I’m hunkering down to compose my annual holiday year-in-review letter, and a literacy-related creative gift idea springs to mind. It’s a gift in several different ways, it can be given to countless people, and it can cost little to nothing.
This gift often gets a bad rap (oh, and it needs no wrapping!), but it doesn’t deserve it. Maybe it can be done badly, but, personally, I appreciate every attempt to craft this gift.
This gift is simply the year-in-review.
- Recalling the year’s events and activities is a gift to those who get to re-live them. It’s amazing what we can accomplish in a year,and it can feel good to see in condensed form what we’ve done. The time spent reminiscing is a gift of quality family time.
- Sharing them provides entertainment for others and allows them to enter your world and feel included and closer to you. This can be important for distant and perhaps lonely family and friends.
- Keeping them as historical documents provides entertainment and valuable information for yourself and your family down the road. I love reading the family holiday letters from my childhood.
The year-in-review can take many forms. I like to write letters, and Mike likes to take photos, so a photo-illustrated letter is my choice. Some other possibilities might be a photo collage or timeline/map of the year. My sister prints books of photos through Shutterfly. My inlaws keep a chart, which I call “The Boxes,” that very briefly lists each person’s doings during the years. This last one isn’t shared outside the immediate family, but it’s a gift to those family members.
Every member of your family can participate, no matter how young. Let the youngest family members dictate their parts of the letter, or have them illustrate their favorite events of the year. Develop literacy–woot!
We can share this gift beyond our own circle of family and friends by offering to help someone else create a letter or just send holiday cards, someone who cannot do it alone, perhaps an elderly person who doesn’t see well or has arthritis.
Thanks to the Internet, we can send digital letters, images, and books and save some trees and postage.
Truly, this is a great gift. Is this one you give? If so, in what form?