Thursday, December 9, 2010

Holiday Writings as Gifts

As a writer with not much money to spend on gifts for my extended family, I've discovered that a Christmas-themed short story works wonders. I write a piece of flash fiction, print out enough copies for everyone, and stick them into everyone's Christmas card. I make sure the story is short enough so it fits on one printed page, though since it's not going to a publisher, I can fudge the margins, text size, and other formatting features as necessary. I've been doing this for four or five years, and it's become a hit with the family. Since I've been doing this for a number of years, I've gotten into a rhythm. One year I'll write a heart-felt nice story, and the next I'll pen a more lighthearted story.

I print my stories out on regular white paper. To gussy it up a bit, I'll go through the fonts and pick a fancy one that matches the mood of the story. For example, if I have a sweet story about an angel reuniting a young girl with her family, I'll use a flowing, flowery font, while if I have a story of a PI interrogating Santa, I'll use Times New Roman. The possibilities are endless. You could go with fancy multi-colored paper; you could, if you're a crafty sort of person, add lace or other ornaments to the page; you could write a short poem and needlecraft it; or you could do anything else your imagination can come up with. The great thing about family (for the most part) is that they tend to appreciate the hard work as much as the gift itself.

To sum up, I like to use my talent for the written word as a gift for my family. It's unique to my family--no other family out there in the world is getting that story as a gift. You can make it as elaborate or simple as you want, and it's still a special gift. I hope this has inspired some of you to use your writing talents--be it flash fiction or poetry--to give as gifts this (and every) year! Have a Happy Holiday season!