Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Holiday Brief

They are starting to pile up: The greetings within the greetings. The annual zeroxed update from friends and family that is as dreaded as the stale fruit cake. If you don't send one, you've no doubt already received some - the holiday newsletter. This is the time of year when we reconnect with family and friends near and far and welcome the updates on their lives. But if an Emily Post Institute survey is any indication, the jury is still out on these photo-copied summaries. The survey showed that 53% like them and 47% do not.
Those holiday briefs, some longer than legal motions, don't have to be one long run-on sentence, single-spaced tomes covering the front and back of several sheets of paper. While there are no formal rules about this popular holiday greeting, thankfully tips abound for creating one that won't be set aside until after the holidays when recipients have more time to read them. Above all else, keep it brief. Two to three paragraphs max on ONE side should cover the year's highlights (and low-lights). Try to keep it light. If the letter includes a chronic illness or the passing of a loved one, details are not necessary. Same goes for your 12 day cruise to Alaska. Everyone has a general idea of what you were served on the ship. There's no need to use the holiday newsletter to journal your adventure. Stay positive and sprinkle in some humor. Avoid the temptation to belabor the hurdles your family faced this year. Share exciting news, but don't boast. If someone received a raise, there is no need to give specific amounts. Keep in mind who will be reading the newsletter as well, and to whom the letter should be sent. If the family dentist and pediatrician are on your holiday card list, there probably isn't a need to insert the newsletter. And remember to have fun. Engage your children in designing the letter's border. In this age of Facebook where every day is a mini-newsletter of sorts, make your holiday apprisal an enjoyable read for everyone on your list. Afterall, it really DOES 'Manner A lot'.

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