the past year without drafting individual, personalized letters or e-mails. They are the holiday equivalent of "spam."

Perhaps you, too, would like to wipe out all your correspondence debts by sending a holiday letter, but you don't know where to begin. Maybe the act of writing is too daunting, or you feel you have nothing to say, or you're too jaded to master the required "folksy" tone.

We're here to help. All you need to complete an interesting holiday letter is a template, a fill-in-the-blanks format that will get you started. Once you get rolling, you'll find you have plenty to say, and you'll probably end up telling all your family's failings and funny foibles. Then, next year, you can write the "please forgive me" letter.


Season's greetings from the (your last name here) family! Hope this letter finds you all doing well, enjoying the holidays with your (choose one: many/few/dreaded/drunken) friends and relatives!

It's been a busy year in the (your name) household! We've been (blessed/cursed) in many ways, and we're (thankful/disillusioned/insulted) that (your deity here) has seen fit to let us welcome another year.

By now, many of you have already heard that we've moved. Please note our new address, but don't spread it around to the (stalkers/bill collectors/legbreakers) we've left behind. Our new (home/trailer/tent) is delightful, and we're really looking forward to (decorating/furnishing/being evicted from) it.

This past year has been a big one for (letter writer's name here), a time of (change/renewal/misery). As you might've heard, I now have a new (job/drug habit/lover), and this naturally has put a certain strain on all of us around here. Haha. I'm adjusting (fine/poorly/slowly) to these new conditions, and hope to soon be (promoted/divorced/paroled).

As for (spouse's name here), this has truly been a year of miracles. The (doctor/lawyer/psychiatrist) says incredible progress has been made, and soon (spouse) will be able to (walk/talk/drink/drive/eat/work) just as (he/she) did before! We feel truly blessed by this news.

The kids are doing great, too. (Child's name) will (graduate/be released from) (high school/college/juvenile hall/rehab) this spring, and we hope (child) soon will select a (field of study/career path/part-time job/hobby) that will reflect (his/her) true (talents/abilities/ridiculous lifestyle).

Our other child, (name here), suffers from typical teen-age (acne/ennui/depression/pyromania), but we're hoping that will clear up real soon. Haha. (Child) is looking forward to the new year when (he/she) will be (driving/going to prom/flunking school/running away from home).

Modern life is always a challenge, isn't it? This year, our (car/computer/TV/plumbing/iron lung/pet) gave up the ghost and we had to (replace it/have it fixed/steal a new one/go without). That's the way it goes!

Some sad news came our way this year when we (learned of/witnessed/caused) the death of favorite (grandparent/aunt/uncle) (dead person's name here). The holidays just weren't the same without (dead person) among us, (laughing/singing/whining/boozing/lifting her skirt over her head) the way (he/she) always did at Christmastime. We're sure (dead person) is looking down on us right now, (smiling/weeping/criticizing/spitting).

I could go on and on about our (successes/failures/health problems/legal woes/bad habits), but I've said (enough/too much) already.

Drop us a line! We'd love to hear about your (family/career/health/bankruptcy), especially if you're (poorer/unhappier/sicker/crazier) than we are. We can always use some good news!

Happy New Year! And many happy (returns/birthdays/tax audits/colonoscopies/holiday letters)!


Anonymous said...

If only I could send the to the folks who send me these dreadful letters! Thanks for the laugh.

Now, I'll send it to the folks who, like me, hardly ever get around to sending even pre-signed cards with labels on the envelope!

Happy new year!


David Thompson said...

Hilarious, Steve!!

Sarvesh said...

The letter in this site is very good and interesting and easily undersatndable. Its very nice. there are some Holiday letters in Letters.org