I always try to write something personal in every Christmas card I send. It's usually a short paragraph about something that happened in my past with that person, or something that I know will make them laugh. I try my best to show them my love, and that I'm thinking about them this holiday season.
When you think about it, a simple task like writing a Christmas card is actually rather complicated. We do it every year, which increases the risk of repeating the same thing. For handwriting cards, you can show that you really care by sending some happy wishes with personalised information, building a bond or sharing with them the things happened in the year.
"Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart." ~ Washington Irving
Not everyone has to write a soliloquy to show that they care. If I wasn't interested in who received the card, I wouldn't send one in the first place. Just the act of taking the time to find a card that suits, shows that you have put in forethought. I don't see the point in writing extra messages when I have nothing of worth to relay.
Usually something different for each one - if OS or Interstate, then a letter of what we've been doing, and if someone that lives locally, either something about something we've done together (and how we should do more of it) or sometimes I write in a suggestion for when to next catch up, plus the usually merry Christmas, best wishes for 2014 etc...
I always personalise the message. Sometimes the year goes by without having caught up with that person. I fill the blank side up with the latest events then wish them a peaceful festive season and a healthy 2014 or which ever the next year is. I also hope that Santa spoils them too. A friend of mine puts little foil reindeer etc. inside the card so when you open it up (and I'm very careful each time) they all fall out like confetti. Brings a smile to my face too.
I try to write a personal message for each card I write and over the years have reduced the number of cards I'd previously felt duty bound to write so that the cards I know send are sincere and from the heart. I generally wish people a happy Christmas time and might remark on what I know their Christmas plans to be e.g. 'I bet you're looking forward to seeing little Ben open his presents on Christmas Day' etc. I also tend to make reference to the coming year especially when the prior year hasn't been a good one. I tend to wish them a happy new year one filled with happiness, good health or other appropriate good wishes. For some older relatives I'll include a little handwritten letter of updates and family news or a photo. For me Christmas cards are still a beautiful way to send your loved ones heartfelt and kind wishes at a time of year when they feel more in your thoughts than ever.
I try to write an original message every year. Something not too serious but which also expresses our best wishes for the year ahead. An example would be "Wishing you good times, good cheer and a happy new year". I haven't written a message for this year yet so am looking for ideas. Thanks for this great question!