Hard to believe Christmas is just three weeks away, and the only thing I have done to prepare is put up the Christmas tree and a few other decorations. I’ve done no Christmas shopping; I’ve mailed no Christmas cards (though I did finally order them last night); I’ve baked nary a cookie or other delicious Christmas treat. To be sure, Christmas will come, so I’ve got my work cut out for me. Maybe you do too?
Here are a few ideas for how to bring words to life during the holidays.
If you are a writer, keep writing.
I know the holidays are hard and busy and tiring. I know it gets dark early and you’d rather put your pajamas on and sip cocoa in front of the tree. Do that. But by all means, keep writing, too, even if you decrease your output and adjust your goals. Ann Kroeker has some great tips for writing in the middle of the holidays in her Write in the Middle series. I especially like this little nugget at the end of her post: “Regardless how much or how little you write during the holidays, make sure you find some time to enjoy yourself. Have some fun. It’ll make life—and your writing—richer.”
Write a Christmas letter to slip in with your Christmas cards.
I know, I know. We’ve all gotten THOSE Christmas letters that leave us feeling like the reason for the season is all about the person who sent the letter. It’s too long; it’s too braggy; it’s too poorly written. Well, don’t write one of these Christmas letters. Instead, try some of Paula Rollo’s ideas for Amazing Christmas letters at Beauty through Imperfection. And if you do write one, be sure to send me a copy!
Write love letters as stocking stuffers.
Love letters don’t have to be romantic (though if you do plan to write a love letter to a spouse, check out Seth and Amber Haines’ Marriage Letters series). Write love letters to all your family members and friends this Christmas. Share memories, describe their best qualities, and talk about the difference each person has made in your life. For more ideas, LifeHack has ten tips on how to write great love letters.
You could also write a tribute.
Tributes honor another person or a group of people for their contribution to society or to the person writing. Sometimes, tributes are written as memorials to honor someone who has died (like Sheryl Sandberg’s tribute to her husband Dave Goldberg last summer). If you are spending Christmas apart from a loved one for the first time (or even the 10th time), writing a tribute to them could be a way to honor their memory during this season. Tributes can be written as poems — Two Writing Teachers offer a few tips for writing a tribute poem. You can write tribute songs or write tributes to public figures or both, like these tribute songs written for presidential candidate Donald Trump (this is definitely not an endorsement). The most important part of a tribute is to include how the person receiving the letter made an impact on you and the world.
Finally, give words as gifts.
Hand script or use your favorite software and printer to create beautiful quotes or inspiring sayings that you frame and give to friends and family. Maybe it’s a funny family saying or the eloquent words of a favorite author or public figure. Maybe it’s just one word — like hope — that captures the essence of a person’s life. Choose whatever words will mean the most to the person you are giving them to, then follow these simple instructions from The Creativity Exchange to print and frame them.
Let’s remember what’s holy about this season and bring words to life during the holidays for the people around us.