A Christmas greeting really ought to be more than just a card signed with a name. Make yours memorable. When you hear from long-lost relatives or friends at Christmas, don't you really want to know more than that they wish you a Happy Holiday?
Include a photo. You don't have to have yours shot in a studio - get a neighbor or family member to take one of you, your spouse, and the kids, or just of yourself if you live alone. A good snapshot reminds people who haven't seen you in a long time of just what a cheery, wonderful person you are.
You don't have to write 40 or 50 handwritten messages. Type a newsy letter and photocopy it or print one out for each recipient, with your signature in pen at the bottom. When composing your message, don't be shy - write about yourself, not just your children. Tell people what you've been working on, thinking about, and anything special you've achieved during the past year - finishing renovating your home, publishing an article, learning a new language, playing an instrument, adopting a pet. If you've taken a class in anything, tell your acquaintances about it. People love to hear about challenges and how they've been overcome.
Do tell about health problems and deaths in the family, if you feel comfortable with it, but try to keep the tone light whenever possible. Everybody likes to feel hope at the holidays - in fact they do every day of the year. If someone has died you may want to mention that you have happy memories of that person.
It is not essential but it is a nice touch to use holiday stamps on the envelope. Get into the spirit of things!
Use colored stationery and envelopes if they are available - they convey warmth and good cheer. If you can afford it, buy Christmas cards and tuck a copy of the letter and a photo inside each card you send - Christmas cards with enclosures make for a nice little Christmas gift all by themselves. .
Let your acquaintances know you'd love to hear from them. The tradition of sending holiday greetings has greatly declined in recent years, but most people are on the Internet, and everybody has a phone. Include your phone number and e-mail address at the bottom of the letter.
Write back to people who send you a nice holiday message! Everyone loves to get mail, and being known as someone who keeps in touch is a reputation worth having.
Christmas is a special time for children, and every parent wants to make it something memorable, something magical. That may seem like a tall order considering the seasonal hoopla and commercial excess that now associates itself with this celebration, but the magic can be kept if a little forethought goes into holiday preparations.
Italian Christmas traditions are a festive blend of Christian influences and pagan celebrations. Whether your family is Italian or you just want to explore global holiday traditions, you can incorporate some old-world charm into your holiday.
Although they are not well-known worldwide, Polish Christmas traditions are full of important symbolism. If you are of Polish ancestry, perhaps incorporating a few Polish Christmas traditions will help you feel more connected to your family's heritage.