It’s the most wonderful time of the year—Christmas! A favorite tradition for many includes sending Christmas cards to loved ones near and far. The hustle and bustle during the holiday season can sometimes make the thought of sending Christmas cards overwhelming, but with a little planning & some helpful tips, putting together Christmas cards may just become one of your favorite traditions too!
The best advice for sending Christmas cards is to plan early! The late fall and early winter months are filled to the brim with holiday decorating, parties, shopping and wrapping, baking and traveling, in addition to all of the regular calendar items. Help alleviate some of the last minute chaos associated with sending out Christmas cards by tackling any or all of the following tasks a couple months prior.
1. Make a list of everyone you’d like to send a Christmas card to & gather current addresses. This list is something you can create once and edit yearly as friends and family move or you have additions to make. Whether you store this information digitally via a computer spreadsheet or handwrite the details in an address book, you’ll be relieved that come Christmas card time, you aren’t having to hunt down addresses. Plus, with your list in hand, you’ll know how many cards to order.
2. Tackle the family photo 1-3 months prior to card-sending time. If you like sending photo cards or even just loose photos with your Christmas cards, schedule your family portraits at least a couple of months in advance. It can take time for your photographer to edit images and get them to you.
When preparing for your family Christmas card photos, here are some things to keep in mind:
3. Begin purchasing holiday stamps a little at a time to spread out the expense. Purchase Forever stamps that can be used, year after year, despite rate increases at the Post Office.
4. Order return address labels. Including a return address on all of your cards is important. First, those who you send cards to may not keep an updated address book and will look on the envelope for your address. Secondly, even with your best efforts to keep up-to-date information for the individuals on your list, some will undoubtedly have moved and you will want to receive your card back with their forwarding address. Finally, not only do return address labels look nice, they save you time from having to hand-write them on all of your envelopes. Many card companies sell return address labels that coordinate with your chosen card design.
5. Begin writing your Christmas newsletter a month or two in advance, if you like to include a recap of the year. While important events may happen during the last couple months of the year, even keeping a brief list of monthly highlights can help speed along the newsletter-writing process.
6. Order Christmas cards early enough in the holiday season to allow for early December mailing. We love the variety offered from Tiny Prints, which is where we ordered our cards this year. There are so many coordinating items to make the assembly process easy, from envelopes, liners, address labels and even custom stamps! (We recommend ordering 5-10 extra cards for any last minute additions to your list.) You will appreciate having plenty of time to proof your cards, ensure accuracy, assemble, address & mail them. Keep in mind, some may be returned to you with address corrections needed. Mailing holiday cards early will allow plenty of time for all intended recipients to get them in the mail. Plus, you may end up on a few more holiday card lists too!
7. Once your cards have arrived, set aside a little time each day to address and assemble a stack. (If your chosen Christmas card designer offers recipient addressing and it’s in the budget, we highly recommend it!) Breaking the task up over a few days or weeks will keep it from being all-consuming. Christmas card burnout is a real thing folks!
8. Don’t forget to mail them! If you’re laughing at this tip, you’ve most likely forgotten your box of finished cards and sent them late as a “Happy New Year” card.
With these tips in mind, you are ready to navigate the fun tradition of sending out Christmas cards! You will love the joy that results from staying connected with friends and family.
Article: Jennifer Carver of Banner Events
Photo card styling: Jennifer Carver of Banner Events and Rochelle Pettingill
Photography: Rochelle Pettingill
Christmas cards, envelopes, liners, address labels: Tiny Prints