We’re taking a turn for the festive here at Writing All Wrong, engorging on Christmas cookies, cakes, and guzzling peppermint/gingerbread mochas, brewing a storm of writing under snow and mistletoe.
The holiday season is like a yearly maelstrom that’s on every calendar sold in America, but it doesn’t appear until about two weeks before it hits. You can plan writing. You can’t plan holidays. You might be able to plan writing during the holidays.
That’s why we’re Writing All Wrong.
Speaking of writing How do i write a good Christmas card?
—Greg Danning, Schenectady, N.Y.
I’m flattered that you ask: no one does this anymore, except me. Writing is eternal, seeping into all corners of life. I’ve single-handedly enlightened the Christmases of all I know, spreading cheer with gracious and thoughtful cards, lovingly handwritten by candlelight. I spend every evening in December at my escritoire, humming along to Bing Crosby and Andy Williams as they croon the holidays to the tune of my writing in longhand.
If you have to ask, then you obviously live in a mindset when it’s always winter, but never Christmas. Here’s how you amp up those Christmas cards and put the “Jolly” back in “Have a Lolly Jolly Christmas.”
1. Acknowledge everyone in the family.
“Hey Todd, hope you and Vixen (and your ex-wives Roxxy, Charmayne, and Skyy[sp?]) are doing well this holiday season!”
Don’t leave anyone out. People hate being left out, and they hate when you leave out people important to them.
2. Create suspense and eagerness.
“I enclosed $20, since I figured you could use a bit of extra Christmas cash. Enjoy!”
I love this. I typically enclose the $20 before I mail it, but I’ll remove the bill before sealing the envelope. It’s a great way to get a return letter, phone call, something to keep the lines of communication open.
3. Make sure they know what’s on your mind, what you’re up to.
“I wish you all the best, but we’re doing great! Can’t believe what fortune we’ve enjoyed with our getaway house! Lovingly sent from under a palm tree in Maui, Writing All Wrong.”
How else will people know what you’re up to these days? Don’t ask, do tell.
4. Don’t wish well, wish specific.
“Wishing you a swift move out of the unemployment line, and here’s hoping your furnace doesn’t kick the bucket this chilly Christmas season (since I know you had to cut back on presents from the cost repairing it already).
Precisely. Show some forethought. General wellwishing is no wellwishing at all.
5. Use holiday generosity as a springboard for offering favors.
“Just saw the pics of that new backhoe — you should come up for a cup of cocoa and Wild Turkey and help us out with the ditch we’re diggin’. Spend the night or two or however long it takes, whatever. It’ll be fun!”
Always give a chance for people to offer you favors. It’s in the Spirit of Christmas, after all.
Feel free to share what makes your Christmas cards as special as mine.
Writing All Wrong can be reached via email (WritingAllWrong@me.com), followed on Twitter (@WritingAllWrong), and re-gifted in a white elephant soiree.