Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.
An online devotional for writers
I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder. (Romans 15:15, ESV)
I don’t write many personal letters anymore, even though I did during my childhood and young adult years. These days I send emails, texts, thank you notes, and an annual Christmas letter.
When Christmas letters became popular, I turned up my nose at them. I thought they were too impersonal.
But life as a working mom and wife with two children became busy. In the days before cell phones and social media, I wanted to keep in touch with far-flung family and acquaintances. Writing a Christmas letter was a convenient solution.
Our family’s annual letter is just one page and doesn’t take long to write – maybe an hour. I think back over the year and write down a few highlights and meaningful moments. Then I share how those moments impacted our family. (Here are some more writing tips for Christmas letters.)
I insert a few photos into the letter, print it on our home printer, stuff the letters in envelopes, and mail them. And I always I toss a couple of hard copies of our Christmas letter into a file folder.
Each year, I pull out that folder. It’s fun to look back at years past and be reminded of simple family activities: painting the sun room … replacing the Civic with the Camry … the hugs I gave my children on 9/11 … the lessons we learned in a move across 3 states.
We’ve been purposeful in writing and sending a Christmas letter each year. But now, those memories on paper have created a unique legacy: we have a written family history I can pass along to our children and a reminder of where we have been.
What I first thought was impersonal – a Christmas letter – has become personal indeed.
Writing letters creates a personal history.
It’s tempting to race through the holidays. Let me stop and record how You have worked in my family over the last year.
In Jesus’s name, Amen.
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