Recapping Your Year with a Video Holiday Letter

Beth Forester


Ah, the beloved family holiday letter — you know, the long list of updates about what the Joneses have been up to throughout the year. I personally love getting them, because — as cheesy as some of them might be — it’s just a tidy recap of what the family has been up to.

But over the years, my favorite kind of family letter has actually become a video letter. Since so many of my friends and family are using Animoto, I love seeing how they put together fun photos of themselves in a simple slideshow that sure beats reading a long letter.

Check out the video holiday letter I just got from an old college friend:

How cute is her family? I feel like I’ve “caught up” with what her family has been up to…in less than a minute. I’m planning to make my own family video letter this week, and the toughest part will be choosing my favorite images.

How to make a video holiday letter

Making your own video holiday letter doesn’t have to take long. Here’s how you can put together your own:

1. Start with a holiday letter template

If you’re using Animoto, check out our holiday template category for design inspiration. I love the year-end recap template featured below. It uses photo bursts and high-energy music to make for a more attention-grabbing holiday letter.

2. Add your own photos and video clips

Upload your own images into Animoto and arrange them however you like. Check your social media accounts to find a variety of photos from throughout the year that you can include.

3. Personalize your holiday letter

If you like, you can change colors, fonts, styles, layouts, and more to match the look you want. You can also add or edit text to include your names and important moments from the year. You can also add or remove parts of your video to make it longer or shorter.

4. Choose holiday music

Animoto has thousands of songs to choose from, including a great selection of holiday songs. Check out a few of our favorites for inspiration.

5. Share your holiday letter

Preview your video to see how it looks and make sure there's nothing you want to add in. Then produce your holiday letter and send it out to friends and family. Post it on social media, email it out to loved ones, or text out a link to your video, so they can enjoy your holiday letter all year long.

So if you’re looking to shake things up this year and send a video letter instead, go for it! And paper or video, I’ll probably enjoy them all, so feel free to share them with me, below.

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