Example Letter #1
At this time of year when the air is filled with music and the smell of holiday cooking, our thoughts turn to good friends who add joy to our lives. It is a time to reminisce, and we have been doing a lot of it lately. We laugh when we think of the time John ate that big potato and when Jane decorated the kitchen with mistletoe. Our hearts fill with gratitude when we think of how you helped Eric during his illness. Those were wonderful times.
This year we have enjoyed watching Eric learn to walk. Fred turned six and entered first grade. Jane surprised us by resigning from Doe Corporation to go back to school. John continues to teach, but finds time to swim, read, and play with the kids. We hope you are all in good health. We wish you the best that this holiday season can offer.
Example Letter #2
This holiday season always brings tender memories to mind, and thoughts of kind and unselfish friends like you refresh us and give us renewed courage. Thank you for being such dear friends. We are continuing your holiday tradition of sharing a gift of self, the idea you taught us when we were newly married. Every member of our family now participates, including our grandchildren. We send our love and best wishes to all.
Example Letter #3
Best wishes for success and happiness in the New Year. This past year has brought Eric and me such joy; we are hoping our good fortune holds for years to come. The high point of our year had to be welcoming our first baby into the world. We do hope you'll be able to stop by and make his acquaintance. We sure could use some child-rearing tips.
I hope this year holds untold promise for you, Mary. Heaven only knows there's no one more deserving. Happy New Year!
Write Your Letter Step-by-Step
1 Express a sincere greeting, acknowledging the occasion.
Sample Sentences for Step 1
- It's Christmas time, and the Does are in your mailbox!
- Happy New Year! As the year winds to a close, I remember the people who have meant the most to me in my life.
- It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
- The Does would like to wish you all a Happy Hanukkah.
- This New Year will mark ten years of wonderful friendship between our family and yours.
- The warmth we all share in the holiday season has made me think about our friendship.
- Merry Christmas! Perhaps it is time I came out of my shell to thank you from the bottom of my heart. We appreciated your help and support during Jane's illness.
- We know it will be difficult for you to feel all of the joy of the Christmas season this year. We want you to know that our thoughts and best wishes are with you.
- It's Christmas, and I'm a little giddy with the Christmas spirit.
Sample Phrases for Step 1
- all the joys of the season
- as the year draws to a close
- as we celebrate the New Year
- best wishes for the New Year
- blessed with such dear friends
- Christmas time always brings
- enjoy the season
- express our deepest
- express our heartfelt wishes
- holidays are the time to remember
- is time to celebrate
- may the Good Lord bless you
- mean so much to us
- send our love to
- special time of year
- special moments and memories of years past
- spirit of reconciliation.
- spirit of Hanukkah
- spirit of good will
- spirit of Christmas
- take a moment to remember
- the times we have shared together
- the excitement of wintertime and the holidays
- think of our family and friends
- to wish you a Merry Christmas
2 Share a wish for the season, some personal thoughts, or extend an invitation to spend time with the reader.
Sample Sentences for Step 2
- This winter the Does are reveling in friendship and Christmas spirit. Won't you join our celebration? Our house is open through the holidays and filled with good food and good will. Come on by!
- We are all so sorry about your loss. We loved John, and we would enjoy having you over to reminisce and share the holidays.
- Let's hope this year ends on as high a note as last year did, even though your first child's birth is a tough act to follow. We want to offer our congratulations to little Cynthia on her first year. To all of you we wish peace and prosperity.
- Winter Solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah...However you celebrate at this time of year, I want to add my joy to yours. I am celebrating pan-traditionally this year. So if you appreciate the beauty of a menorah casting light on a Christmas tree, please drop by.
- It has been a hard several months, but this season never fails to boost our spirits. Everybody has a smile and the weather is often dramatic. Above all, we get to visit with people who give meaning to our lives. We are glad you will be in town this year; I hope you will make a special point of spending an evening with us in our home.
- Although in the past I've been something of a grinch, I've decided to return some of the Christmas spirit I've stolen and wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
- As this year passes, I want to send my warmest wishes and thanks to my very best friends. You two have meant a lot to me, and we have shared many great times together. I send my fondest wishes of joy for Christmas and for the greatest New Year ever. I hope we will spend a lot of it together.
Sample Phrases for Step 2
- come and celebrate with us
- come in from the cold
- end the year on a high note
- hope the holiday spirit will
- hope to see you soon
- in celebration of
- in memory of
- join us for Christmas treats
- look forward to seeing you
- our friendship means so much to me
- our house is always open to you
- please come over and
- should get together soon
- sit together by the fire
- spend some time together
- stop by to visit
- to boost our spirits
- to tell me your news
- to liven up the long winter nights
- to make new memories
- want to invite you
- wish you all the best
- won't you join us for
3 Recall a memory or shared association.
Sample Sentences for Step 3
- Every year when we get together for the gifts and the games (Go '49ers!) I kick myself for not spending more time with my friends.
