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Write A Gift This Christmas

Stories, poems and memoirs make unique Christmas presents.

If you’re wracking your brains trying to think of special presents for loved ones this Christmas, you can stop thinking and start writing because a story, a poem or a scene from a memoir will be the most unique present you can come up with. A present that will be loved and cherished always by its reader.

As it’s November, there isn’t time to write a long story, so if you decide to do something fictional, keep things simple and do a piece of flash fiction. For a gift, I’d stick to 250-500 words. (Make every word count!) You could opt for a Christmas theme, something funny or something moving but always consider what your recipient would most like to read. Would they love a mysterious and atmospheric story more than something humorous? Would they like to feature as a character in the story? For pet lovers, you could write a story from their pet’s point of view. What does their dog/cat/tortoise really get up to when they're not there?

If your reader is into poetry, there is time to write a small poem they’ll love. Again, as this is a gift, consider what would be most appreciated. A Christmas themed poem? Something funny, jaunty, pithy or poignant? Don’t worry too much about rhyming but do make sure it scans (has a rhythmic beat to it). I'd aim for eight lines but any length is fine.

Memoir writing has been hugely popular for the last few years – I teach lots of memoir classes – and whilst there isn’t time to write your life story in four weeks, there is time to write about a happy and positive scene from your life as a gift for your children or grandchildren. Share what is important to you; something they don’t know about you. What is your first memory? How did you spend Christmas as a child? When did you first fall in love? What is your happiest childhood memory? If you don't want to write about yourself, you could write a character portrait of your own parents and grandparents – someone your recipient has never met or has heard very little about.

Whatever gift you decide to write, either type and print out in a good font on pretty paper or write by hand in a small hardback book (watercolour art pads work well for this). You can add photos and decorate the cover, but it’s the words that count. The words that you have chosen to share with someone you love.


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