How to Write a Christmas Newsletter

A Christmas newsletter is a lovely thing. A time to think back over the year and remember the good parts and the things you accomplished. If you have a family there is that much more to tell. Singles can write newsletters too. The best people to send a newsletter to are those older relatives who would like to hear from the family more often.

The formatting of the newsletter:

  • Mail it, don’t email it. It’s so rare to get something personal in the mail. Bills addressed to you don’t count!
  • Pick a coloured paper and envelope if you like but keep them fairly plain, easily readable.
  • Pick a font and font size which are also easy to read. Use a fancier font in the header, not in the text.
  • Come up with a name/ title¬† for your newsletter.
  • Keep copies of the newsletter each year, like an annual family history in print.
  • Add photos before you make copies to send out.¬† Write a little blurb to go along with each photo.
  • Add papercrafts, clip art, drawings or create some other kind of art that will be able to get mailed out.
  • Keep it short, a one page newsletter is easier to read and easier (less expensive) to mail out.

What to write about if you get stuck:

  • If you have a family get each one to write a paragraph about how their year has gone. Their hobbies, interests, special events or something they are looking forward to for next year.
  • Think about the year in seasons. What were you doing in the Winter, Spring, Summer and the Fall this past year?
  • Skim through your planner if you keep one jot down notes about what was happening that would be noteworthy for the newsletter.
  • Though Christmas is an upbeat time you may include a memorial to family members or close friends. It is nice to remember, even if it is just a short addition after all your other news.

Other notes:

  • Don’t spill any secrets, don’t be bitter or negative about others and try to focus on the high points in your family life over the past year.
  • Keep a conversational tone. You are writing to family and friends after all.
  • Of course, don’t send it to people you don’t want to read it.
  • When you’re done, edit it, read it out loud to see how it sounds. Then give it a proofread through, catch any typos spellcheck missed.
  • Add a hand written note to your newsletter to personalize it for each person you send it to. Or, those you especially want to give some extra Christmas cheer to.
  • Don’t forget to add Merry Christmas, Seasons Greetings or whatever works best for you.
  • If you feel like doing an extra special touch try some mail art on the envelope itself.

The End of Cable TV?

For years I have heard predictions that newspapers, magazines and books will fade away as they are replaced with digital media. I’ve protested. I can’t take a computer to bed with me, I don’t even want to. It just wouldn’t be as comfortable as taking a paperback which I can fall asleep with and not worry if it falls out of bed during the night.

Today, thinking about television and the cost of it (over $50 a month for me) I started thinking that all the predictions could be right… but they’ve been looking in the wrong direction. It won’t be print publications that fall to the Internet but the digital signal we watch on our TV screens.

How many people already watch TV shows and movies online, in various ways and means? How simple would it be to just watch everything on the Internet instead of owning a television and paying for cable service along with digital boxes and HDTV and other extras they convince people they just have to have? Would it really be any hardship to watch TV on the Internet? I don’t think so. Usually I only have it running in the background while I’m online anyway, I hardly notice what show is on unless I find one I actually want to watch, the odd time.

Can you debate this, for and against? Come up with 3 points for each side, just for fun.

Sports Writing Becomes You

I’m not a sports minded person but I have a friend who will always tell me the game scores, who is playing and I usually don’t remember enough to know which city each team is from. She still tells me about them anyway. I don’t mind, even if I’m not intensely interested, it matters to her after all. Traditionally, women are not sports writers and way back they weren’t traditionally sports players either. Things are changing and for women who are interested in sports, writing about them could be a career choice.

Anyone can print the final score of a hockey game (Vancouver 3, Colorado 1) but it takes detail and creative language to win sports readers.

From SNN Newsroom: Sports Writing.

On Sports – Tips and suggestions for covering sports.

Writing World has a good article about getting into sports writing online. It’s a little dated but a start even still.

About.com: Writing the Short Game Story. – Writing a sports story in 500 words or less.

Sports Writing and Editing is being kept updated but needs readers to push for more content.

There is a forum for Sports Journalists.

Wikipedia has a few more resources.

Geeky Baldisms writes about bad sports writing.

Filling in Space

Journalism: an ability to meet the challenge of filling the space.

– Rebecca West

Have you ever written to fill in space, keeping your words to an exact limit for a print publication? It’s not just the amount of words but the actual space on the printed page so you need to edit the words you use for the amount of letters in them if it gets tight. Try it sometime.