Christmas is the perfect time to let family and friends know how much you appreciate them and celebrate your relationship. So, why do many people take a generic approach to sending holiday greetings?
I know it’s the thought that counts. Every card we get in the mail or handed to us at church or family gatherings represents a person we love who took the time to think about us. We recently switched churches, and getting messages from people at our previous congregation—even if they just include a short note and signature—has been a treat in particular.
What I want to do here, though, is address writers. We have an opportunity not just to send out a card with a delightful or pretty image on it but also to make people feel special with our words. Very few occasions throughout the year provide structured time to do this.
I know we’re days away from Christmas, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll be wrapping presents and writing cards on Saturday. So, allow me to give you a crash course in writing some genuinely creative and memorable Christmas card greetings.
After all, we’re writers. Our loved ones deserve better.
Personalize Your Words
One of the most important things you can do is personalize your words. Instead of opting for generic phrases, take the time to consider each recipient and what makes your relationship with them unique. Incorporate inside jokes, shared memories, or heartfelt compliments to make your message memorable.
This personal touch will show your loved ones that you put thought and effort into their card, making it even more meaningful. Remember, the more personal and specific your message, the more it will touch the hearts of those who receive it. Let your creativity shine through in each message you write—your loved ones will greatly appreciate it and perhaps even save it for years to come.
Give Thanks and Show Gratitude
While it's easy to get caught up in the festivities and focus on spreading holiday cheer, it's equally important to take a moment to acknowledge and appreciate the people who have made a difference in your life throughout the year.
One way to be creative through your Christmas messages is to tell people how much you value their friendship, love, or support. Thank them for the joy and laughter they give you or for the way they always lend a listening ear when you need it most. Acknowledge their kindness, generosity, or any other qualities that make them special to you.
By expressing gratitude and thanks, you show your loved ones that their presence in your life is not taken for granted. It's a powerful way to strengthen your relationship and remind them of their impact on your life.
Be Original and Avoid Clichés
Okay, writers—now is the time to get creative with your Christmas card messages. You likely are zapped from shopping, beat up from work gatherings, and afflicted with “parent brain,” but if you’re going to get serious about your note-writing game, you need to start thinking beyond the typical.
While it may be tempting to use common phrases such as “Wishing You Joy and Peace,” “Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas,” or “May Your Days Be Merry and Bright,” generic messages can come across as insincere or unoriginal. Instead, take a moment to think about the recipient and what makes them unique.
Here’s a general rule: Don’t do it if it sounds like a Christmas song lyric. Seriously. You guys literally make up stories out of thin air, share descriptive life stories, and write thought-provoking, emotional poems—don’t tell me you can’t write an original five-line message.
Use your creativity to write a message that reflects their personality or interests. Incorporate specific details or memories that you share to make your card stand out from the rest.
For Really Ambitious Christmas Messages
If you want to go above and beyond, why not start a new Christmas tradition and write a story, poem, or address for the season?
As a kid, I wrote a story every year that my mom would print into a book to give to relatives. My grandpa saved every single one of them and kept them on a special shelf. You might find that you are giving your family a special, creative gift through your original writing.
If you have kids, why not collaborate on making a story you can send to family members? The expression of joy and thanks that comes through creative work will surely make them smile.
You Don’t Have to Write to Everyone
As a final tip, remember that Christmas messages are about quality, not quantity. Don’t feel like you have to write a personalized, creative, original message for every card you send out.
While there may be some people where you just want to write a quick line or two on their card, you can go above and beyond for people in your immediate family and close friends.
You aren’t hurting anyone’s feelings by prioritizing some people’s cards over others. While it’s easy to think, “Well, they might get together and start comparing their season’s greetings,” this isn’t realistic. Nobody is thinking about you. Some people are just thrilled to hear from you at all.
So, don’t feel guilty about writing special messages to some people but not others. You can’t do it all, so stop shaming yourself. Enough of that happens at Christmas already.
With All That Being Said…
…I want to wish everyone a merry Christmas. Thank you for making this another fantastic year of the Creativity Matters blog—I can’t do it without amazing readers who come back every week and share these posts with friends.
We’ll be taking the next two weeks off for the holidays but will return with new content on January 10!