The costs of printing holiday letters, buying Christmas cards, and postage stamps can add up quickly. Rather than give up the tradition of staying in touch with distant friends and relatives over the holidays, start a blog and share news, photos and video clips for free. Blogs are easier and quicker to set up than family websites, and they can be just as easily taken down after the holidays.
Set Up a Blog
Some email accounts offer free blog space as part of their service. Before choosing this option, make sure blog readers do not have to have an account with the same service provider. Free blog space is available on sites like Google’s blogspot.com, and can be used by anyone.
Name the Blog
The blog will need a unique name. Choose one that is easy to remember, but doesn’t give too much personal information. A name like BigBill’sChristmasChronicals lets the family know whose blog it is, without telling the world exactly who and where Bill is located. When the blog is registered with the blog provider, a web address will be generated. This is the address readers will use to access the blog.
What to Do with a Holiday Blog
Bloggers have the option of posting a one-time newsy letter similar to what a printed letter might contained, or making several smaller posts throughout the holiday season. Writing a few brief postings over time is great option for busy folks. For example there could be a short posting about the kids’ stellar performances in the school holiday program, followed later by a posting of remembrances from Christmases past, and later a posting of favorite holiday recipes.
Add Photos and Video Clips
Unlike a printed letter, adding photos to a blog costs nothing and definitely increases the appeal of the site. Video clips can also be added. Distant relatives can watch the kids decorating holiday cookies, the cat climbing the Christmas tree, or mom singing a solo with the choir.
Security of a Blog
Most blog sites offer password protection. Choosing this option means blog readers will need to use a password to access the blog. This may prove cumbersome and limit readership, but the security may be worth the inconvenience. Generally, bloggers should not include detailed information on the blog such as last names, phone numbers, home addresses, or the names of the schools the children attend.
Tell Everyone About the Blog
Once the first posting is on the blog site, get out the word. Send an email to family and friends with a link to the blog. Ask those family members to pass the link on to other relatives and family friends.
Readers Add Comments
Bloggers can decide if they want to activate the comments feature or not. Using this feature makes the blog interactive. Friends and relatives can add their recollections and comments to the postings, enriching the blog for everyone.
After the Holidays
After the holidays, print out the entire blog, including the comments, then remove the blog from the Internet. Most blog sites have a feature that makes this as easy as clicking a button.
For people short of cash or time, a blog is a great way to stay in touch over the holidays, and could start a whole new family tradition.