- I often think of that Christmas Eve we spent together at Aunt Jane's and Uncle John's when we were about eight. The snow piled higher and higher, but we wouldn't stop sledding for anything. Then your mom reminded us Santa only comes after everyone is nestled snug in their beds. We had our pj's on in record time.
- Remember that first New Year's Eve we spent together at Michael and Beth's party? I will never forget the image of twenty adults in their socks on four Twister games at once. Let's throw a party like that next year, and get the old crowd together once more.
- We couldn't be better, but we could sure try! In the meantime let's promise each other to have the best year ever.
- I know it doesn't snow where you live now, but do the streets get quiet in the winter evenings? When I walk around on the quiet winter streets here, I think about when we were kids, and how we loved winter vacation. It got dark too early to go inside, so you and I just walked around in the streets. We felt safe and protected in that old neighborhood.
- I don't think I would have gone fishing instead of Christmas shopping last year if it hadn't been for you. Chances are, however, I will be getting the shopping out of the way first this time.
- I practiced all year and can bake a decent spice cake now. I hope you will give me a second chance.
- The Christmas I remember best is the one right after you and John got your new place and you invited us all there. I remember how John had us all in stitches singing songs from the kids' Christmas TV specials. We know John's gift for enjoying Christmas makes wonderful memories. Let's make some more together this holiday season.
Sample Phrases for Step 3
- childhood memories of Christmas
- do you remember when we
- every year I think of when
- have always been such a good friend
- holidays bring back so many memories
- hope this Christmas will be
- I can't help but think of
- I often think of
- is hard to believe that
- just like last year
- pause to remember
- remember the time we
- seems like only yesterday
- singing carols together
- Spirit of Christmas Past
- the last time we
- the year we spent our Hanukkah money on
- the symbolism surrounding the
- the happy memories of
- whenever I see Christmas lights
- you were so thoughtful when
4 Share news and/or a personal note.
Sample Sentences for Step 4
- As you may have heard, our Ashley has agreed to marry her longtime beau, Eric. John has decided to begin attending classes at the University, in addition to his work at Doe Corporation. But the big news is that Jane was offered tenure in September.
- This season's message of peace and reconciliation touched my heart. Our relationship is too important to lose over an argument. I hope you will forgive me for my part in our troubles and consider giving us another chance in the new year.
We hope you will remember us, even though we have been reclusive since Ann was born. We love you and haven't forgotten you, and Ann seems to want to get to know some of the people her parents have been talking about. We hope to see more of you in the new year.
- It has been a challenging year for our family, with the floods hitting us hard and Michael getting laid off from Doe. Things finally started looking up in time for the holidays, though. Now, more than ever, we are grateful for our wonderful friends and for all the blessings that have come our way.
- We are just getting settled into our new apartment as I write this, and the cats are checking out their new territory. Doesn't seem quite like home yet, but the first Christmas here will probably change that. Things got kind of crazy in the last few months and we are counting on the holidays to give us a chance to find our bearings. It will be strange to have Christmas without John.
- We hope things are going as well for you as they have been around here! We couldn't have asked for a better year. We really worked hard for it, pulling together as a family as never before. Our joy has been great and we want to share it. Please remember how important you are to us.
Sample Phrases for Step 4
- are very proud of her achievement
- as you may have heard
- came to visit us last month
- finally managed to
- fortunately it was only money
- if there is anything more we can do
- in case you didn't already know
- it's so exciting to think that
- it's amazing how much changes in a year
- message of peace and reconciliation
- newest member of our family
- please let us know if
- renewing our friendship
- saw an old friend of ours
- since the last time we talked
- thank you for your support through this
- the big news this year is
- the latest around here is
- were so pleased to hear about
- will be strange for us to
- will never guess who I bumped into
- wish you the best of everything
5 Reiterate holiday wishes and close.
Sample Sentences for Step 5
- Please join with us in our holiday wish: Joy to the World!
- So, this is all of us wishing you the very best for the winter, the holidays, and the New Year.
- There really is no better way to say it than MERRY CHRISTMAS! We love you.
- The New Year promises to bring, well, a whole new year's worth of good things your way. I am behind it 365%!
- Thanks again for all your help with the business this last year. Just remember, you are my friend first and my co-worker second. Merry Christmas, Jane.
- Don't forget, if those holiday blues come knockin', we back our best wishes with a standing guarantee of food, drink, and smiles with any visit!
- Call it "the greening of Christmas." We are asking people to recycle not only this letter, but the fond wishes of good cheer it contains. Joy is an important renewable resource, and there are many people who aren't getting their share.
- May joy and renewal escort you into the new year!
Sample Phrases for Step 5
- 'tis the season to be merry
- a happy and prosperous New Year
- every now and then
- give my love to
- hope to see you soon
- hugs and kisses to all
- in the holiday spirit
- join you in celebrating
- look forward to visiting you
- may God bless you
- mean the world to us
- Merry Christmas to you and yours
- send you all our love
- stick to our resolutions this year
- stop by for a visit
- thanks for your good cheer
- the happiest Holidays ever
- wish, as always, for peace on the Earth
- wish you an abiding peace
- with open arms and "mittened" hands
- would love to see you