What Should I Include in a Holiday Newsletter?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Many people enjoy sending out a holiday newsletter during the winter holidays to catch family and close friends up on the year’s past events. Some people would like to begin this tradition but are unsure where to start. There are many examples of a good newsletter, as well as many examples of bad ones. Many of the bad ones go astray because content in the newsletters is more than most people need or want to know.

Many people mention details about their vacations in annual holiday newsletters.
Many people mention details about their vacations in annual holiday newsletters.

There are several things to include in a holiday newsletter. Birth of children and grandchildren are excellent topics. However, bear in mind that most relatives don’t need play by plays of labor and delivery. Keep topics light and cheerful when possible.

Close friends are likely to enjoy your holiday newsletter and family news for the year.
Close friends are likely to enjoy your holiday newsletter and family news for the year.

Visits with old friends, or very special trips should also be mentioned. If one didn’t travel in the past year, one could list upcoming plans. “Barb and I will be finally taking that trip to Ireland next year,” is a good example of listing an upcoming event.

If one travels frequently, it is not necessary to list every trip in a holiday newsletter. In fact, this might come off as bragging since vacations can be expensive. Only list one or two trips that were really important and might have relevance to one’s readers.

Mentioning the death of family members is a judgment call. Sometimes the death has occurred so recently, that it would be difficult to write about it. On the other hand, not including it might have people thinking one is insensitive. Without going into great detail, such a mention could be like the following: “Unfortunately, Bob’s mother passed away in October. We will always miss her and her wonderful spirit.”

A marriage of one’s self or one’s children make for good holiday newsletter mention. “In February, our daughter Amy married her fiancé in a joyful ceremony,” for example. When new couples send out their first newsletter, it may be a little challenging to determine which details to put in.

Since many friends may only know one member of the couple, excessive detail about either spouse may be boring to people who do not really one of the spouses. What can be written is how well the marriage is going. One might write, “Since our marriage, both of us have found new things to appreciate about each other every day.”

A holiday newsletter can also include big and life-changing purchases. New homeowners might want to share they were able to buy a house. An older couple might relate they sold the old house and are relocating to their vacation home. A person who invests in real estate, conversely, should not list every purchase or sale. Sticking to the big events, like kids graduating from high school or college, is always a good way to go.

When one has completed a holiday newsletter, be certain to check the newsletter thoroughly for grammatical errors, spelling problems and typos. Also put thought into who should receive a newsletter. While close friends and family are likely to enjoy receiving your family news for the year, passing acquaintances and businesses may wonder what to make of all this information.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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Discussion Comments



Sounds like you got lucky, my mom made our Christmas letter after we had gotten in a fight. The picture made me look like I was high and the part about me was sub-par to say the least.


After a certain holiday newsletter, I was contacted by a lot of old friends of the opposite sex. Apparently I made a good impression and struck a very photogenic pose. The impressive newsletter also looked sort of like a strong resume. This just goes to show that a Christmas Letter can increase appreciation for your family among your larger community.

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