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I am writing an email to a family member (in-law or brother/sister). While in the past I used "love" and signed off with my first name for closing, I usually wondered if there are better words I could use instead of "Love". For one thing, it sounds uncreative and a little trite. For another, it seems phony as I do not feel a close relation to some family members. What are the alternatives?

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off the top of my head, you could use the old "yours truly" but that is distant and formal. How about "Fondly" or "Best Wishes" and "Have a great day!"

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  • "Regards"
  • "Best Regards"
  • "Best Wishes to Your Family"

(I agree that "Love" is not always the most appropriate closing but as long as it won't be misconstrued, I err on the side of using "Love" because it is not "said" often enough!)

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I agree. Love is not said often enough. However, doesn't it sound a little imposing (or insincere?) if you are not that close to the other side? – inewbie Dec 27 '12 at 19:55
@inewbie, I realize this is entirely based on opinion - but if imposing or not said with sincerity, it's not the best closing - but if it is someone who may be a long-time family member by marriage or someone who is not immediate family but you're close to, (like my sister-in-law or uncle's 3rd wife), I would still say "Love" - if the communication was of a personal nature. – Kristina Lopez Dec 27 '12 at 21:32

In a personal letter, while there is some traditional etiquette, you can largely close it however you'd like. Any sort of well-wishing or expression of affection/sincerity is acceptable. A few examples:

  • "Best Wishes"
  • "Yours Truly"
  • "See you soon"
  • "Wishing you good fortune in the New Year"
  • "God bless"

Anything works really.

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