Have you ever written a letter to your family to tell them how much you love them and how much they mean to you? How about writing one this year for the holidays?
I still remember some of the letters my parents wrote to me over the years. They were meaningful and important memories. I wish I saved them. So I wonder: How can we use the power of writing letters to create meaningful memories for our children? Maybe even a record of letters over time.
If Homer Simpson can write his family
a Letter from Dad, then you can too
My goal is to write my family a letter, once a year, around the holidays. To freeze time and share some thoughts about family and life. Wouldn’t it be amazing for your children to have a collection of letters from you when they grow up to be your age? Once a year, a letter from Dad.
Here’s how my letter started last year:
Happy Holidays! I write to all of you with hope and sincerity of memorializing in a letter what life was like for the McDuff Family this year. As we grow older together, I hope that you might take this letter and future letters to read, reflect, and maybe even pass on to your own children one day as a history of our family. Think of this letter as a time capsule to the past, something to remember and reflect upon years into the future. Something that you may enjoy reading now, but may treasure even more when you’re my age…”
I wrote it, printed it, bound it, and read it to my family:
It doesn’t have to be long. Just a few pages to tell your family how you felt about the year. Read it aloud by the fireplace. I couldn’t read mine without getting choked up a few times. You can include pictures, stories, struggles, gratitude, whatever comes to mind for you. I’ve even created a template to get you started!
If you write consistently over time, your family will have a record of who their Dad was and what you were thinking in each year of your life. Eventually, the letters could become some of their most treasured memories of you. An opportunity to hear your voice even after you’re gone.
If you’re still reading, consider writing a letter to your family for the holidays this year. If it goes well, consider doing it every year.
Readers: Are you planning to write a Letter from Dad this year? If and when you do, would you be willing to share a few paragraphs for posting (anonymously) on EconDad? I’d love to show others how powerful these can be. I hope you consider sending a snippet my way!