I know, I know, who thinks about Christmas/holiday cards now? I mean we just finished trick-or-treating here in the states! Well, I am thinking about it; actually at this point, I’ve been thinking about Christmas cards for about a month already. Now, I am not a person who rushes the holidays. I like to enjoy each holiday and the month surrounding it, but when it comes to Christmas/holiday cards, I’ve learned I am the type of person who needs a big head start.
I began sending out Christmas cards about 4 years ago. I am not the best at this task that is for sure, but I do make an effort to create and send one each year. I kind of view it as a way to say, “I thinking about you, and even though my life is crazy busy the rest of the year, I wanted to let you know that I’m happy you are in it.” With all that being said, between the figuring out what type of card I want to send, how creative I want to be, and the actual process of mailing the things, Christmas/holiday cards can be way overwhelming!
So this year, start early. Yes, like now early. Start by getting a list together of whom you want to send a Christmas card. This is also the time to decide if you are going to send a card to everyone you’ve ever met, just your close friends and family, or some combination of the two. Once you have a list of names, start gathering current address. This can sometimes take longer than you anticipated, but once you have your main list, you only have to tweak it in future years.
After compiling all the names and address, go back through your list again to make sure you haven’t forgotten anybody.
After you have your list in order, begin thinking about what type of Christmas/holiday card you want to send out. Do you want your cards to be store-bought, handmade, photos, etc. Some cards take more creativity and time than others, so be sure to allow yourself the time needed for whichever type of card you choose. Once you figure out the type of card you want to send, get to the business of creating/obtaining them. You can find store-bought cards all over the place e.g. Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Hobby Lobby and specialty shops like Hallmark. For those of you who are creative souls, most towns have a locally owned print shop that would be happy to help you create your holiday masterpiece, and don’t forget to look at your online options too. Snapfish.com creates some adorable photo cards. If you have a printer at home, you can also print off your own cards.
Once you have designed and printed your cards, it is time to address them and pop them in the mail. You usually want to aim to have them completed and ready to be mailed stamp and all about two the three weeks before the card’s intended holiday. Depending on the number of cards you need to address, you can hand address them or print off address labels. Before dropping your cards in the mail, make sure all your cards have the proper postage and that the address as well as the return address is easy to read. This will insure proper delivery.
One last tip, if you are like me and the holidays tend to slip up on you, put several reminders on your calendar. One for when you should start thinking about what type of holiday cards you want to send out; one for when to start compiling/tweaking your address list, and one for when your cards need to be mailed. This might help keep you on track, and keep the time you have to complete your tasks from slipping by as quickly.
No matter how techy our society becomes, when we get physical mail (that is not a bill or junk mail) delivered by the postman to our mailbox, it makes us smile. It lets us know that someone is thinking out us and took time out of the day to actually do something kind. This is also why I like sending Christmas cards. Now, hopefully, you’ll be thinking about send one or some of your own.
Do you have any tricks or tips to make send Christmas/holiday cards easier? Please comment and let me know about them. I love to hear your ideas.