In our frenzied world of Christmas over-consumption, here’s a steadying thought from Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu:
Have few desires.
So here are two plain, simple, unselfish things you can do this Christmas to leave you wanting for less:
- Give a hand-written, heart-felt card (a ‘keeper’) to the important people in your life, including some clients.
- Give to a charity you believe in. Did you know that only one in five Indigenous kids in remote communities can read? It’s a tragedy, so we support the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation. Like to help, too?
Here’s how to write a ‘keeper’ Christmas card (notice that all but the last tip can also apply to your business writing):
- Get in the mood: Put on some tunes, platter up something good to eat, decorate your tree, wrap some pressies, flick through old photos – whatever puts you in a calm, festive headspace. Great writing can come under pressure but rarely when you’re stressed, distracted or rushing to the next task.
- Choose cool tools: First, a great pen. Second, an exquisite card – one that sets the standard at first glance. Ditch that cheesy Santa-riding-a-reindeer one from the service station, OK? Try boutique bookstores, art galleries, or make your own (even more fun).
- Draft it offline: When the words matter, first have a practice run on another piece of paper. Get your spelling and grammar right. If you’re writing to a family, it’s the ‘Barkers’ not the ‘Barker’s.’
- Keep it personal: Imagine you’re talking to them as you write. It makes for a beautifully connected, authentic style.
- Highlight the spectacular: What to write? If you draw a blank, try jotting down three things you genuinely appreciate about them – things you may be uncomfortable saying face-to-face, or never get around to saying. Don’t mention the fifty bucks they owe you.
Here are a few openers if you didn’t put enough (or too much) brandy in your eggnog before you sat down to write:
- Thank you so much for…
- My favourite time this year was when…
- This Christmas, I hope you/we…
- Christmas always reminds me of…
- My wish for you this year is… (love, success, fun, laughter, good health, adventure, etc.)
- Let’s make a New Year’s Resolution to…
- ‘Merry Christmas’ in their language, or in their forebears’ language (however exotic)
How else could you start a card? In the Christmas spirit, please share your ‘thought’ gifts in the comments below.
All at Magneto wish you safe celebrations this year, and a rollicking start to 2013!
P.S. If you haven’t seen ‘A Moody Christmas,’ and you love irreverent Australian humour, you now have some holiday viewing!