A couple of years ago my better half and I put together a DVD letter to send to friends and family. With friends all over the world we wanted to present something that was unique and could show what we had been up to better than ink on paper.
So we took all of the footage we had shot of different events throughout the year and compiled a letter to our extended families. It was a huge hit! In fact some of the kids still drag out that DVD and watch us ride the motorcycle, go on our vacation and enjoy the backyard grilling and camping trips.
Perhaps you too have footage from many of the things you have done this year? If so, a DVD letter is a great way to communicate with friends and family! If you don't have footage from the year, perhaps photos presented with music and narration? You can shoot a short section of you and the family talking to the camera, saying "Hello" and mention all the things you've done this year then cut to photos, or end it with a montage. Its really easy.
It cost so little to mail a DVD these days, you don't need a bubble shipper. Just put it in a strong cardboard sleeve and shoot it through the postal service. You family will treasure it for years to come and they get to see you, if only via the TV set.
We carry our cameras everywhere and shoot many photos plus at least a minute of video where ever we go. Just grab a shot here and there and when you are ready, make that letter and send it. Family letter DVDs make great Christmas cards and anniversary presents too!
With camcorders getting smaller and tapeless its easy to pocket one for these kind of simple and easy reasons to push "record". Snap off a few minutes of footage when you are on the go and make something your friends and family will keep forever. :-)