I use to procrastinate to the last minute to send out Christmas Cards to friends and family. It always seemed like such a chore and, though I loved remembering each person as I wrote out a personal note, there were many family members that had only the single contact during the year. These long distance relations needed more than a “thinking of you” at the bottom of the card.
Make Sending Christmas Cards Painless by Starting a Family Newsletter.
To make Christmas Cards easier to send out, I start with a family newsletter. Think about each person in your family and write about what they have accomplished in the past year. Also, acknowledge any who have passed on, any marriages or births for your immediate family members.
Make Sending Christmas Cards Painless by Using Mail Merge
Use mail merge to create mailing labels for the envelopes. My hand writing is horrible. It is nearly impossible for me to decipher it; much less some poor postal clerk who is bleary eyed trying to read it during the holiday rush. So, I have my addresses stored in Outlook and use either MS Word or MS Publisher to create Holiday mailing address labels. Just use the merge function to create custom labels that anyone can read. I run a second set of self-stick labels with our return address and usually design them with the help of holiday clipart to keep them festive and not plane.
Make Sending Christmas Cards Painless by Sending Pictures
I also include a couple of pictures in each card. I use my digital camera to take snapshots throughout the year. When it is time to send cards, I make a quick trip to my local photo development location, such as Wal-Mart, and make prints of the pictures I want to send. I keep the prints fairly small so that the postage does not increase. I also have a variety of shots. Some may go out to everyone, but most get a personal selection.
Make Sending Christmas Cards Painless by Forming an Assembly Line
Finally, I sit down and finish up my cards in an assembly style. I start with the address labels. If the person is not one who normally celebrates Christmas, I send a more generic Happy Holidays card. They still receive the news letter, a couple of pictures, and sometimes a short handwritten note. The card is sealed, stamped and return address placed on before I move to the next Christmas card.
Using this method, I can complete my list of over 50 Christmas Cards recipients in less than two hours.
Make Sending Christmas Cards Painless By Saving Money
To save money, I can also divide the completed cards into two groups, those that will be mailed and those that are local which will be hand delivered.
Make Sending Christmas Cards Painless by Avoiding Black Friday
For the past several years, I have found that getting my Christmas Cards completed and ready to mail is more fun than fighting the crowds during Black Friday. So, that is when I aim to complete my cards this year. Everything is ready except for having the pictures printed and that will be done well before the Black Friday madness.
You may not want to try all of my strange methods, but I hope you will try a few. You know how you feel when you receive a Christmas card, so share the feeling by sending your own. Sending Christmas cards is painless, if you know a few tricks.