© 2010 Marylane Wade Koch
In December, we celebrate seasonal traditions with family and friends. One common custom is giving gifts of appreciation to those we love. We hope to present a perfect gift to each person on our list, one that: fits, reflects personal thought, and stays within our budget.
Every year I plan to make homemade gifts, but I am not the crafty type nor am I a great cook (I would love to be both). However, as a writer I can share my ideas and thoughts through the written word. This Christmas I will offer presents that cannot be purchased at Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, or Amazon.com. I plan to give Write Gifts. Although these gifts won’t stress my Visa, they will require time and thought.
To prepare Write Gifts, take each person on your list and write specifically for that person. The Write Gift can be a story that will awaken a memory and warm the heart of the receiver. A letter, poem, song, or secret family recipe will be treasured longer than this year’s fad that will relocate to the Goodwill store after the New Year.
Below are ideas to help ignite your creativity:
- Search old pictures to clarify the memory or thought you want to share in writing.
- Copy the photo and include it with your Write Gift.
- Write about a time of struggle, blessing, accomplishment, sadness, or support. Was it a birthday, anniversary, wedding, family or class reunion?
- Make a photo album and write humorous or meaningful captions.
- Capture a memory, opinion, observation, or shared history.
- Tell someone what he/she means to you, and how he/she has affected your life.
- Write personal notes inside Christmas cards (store bought or homemade). Send an annual update letter with your cards.
- Use fiction techniques to create your Write Gift. Include emotions and employ the senses so the reader can experience the time and distinctive smells, colors, or sounds.
- Individualize your work with a festive holiday border, clip art, or selected scripture.
Make a short visit to drop off your Write Gift if possible. A hug is usually a welcome addition.
Don’t procrastinate in sharing Write Gifts. Give your present in the present. Adopt Hallmark’s slogan: “When you care enough to send the very best.” Give yourself and the Write Gift this Christmas.
Marylane Wade Koch has over 30 years of experience in writing, editing, speaking, coaching, and consulting. Koch has authored numerous articles and several healthcare books. She is a contributor to publishers such as Elsevier-Mosby, Harcourt Health Sciences, Delmar/Thompson-Cengage, F.A.Davis, Jones and Bartlett, and Salem Press. She is a contributor to the Chicken Soup anthology series. Koch serves as President of Byhalia Christian Writers and conference faculty for American Christian Writers. She is a member of the American Medical Writers Association and the Mississippi Writers Guild. She serves as adjunct faculty at the University Of Memphis. http://www.writelifeworkshops.com/about-us/