A family newsletter for the new year is critical, especially when most of the family members do not see each other the entire year. The newsletter is important to keep the entire family informed on what's going on and the latest happenings among its members. This is especially important for huge families with members that spend the entire year away from each other. Here are four tips for writing this newsletter:
1. Choose a Name
Just like all newsletters, you may want to give your family newsletter a name. Many family newsletters are named after the family surname, usually followed with the word "Newsletter" or "Gazette." Do you want the newsletter name to sound friendly or professional? Ask other family members for suggested names, too.
2. Choose a Format
There are several formats that you can choose from--it may take in the form of a newspaper, personal letter, scrapbook or you can go handmade. The newspaper format usually requires a title header and a few columns just like in a daily paper. Standard colors are white and black, but you may use whatever you want depending on your preference. An advertising section can even be added--the perfect spot to place important dates to remember such as birthdays and anniversaries.
When choosing the personal letter format, it usually starts with a salutation, followed by a body and the closing remarks. You can add photographs to make it livelier. On the other hand, a scrapbook layout will most likely be a favorite of the youngsters in the family. It looks best when it's printed in colors. If creativity runs in the blood of some family members, a handmade newsletter won't be a problem.
3. Consider Content
After deciding on the format of your newsletter, consider its content. A family newsletter usually contains the members' achievements, failures, marriages, births, illnesses and deaths. Make sure that the newsletter's content is balanced and summarizes the entire year of the family. Important dates should not be missed.
Aside from the important events, you might want to dedicate an entire page for the "president's message." You can use this page to print out the family head's message; it is also the perfect opportunity to point out the family's plans for the next year. It can contain the family's goals, expectations and how the goals should be accomplished.
Afterwards, the remaining pages can include updates and breakthroughs of the family's projects of the past year. You can also include details, even sketchy, of the next year's reunion.
4. Other Noteworthy Information
If you are in need of more content, you can include interviews with family members who happened to experience something big or important the past year. Ask them the highlights of these events--what have they learned from it? What did they enjoy or like about it?
Also, show the first draft of the newsletter to other family members so they can come up with suggestions on how to make it better. Remember to check for grammar and spelling errors and inconsistencies in dates, too.
Creating a family newsletter will surely keep the family ties stronger while entertaining the family members at the same time.