Like many of you, Davonia and I have friends scattered all over the country and our communication with them all too often happens through the Christmas cards we sent to each other. For this reason, part of our annual ritual is to compose the "Christmas Letter" to give friends a snapshot of our year.
For me to sit down just after Thanksgiving and mentally relive the events of the past year is a bit much for me. Therefore, "Add items for Christmas Newsletter" is a repeating task that appears on my BlackBerry the first day of the month. I mentally review the events of the past month, and in the note section of that task, I jot a phrase descriptive of whatever memorable had happened. By Thanksgiving, I have notes from the entire year all in one place. The job of composing the Christmas Letter become one of simply deciding what to include, what to omit, and put the ideas together into sentences.
For those who organize with pencil and paper, you could accomplish the same thing with one piece of paper. Label the top line "Christmas Letter" and throw it in the tickler file for the first day of the month. When that piece of paper resurfaces, jot down your ideas and refile the paper for the first day of the next month. That piece of paper will present itself to you as regular as clockwork 12 times during the year. When it appears on December 1, compose your letter!
Coming soon--Christmas Letters from the Future