Sending out holiday cards this year? If you haven’t started thinking about all that yet, it’s time to get a plan together. I know I am!
How about a few tricks to make this year’s process a little easier.
1. Get your list done early! This will help you figure out how many cards you need to buy . When creating your list, think about the categories of people you know, to make sure you’re not forgetting anyone, and brainstorm by that group: Family, Work, Kids’ School, Neighborhood, Religious group, College, etc. Pull together the list AND the addresses so that you have them all ready to go when you need them.
2. Print out mailing labels AND your list. Keep the list handy, and take notes to keep track of whether you receive from others, and you can jot down any addresses for people you didn’t send a card to, in order to update your list for next year.
3. Once you get your list together, accounting for some extras, you can get your cards together. Did you buy cards on sale after the holidays last year? Go find where you hid them! Are you making photo cards this year? Get your photos ready and find some great deals on the internet for ordering them. Do yourself a favor: splurge for self-adhesive envelopes!
4. Pick up stamps, and, well, while you’re at it, pick up some extras. Stamps go up three cents a piece in January!
5. Use all those free address labels you get from charities; cut out the picture on them if you want. What a great way to get your kids involved in the process – ask them to stick them on! (Who cares if address labels are crooked?)
6. Start your cards early… and write them when it’s convenient for you. Going to a doctor’s appointment? Your child’s soccer game? Commuting on the train? Use the waiting time wisely! Every time you go somewhere, bring a handful of cards, your list, and a pen with you! You’ll get it all done in no time! Last year, I did all of my cards on a flight from Boston to Denver. I was organized, had the whole project in a carry-on tote bag, and by the time I landed, all of our cards were done. Oh, and I had the people at the hotel mail them for me, so I didn’t have to pack them to bring them home.
7. Don’t feel like you have to wait until they’re ALL done to mail them. Get a few done every night, and mail them out. Staying on top of mailing 10-15 a day is easier than figuring out when you’re going to find time to run to the post office to deal with 200 cards.
8. Make up a few extra cards/envelopes to keep handy. You can use these to fill out a new card in a pinch, whether you need to do some tips for people, or if you get a card from someone who wasn’t on your original list; you can return with your own card quickly.
9. After the holidays are over, raid those late December sales for next year’s cards on the cheap!! (It’s okay if all your cards don’t match each other! No one will know… or if they do, no one will care!)
Well, that list is good for traditional holiday card sending. There *are* alternatives….
e-Cards. Yes, you could take the approach that it is easier on you wallet, easier on trees, easier on your carbon footprint, and, well, easier on your tongue! Send your holiday greetings via email.
Outsource your card mailing. Hallmark, Red Stamp, Sendoutcards.com, Overnight Prints, to name a few, will print and mail your cards out for you. (Remember, the price includes the cost of the stamp that you were already going to spend).
And while you’re in the holiday card mood, why not send some cards to the troops?
Whatever you choose, be sure to find ways to make it easier on yourself this year!