Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Don't Go Apeshit!

This is just an announcement that the first Christmas cards of the season have been sent out to various people, with yet another creative newsletter. Its turning out to be the case that odd number years have more creative newsletters than even number years. In 2007, I took advantage of the "007" in the year to write a James Bond-themed newsletter (featuring the title of every James Bond movie, except one for obvious reasons, in a sentence somewhere in the newsletter). In 2009, I wrote from Sarah Palin's perspective, which proved to be a huge hit among those who received it. Last year, I had planned to write it up in Restaurant menu style, but I had stupidly saved the document on the work computer and when I was given 10 minutes to clear my desk, I did not have time to have that newsletter sent to my email. I just deleted as much as I could from the computer. It would have been a great newsletter, and maybe I'll do it someday but not this year nor next year (yes, I already have plans for next year's newsletter as well!).

So many newsletter ideas, so few years to try them! Maybe I should go half-year! Ha.

Last year, one of my good friends sent a newsletter for the first time. He said that he was inspired by me (I'm flattered). He's a journalism professor at a university in Kentucky (the same university where George Clooney had attended one semester before he dropped out to pursue acting). His newsletter was appropriate: News headlines. I was stunned how much he was able to convey in just news headlines. He should write for "The Onion"! He was hilarious. When I talked to him about it, I told him that I envied his ability to say so much with so few words. I write a narrative each time and push the two page limit (using a smaller-than-I-really-should font), but I would love to do a newsletter of nothing but news headlines.

My favourite newsletter each year is hands down Jantzen (my other roommate in D.C.). I feel like he and I compete each year for creative newsletters. He has written from the perspective of his unborn son and newspaper articles, and even one where it was like a missing persons bulletin. Most of all, his sense of humour comes through and I always laugh. I look forward to them every year. If you do a Google search about how to write a Christmas newsletter, you'll get quite a few options to click on. Some of the people giving free advice seem to repeat the cliche that people hate receiving newsletters every year, yet its such a tradition for a lot of people. Really? I LOVE newsletters, even if some of them are annoying brag sheets. I love seeing the creative ways people share the events of their year. I've also gotten great feedback on my newsletters, so I'm not stopping. It just encourages me to try different approaches year after year. This year marks Volume XIII. I started in 1999, during my last semester at BYU because I got tired of handwriting the same basic info in card after card. This allowed me to write the events of my year once and then hand write a personal note specific to the person I'm mailing the card to. I wish I had written a newsletter since 1990. Last year on my blog, I wrote a post as though I was writing my 1990 newsletter. I will do the same this year with 1991. That will appear on "Black Friday."

So, check your mailbox for a card coming to you. If you don't get one this week or next, don't go "apeshit." I'm busy and I'll get them out to my mailing list before Christmas. Promise!

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