I don’t want to start this by stating the obvious/quoting a cliché: Christmas is fast approaching, Christmas is in the air (which is kind of confusing, because I always thought that Christmas is in our hearts [I am quoting Jose Marie Chan on this]), the air is thin and it’s cold and the breeze that is kissing your face is Christmas breeze. Ok, ok, so Christmas is near. The point is, for someone who has 10 godsons/goddaughters or so (with two on the way), it is a pressure to be thinking about Christmas, and (ok, I’ll say it!) Christmas presents. Why does it feel like Christmas is just all about the presents?
They say that writing is a gift. Why not use it as a gift? Besides, written materials are more special, personalized, costs little to nothing (depends on the materials that you want to use), and will save you a lot of time thinking about what you will give to different people and also packing them one by one.
Last Christmas, I wrote love letters to 20 or so special people in my life. I typed it, printed it on onion paper, glued it on black corderol paper and added a knot on top to serve as a book marker. I wish I could show a picture, but I’m to lazy to take a picture and transfer it here.
So if you are creative and smart enough, or just wanted to try something new, here are 15 different ways on how to put your writing into good use:
1. Christmas Card. I know it may sound cheap, but hey, who said you won’t be able to pull this off? This is a particularly great gift to write for friends and long-distance family members who you want to give something to but can’t really afford to buy something for. Or if you combine your writing with art, you can make a Christmas Card on your own, with your own design, cover wit and content. I remember making a card for this guy, the cover had cut-out of a Christmas tree – which you had to pull so you can open the card or something. It is kind of fun doing it 🙂
2. Handwritten Letters. If you have more to say to someone than what fits on a card, then consider sitting down and writing them a letter for Christmas instead. It’s so rare for us to receive handwritten letters in the mail today that just getting one can make Christmas feel special!
3. Family Newsletter. If you have a big extended family (like mine) and simply can’t buy something for everyone, then consider writing something for everyone instead. Send out an email or make some calls to find out what the latest good news is from everyone in the family. Write your own newsletter congratulating everyone for these great things. Make copies and email or mail them to everyone in the family.
4. Poetry. Giving the gift of poetry is always a nice way to make use of your writing talents. You can write fun little rhyming poems for the kids in your life and even illustrate for them if you’re truly creative. You can write love poems and poems filled with best memories for the people who you are closest to.
5. Song. Put your poetry to music and you’ve got a song. Who wouldn’t love a special song written just for them?! Go all the way by performing this song to your family after-dinner-presentation-during-reunion-weekend.
6. Short Story. If you’re more of a prose person than a poetry person then you might want to think about writing a short story for someone in your life. Write about a specific time that you really enjoyed with that person. Or write a brief story that tells the tale of your whole history together. This is a great way to show that you remember the important times that you and a loved one have shared. Combine that with a really good packaging with creativity, who wouldn’t want to receive a gift like this one?
7. Book of Memories. If you have a lot of random memories with someone, then you can write them down in short form and paste them into a book. Get a blank journal and put one short memory on every page. Decorate it with photos or scrapbook memorabilia from the different events.
8. Lists. Even people who don’t have a real way with words are able to give their writing as a gift in some form. Lists are something that almost everyone can write. Make a list of reasons you love someone, best qualities about the person, why Christmas – or life – is much fun to spend with that person, or things you want to do with the person in the year to come.
9. A Recipe Book. Are you someone who cooks for everyone in your life? If so, then the special food that you make probably strike a very important chord in their hearts. Put them all together in a handwritten recipe book. Add your own little notes and touches throughout the book. Dedicate a dish to each and every person, and write down the reasons why that particular dish reminds you of that person. Even if they still want you to cook for them, they’ll like having this physical reminder of the food that feeds their souls.
10. Coupons to Redeem. A great gift for anyone is a coupon from you for something that they really like. This doesn’t have to be a material thing. In fact, it really shouldn’t be. Give them a coupon to cash in for a day off work to stay in bed, a half day spent with coffee, a weekend away together, etc. Try to be as creative as you can be as you write out these coupons. Think about what the person would love that you’d really enjoy doing with them.
11. Special Notes. Get out a series of small notecards and write a bunch of notes on them saying why you love this person. Post these throughout the house on Christmas day – in stockings, on gifts, in the cupboard where they’ll go to get out coffee cups in the morning, in the dresser where their clothes are, etc. Be creative and turn them into bookmarks (just like what I did). For kids, you can do it in the form of a treasure hunt to find the biggest of their presents hidden somewhere other than under the tree. You can also write notes on sand or on the road using watusi or lusis. This also makes a great photo spot for Christmas day pictures. You can also spell it out with stones saying “Santa was here!” or write on the mirror using lipstick. Be spontaneous, surprises are surprising!
12. Personal Fortunes. Fortune cookies aren’t something that you normally think of having for Christmas, but they can make a great Christmas gift if you get creative. Make your own fortune cookies and put your own creative fortunes in them. Give a dozen each to your friends and make them smile as they snack on them this Christmas season.
13. Notes on Flower Petals or Candy Wrappers. You can write little love notes or jokes on a gift for someone you love. Take a soft-tip marker and write them gently on the petals of a flower or leaf. Get a pack of gum and write the notes on each of the gum wrappers. Buy a box of chocolates and stick a folded little note under each piece. Write reminders or random thoughts on post-its and stick them on desks, bed heads, pillows, drawers, dressers, coffee mugs, and just about anywhere! Oh, post-its are just romantic.
14. Messages in the Bottle. If you are thinking of a gift for your love, why not write down 100 and different language to say I love you? Roll each piece neatly and drop them off the bottle. Make little stars and hearts on colored strip papers and drop them off the bottle, too, as decorations. Tell your love, “Pick one for each day. If you ever ran out of I love you’s to read, that’s the only time that I will stop loving you.”
15. Blog posts. Are you a blogger? Regardless of what you typically blog about, send a special shout out to your family or spouse this holiday season. Your readers won’t mind as long as you keep it brief. Your honey will feel special to have been mentioned in this way in a place where everyone can see it. This is the modern way of telling the whole world that you love a specific someone.
Which of these is your favorite? I just might try writing love letters or blog posts for this year!