I have a love-hate relationship with the Christmas letter. I’ve always loved getting those letters from friends: reading them, keeping up with their activities, and watching their children age in the delightful photos.

And while I loved reading them, I also began to become annoyed at how easily these letters turned into here’s-why-our-family-is-awesome PSAs. In the early 2000s, I started writing a satirical Christmas letter—we called it The Howertons’ Fabulous, Fabulous Lives®—and sending it out to friends and family. In many ways, it was the response to that letter that encouraged me to start blogging in the first place.

I stopped writing that annual letter in 2011, but still retain a fondness for the format. So to help anyone who may or may not be suffering from writer’s block this holiday season, I’ve included a Christmas letter template. Feel free to use it to compose your own missive about how awesome your family’s 2014 has been.


Dear [NAME]:

What a great year [NUMERICAL YEAR INDICATOR] has been for our family! As you can tell from our new family photo taken at the local [VINEYARD/SUNNY OVERLOOK/DECAYING URBAN BUILDING], our kids are growing up fast.

[KID #1] is in [GRADE] and loving [INTEREST], as usual. HE/SHE is excelling in school, [ACTIVITY #1], and [ACTIVITY #2]. We can’t believe how [ADJECTIVE] HE/SHE has become—don’t you agree?

Meanwhile, [KID #2] has had another wonderful year in [GRADE]. HE/SHE is [AUTHORITY POSITION] of [SOCIAL CLUB OR ACTIVITY] and is making us proud every day.

And you can bet our little baby, [KID #3], is no longer a baby any more. In fact, HE/SHE is [VERB RELATED TO COMMON MILESTONE WHICH TOTALLY ISN’T A BIG DEAL FOR MOST HUMANS] like a boss these days. HE/SHE is really into [ANNOYING KIDS’ PRODUCT OR BRAND]—if you need any Christmas gift ideas.

As for us, we are more in love than ever before and enjoying our [ORDINAL NUMBER] year of marriage. [HUSBAND’S NAME] is doing great at [HUSBAND’S WORKPLACE] and is still a big fan of [GOLF/FISHING/SPORTS TEAM]. Meanwhile, I continue to enjoy my work at [WORKPLACE or VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION] and am still passionate about [EXERCISE OR FITNESS REGIME EVERYONE WISHES YOU WOULD SHUT UP ABOUT].

If you follow us on [PREFERRED SOCIAL MEDIA SITE], you probably saw pics from our trip to [VACATION DESTINATION]. What an amazing experience! If you’ve never been there, we can’t recommend it highly enough!

We hope your [YEAR] has been as fulfilling and fun as ours. We are truly blessed, and our family wishes you a merry Christmas and happy start to [NEXT YEAR].

Yours truly,



You’re welcome.