Write a Christmas letter. Just do it. While it may be the cheesiest thing on earth, it is also fun, easy, and a great way to update your friends and family on your fascinating life. Not to mention, Christmas letters, taken as a group over time make a wonderful family history in breif. Here are my top tips for a successful letter:
1. Tell a Story. In other words, leave out the boring parts. Hitting the highlights of your family's year doesn't mean you're bragging. Let people you care about know what has been important to you this year. Don't forget the parts that made you laugh.
2. Get Over Yourself. The Christmas Letter is not a resume. Unless you've changed companies or left behind your lucrative plumbing career to become a brain surgeon, nobody cares. Seriously, you think they do, but they don't.
3. Write a Shitty First Draft. If you're not familiar with Anne Lamott and her writing advice, the Shitty First Draft is one of the most valuable tools in all of modern writing. Just write the thing down so that you have something to work with. (Then pray you don't drop dead before you have the chance to edit.)
4. Brag. This is a fine line, but I'll go out on a limb here and say it's okay to brag about your kids and grandkids. If you want nice things said about you, then convince your kids to write their own letter where they can brag on you. Don't forget to pay them.
5. Include a Picture. To those of you out there who buy a stack of photos with a cute border, slap on a signature (if that) and stuff an envelope - that doesn't cut it. However, a picture is a nice addition to the card/letter combo. If you have a new yahct to pose in front of, by all means go for it. But remember that everyone just wants to see how you're aging. (If you're having a bad face month, just send a picture of the kids. They're always cute.)
Also, pouring a drink may help! Peace. Out.