What to do with Christmas letters

Many years ago when Christmas form letters began arriving at our home, I was not impressed. My initial attitude was, “Why can’t they write us individual letters?” But over the years I began appreciating these letters and saving them, looking forward to reading about all that the family had done during the last year. Sometimes photographs were incorporated right in and sometimes they accompanied the letter.

Gradually we became converts to form letters ourselves. There is such a beautiful selection of computer Christmas paper, it’s difficult to make a choice. The computer makes it simple to modify the greeting, closing, first and last paragraphs to suit the recipient so a degree of individuality remains.

After one Christmas as I took more time to leisurely enjoy the cards, letters and photographs, an idea formed. With very little work or materials, I could save these letters in a binder. First step was to retrieve the disorganized box of letters and photographs from previous years. Then with a binder, plastic sleeves, tab dividers construction paper and photo sticker squares the project was quickly assembled.

The first page of each year consists of our own Christmas letter marked with a tab divider. The following pages open out with the Christmas letter in one sleeve and opposite it any photographs that came with the letter. They are quickly mounted with photo corners or photo sticker squares on construction paper that is sized to fit the plastic sleeve.

The project grew from there. Homemade cards filled some pages; Christmas letters which came via the computer were run off and included; handwritten letters were filed; birth announcements and wedding invitations were found and placed in the correct year. A newspaper article about a cousin’s beautifully decorated yard was added.

You can do the binder this simply or if you are a true scrapbooker, you could make it be more elaborate. Whatever you choose to do, you will have an organized diary of those near and dear to you.

Brenda Dowell writes from Trochu, Alberta.

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