Follow our holiday newsletter ideas for a message your recipients will find more entertaining than obnoxious. 

By Erica Jackson Curran
November 12, 2018
computer desktop keyboard christmas winter holiday
Credit: Pixabay/Pexels

A family newsletter is one of the best ways to share the year's highlights with loved ones during the holiday season, but it's a gesture that's often fumbled. Whether sharing good news or bad, distilling a year's worth of updates into a brief letter takes creativity and finesse, with a careful eye toward etiquette.

We spoke with Jacqueline Whitmore, founder and CEO of The Protocol School of Palm Beach, about how to create a tasteful and entertaining newsletter that your friends will be thrilled to receive.

1. Keep it concise

You probably have a lot to say about the past year in your life, but others may not find every detail of your family's life quite as fascinating as you do. Hone in on the highlights from the past year, and try to keep your letter to one or two pages, tops.

2. Focus on the positive—but be careful how you present it

"If you're going to share good news, you don't want to sound like a braggart," Whitmore says. Things like milestones, anniversaries, graduations, and big moves are important to share, but avoid presenting your good fortunes like an exhausting laundry list. It helps to sprinkle in some occasional humor, as well.


christmas card family portrait photo
Credit: Courtesy of Shutterfly

3. Tread carefully with negative news

There may be some things you feel compelled to share with friends and family even if they're unpleasant. "If you're going to share sad news, you don't want to sound like you're wanting everyone's sympathy," Whitmore says. She recommends trying to stay as positive as possible, and to avoid getting too personal. "People generally don't care about the dirty details," she notes. "If you went through a divorce, that's fine, but don't go into detail about how you dislike your ex or how they ruined your life."

4. Think like an editor

Before sending your newsletter into the world, look at it with a critical eye. Is the content interesting and engaging? Is it free of spelling and grammatical errors? Is the font neat and easy to read? It may just be a family newsletter, but holding it to higher standards may give you a coveted spot on your loved one's refrigerator as opposed to their trash can.

5. Create a cohesive design

Shutterfly's newsletter holiday cards offer a range of tri-fold templates you can customize with your family's message.

If you're going to tuck a page into a standard bifold card, take a nod from the card's design and use a similar color scheme, font, or imagery on your newsletter to give the whole package a cohesive feeling.

With the right approach, you can create a holiday newsletter that will mean more to your friends and family than any Instagram post or Facebook update ever could. Keep it clean and classy, and your recipients will be sure to read every word with smiles on their faces.