In this day of social media and regular sharing of pictures and life happenings, many people have decided to stop sending out holiday cards. I haven’t gotten to that point yet. I still like sending and receiving cards in the mail, displaying the pictures of our friends and family and spreading a little holiday cheer.
We were a bit later than normal getting our Christmas cards ordered, primarily because we waited until mid Nov. to get our annual family pictures taken. I’m pretty much running a bit behind on everything this year.
I ordered our cards from Vistaprint, and I was surprised (and pleased) at how fast our order came. Big thumbs up for that! I’ve ordered from most of the major photo sites like Shutterfly, Snapfish, Tiny Prints and Vistaprint over the years. Usually it comes down to whoever has the best sale going on at the time and also has designs that I like.
Today’s the day I need to get our cards done and ready to mail. I’ve got a busy next few weeks at work leading up to Christmas, so it’s now or after the New Year. I feel like I have a good system down that I’ve honed over the years to simplify the process. I hope some of these tips help you.
I generally try to get our cards out around mid December. Any earlier than that seems like an impossible feat, but I sent them after New Year’s once too. I try to order somewhat holiday generic cards in case I’m running really late, but personally if someone sent me a holiday card in June, I’d still be happy to see it! Anyone who would judge that would quickly be taken off my list!
I like that a lot of the newer card styles have a front and back. I like to have a little room on the back for personal notes. I have to admit, we don’t always get a note written on each one, but it’s nice to have a place to do it.
Our list doesn’t change too much from year to year. I keep our addresses in a spreadsheet. The first thing I do is update any addresses of people who have moved and add any new ones. I know I mention fairly regularly that I don’t love my handwriting. For many years we did labels. Last year I did a mail merge and fed the envelopes directly into our home printer. This was actually less time consuming for me as I was able to stuff envelopes as the next one was printing. Some sites where you can order custom holiday cards from will address your envelopes for you (and send them out!) for an additional fee.
Usually I make return address labels, but I’ve been eyeing custom stamps over the last few years. Holmes Stamp & Sign (<< affiliate link) offered to send me a free custom stamp to try out. It was hard to pick just one of their designs, but of course I had to go with one with a monogram! (I’ve blanked out part of our address for privacy.) I love the look of it for our cards AND since it is a self inking stamp, it’s making my card prepping process go a little faster than normal. Gotta love that!
I know I don’t likely have to say this, but you don’t need to lick all your envelopes. They make envelope moisteners or you can just use a small damp sponge. Anytime I lick an envelope closed, all I can think of is George’s fiance on Seinfeld meeting her untimely demise due to licking their wedding invitations! Purely fiction, but so not necessary.
If you’re lucky enough to have a willing participant to help you, set up an assembly line where someone stuffs, another seals, one addresses, and finally someone stamps. My husband usually helps with sealing and/or stamping.
We display the Christmas cards we receive in this Christmas tree shaped card holder I bought several years ago.
I love how our family pictures turned out this year. We’ve used the same photographer for a few years and she does a great job capturing our family’s personality. Thanks as always Janae Patrice Photography! Here are a few of my favorites.
What a ham! He’s at that age where he’s losing teeth right and left. He actually lost another one the morning of our pictures. His gappy grin makes me smile!
This kid is every every bit as ornery as he looks in this picture.
Back at ya buddy!
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for letting me photo vomit on you!