Every year when I take out my Christmas file (full of lists, of course!), I love going through the cherished “Dear Santa” letters that I have kept all this time. From the scribbles of the toddler to the very mature and sophisticated listing of the 4th grader, these first attempts at letter writing helped my sons to see the importance of written communication. After all, if you didn’t effectively communicate to Santa what you might want for Christmas, you might just get socks under the tree!! So my Christmas gift to you this week is to encourage you to share the Christmas spirit using written communication. Think of today’s ideas as easy, cheap, but very appreciated gifts to share with others.
Instead of a “Dear Santa” letter, write a “Dear Co-worker” email. Now is a perfect time to encourage or appreciate someone else, and it’s so easy. Think of a specific contribution or a time that the co-worker supported you or a successful collaborative effort. Or just note how much you enjoy working with that person. And make the email simple -- “I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for …”
Instead of a “Dear Co-worker” email, actually write a physical note. What?? You heard me … write a note. Months ago, I sent a handwritten note thanking one of Scott’s co-workers for the planning and preparation of a huge work-related social event. And even now, when she sees Scott, she still talks about the novelty of the handwritten note and how much she appreciates the thought. And trust me -- I think the note consisted of about 3 sentences! Again, make things simple -- “Thanks so much for …” or “I really appreciate …” And don’t worry about fancy paper or cards or even about mailing the note. Use printer paper or a sticky note. Hand deliver the note or place it on the desk or under the door of the co-worker.
One last idea -- Go ahead and write your own “Dear Santa” letter or email. Macy’s supports the Make a Wish organization by donating a $1 (up to $1 million) for every letter dropped off at the store and every email sent from their website. Make the letter/email writing an office project and get everyone involved, or get your children to send an actual handwritten letter to Santa and drop it off at the store. Go to https://www.macys.com/social/believe/ for more information.
etc Strategies believes that written communication is an important part of effective communication and such an easy way to encourage, support, and appreciate others. Take some time this holiday season to write to someone, even Santa. After all, do you really want socks this year??