If you would like to send your Holiday Cards before the Holiday Season is over, it's best to do as much of the prep work as possible BEFORE Thanksgiving.
Step 1: Review and Revise your holiday card list. My criteria is this: if you don't feel like writing a personal message to the person/family, remove them from your list. Add any new friends/family members that you've connected with over the past year. This could include your new neighbors, or your husband's long lost cousin whom the family reunited with this year. Hunting down the addresses now will save your sanity next month. If it isn't already, quickly type up your list on the computer. Then you can update it next year more easily.
Step 2: Count up your list, and order your holiday stamps online. Right now! It only costs a dollar for the mail carrier to deliver them to your door. Before you order, check to see if you have holiday stamps left over from last year. Include extra holiday stamps for your thank you notes if you are neurotic like me. :)
Step 3: Do you have return address labels? If not, save yourself some writing time and order some cute holiday return address labels--again, get enough to cover your thank you notes as well. You could print your own if you're so inclined.
Step 4: Determine what type of holiday card you plan to send, meaning a traditional folded card, or a photo card, or a traditional card with a photo holder? Or a newsletter? Design and/or purchase your cards now. I recommend 1/2 dozen extra if you want some on hand in case you forgot someone in Step 1. If you are sending a photo card, consider purchasing an acid-free scrapbooking pen so that you can write on the back of the cards (optional).
Step 5: As your supplies start arriving, keep them all together in a bag or other container--I like to use a small-size handled gift bag--along with your address book. You know that you are ready to start writing your holiday cards when the bag contains the following items:
- Checklist (print the list you wrote up in Step 1)
- Return Address Labels
- Cards, photos (optional) and Envelopes
- Pen (optional photo-safe pen)
- Address Book/Printout
This has not occurred again since my kids came along. Instead of writing pleasant holiday messages on the airplane, I am corralling my dear children, who are actually pretty well behaved on flights, but not well-behaved enough for me to write holiday cards. I must admit that there have been numerous years when some of my holiday cards did not make it past Step 5.
This year, I am determined to have my supplies bag ready to tote along and work on whenever I have down time. The steps occurring at this point are as follows:
Step 6: Write a personal greeting and sign your name.
Step 7: Stuff, seal, address, stamp, send!
Your kids can participate in these two steps by:
- Signing their name
- Sealing the envelope
- Attaching return address labels and stamps