Five things you should consider before you send your Christmas card

I love Christmas cards. But honestly, I write so much and so often about our life, sending out a Christmas card seems kind of…stupid. Like people really need to know anything else about us than they already do? (Then again, most of the people I send them to don’t read my blog, so that makes me feel better.)

So before you press print on that Christmas letter, here are five tips and tricks to making your card a bit more interesting.

1. In addition to cataloguing all the remarkable traits your children have shown over the year, like mastery of kung fu or fluent Spanish, why not add something unremarkable? Like, “Has developed an affinity for brussel sprouts,” or if you have a teenage boy, “Has earned four speeding tickets with very little help from the backseat.”

2. Drag out that goal sheet from last year and confess. It could be a simple, “Did not lose seven pounds,” or “Never ran a half marathon.” Sometimes it’s nice to know that there’s nothing wrong with being a happy failure.

3. Has the economy got your family down? Why  not add a coupon to each of your letters. Kind of a, “Couldn’t afford to buy you a gift, but here’s a coupon! Treat yourself!” It’s the card that keeps on giving.

4. Lie. Go ahead, the bigger the better. Aren’t most Christmas cards an overly shiny glimpse at a slice of life anyway? (If you do this, you have to make it outrageous and ridiculous or you really will be a liar. For example, “My husband is now golfing professionally and has signed a contract with Nike to do underwear ads” is better than “My husband got a hole in one this year and he’s really cool.” See the difference?)

5. Let your kids write the letter. No really, have them dictate, and see what everyone comes up with to tell about themselves. If that isn’t brave, I don’t know what is. (I think I’m going to use this one…)

Whatever works for you, just remember that people want to hear from you. A photo is awesome, but it’s nice to get some kind of update, even if it’s just a few sentences. And if you want to trade Christmas cards with me, shoot me an email. I always try to add a few new friends to my list.



  1. I am a Christmas letter loser. I just do the pictures. But a Christmas card with Snuggie pics are awesome!

  2. I love the idea of having the kids write the Christmas letter. True to form I’m sure they’ll spill some delicious family secret!

  3. One year we had the letter written by our (then) 6 month old son. (yes, it was rather cheesy)
    It might be fun to get a letter written from the perspective of the family pet …..
    Sparky writes “I’m pretty much here all by myself while my master goes off to pursue his new career as a professional golfer.”

    I think my favorite line ever from a Christmas card letter was from my cousin, it went something like “This year we have had less time, more waistline, less hair and more junk filling our house.”

  4. I usually have the kids write a paragraph for the Christmas letter. I also learned that a Christmas letter should only be one page. Think about it, how many people are going to read a three or four page letter? I started doing one with at least one picture and the kids versions of the events. I keep it to one page and hopefully my friends and family enjoy hearing from me. I try to just highlight the most memorable events. Have a wonderful season!! I love Christmas. It is my favorite holiday every year.

  5. I’m loving these new ideas.

    But I’m gonna have to say– the “brag” letter. Gag.

    I’ll stick with a pic. 🙂

  6. I think the Christmas cards are becoming less and less………um, I didn’t send out any last year. Can you see the big Scarlet L on my forhead.
    But I’d rather get the LIE, the BOASTING, the COUPON, over just a card with only a signature. Cause I like to know stuff.
    all of it.

  7. Is this post because you thought mine was lame?

  8. I have my husband write it. He is actually very good at incorporating your rules, and he’s hilarious, to boot. If only he blogged, too!

    That said, I love getting my Christmas cards. Makes me incredibly happy and I even love the braggy letters. Because I love the people who are doing the bragging.

  9. So, I TOTALLY had a dream last night that I was helping a friend pick out a book at Walmart and found a compilation of your column/blog. It was called “Regarding Annie” and there were pretty pink roses on the book. I promised my friend that if she read the book, she would laugh and probably be a little inspired.

    For real. Also, thanks for the reminder of just one MORE thing to do this season. Thanks a LOT.

  10. This has nothing to do with your Chrismtas card—-which I’m sure will be amazing. But seriously, Biggest Loser last night?! Did you watch? If I didn’t love the show I probly would’ve shot my TV. I hate that it’s going into the finale with four people I don’t even like!

  11. One year, my friend and I coached a T-ball team together. We were living in Puerto Rico at the time, and 2/3 of our players didn’t speak English, and had never been off the island.

    For our “warm-ups” I would lead the kids in “Once there was a snowman”. Remember, these were 4-year olds who had never seen snow.

    Our team was the Blue Jays.

    When it was close to the end of the season, we sent a questionnaire to the parents, asking them to ask the questions to their little kids and write down their answers VERBATIM.

    Oh. My. Word. Questions like “What do you like best about T-ball?” were answered with, “I like dancing like a snowman.”

    “Why are we called the Blue Jays?” – “Because my name is Jose, and my hat is blue.”

    “Why do we run to first base after we hit the ball?” – “Because I hear my mama yelling ‘Run! Run!'” (That one was in Spanish: “Corre! Corre!”)

    Seriously, if you have little kids, this is an AWESOME way to write your family Christmas letter.

  12. I was actually thinking I needed to get my kids more involved in our cards this year only I was thinking about having them address the cards & sign names. I love your ideas much better! (still might do the other though too. Just ’cause I’m willing to let them help me.) I’m a little concerned w/ what my 13 yr old will write but, @ least it will be interesting, yes?

  13. I hope I am still on your Christmas Card list. I will send you my new address. I’m not sending out Christmas Cards until after the baby is born (Due the 27th) because, hey, I’m not going to go to all that work twice! (Any ideas for combining New Baby and Christmas letter together?)


  1. […] Christmas & before I’d written my Christmas letter, I read Annie’s post about the five things you should consider before you send your Christmas card. It truly inspired me.  Unfortunately not in quite the way I was envisioning but still, beggars […]