Easy tips for writing your holiday cards this season
It’s the beginning of November, and here in Everett that means the days are getting short and the rain is here for the season. I always forget just how dark it gets here once the clocks fall back for daylight savings time- today I had to take a flashlight with me to walk my dog, Willy, at 4:45pm! So I’ve pulled out all of my coziest clothes to wear while I work in the studio to get ready for my winter markets.
November also means that it’s time to start getting ready to send holiday cards! Yep, we’re already heading into the holidays and time seems to fly this time of year with Thanksgiving, holiday parties, winter vacations, shopping and all of the things happening.
I often hear people say that they run out of time to send cards during this busy season and I’ve admittedly been there myself. In the years that I’ve forgone mailing holiday cards, it was usually because I waited too long and set my expectations too high of just how many cards I wanted to send out. But over the last few years I’ve learned that starting before Thanksgiving and writing cards in chunks has made holiday card writing enjoyable rather than feeling like a chore. I’ve also embraced the fact that some years I’ll send five cards and other years I’ll send twenty-five, and that’s a-ok.
I’ve come to look forward to sending cards during this busy season, because it allows me to carve out a little quiet time to say something meaningful to the most important people in my life. And I’m a firm believer that letter writing in our day and age should add value to your life and the recipient, so if you’ll be sending cards this season or want to, I put together four tips for keeping it fun.
Tip #1: Buy your cards, postage stamps and supplies early.
Wherever you decide to buy your cards from- whether it’s from a small maker like me, a print-on-demand online company, or from Hallmark, I encourage you to buy your supplies early so you have lots of time to write and send them!
Even though you can buy postage stamps at your local post office, I prefer ordering my stamps directly through USPS.com. They have a big selection of stamps, including holiday designs, that are festive and add extra spark. Some of them you can’t even get at your local post office!
Be on the lookout for fun stickers or small items that’ll fit in your card too! It might not be a present, or even a stocking stuffer, but opening a card with a few extra things still feels like a treat! (But please, don’t send glitter, that’s just cruel.)
Tip #2: Make a list and check it twice. :P
If this is the first time you’re sending cards for the holidays, start small! The whole point is to send holiday cheer, so keep that in mind as you make your list to avoid overextending yourself.
Reach out to friends and family members on your list who’s addresses you need. If someone’s moved over the year, you might want to double check that you’re up to date. I keep addresses in an old school address book, but you can add them to your phone contacts, create a spreadsheet, or try out a site like Postable.
Tip #3: Write in sessions.
If you plan on sending more than a handful of cards, breaking up your card writing into small sessions is worth considering. It helps keep your mind fresh and your notes sincere. I tend to write in a quiet place, but I’m also an introvert, so if that’s a snoozefest for you, have a card writing night with family or friends!
I sent a lot of cards last winter and found that sitting down for several card writing sessions kept things light and enjoyable. For my first session I put a show on Netflix and addressed and stamped all of my envelopes from my couch. I broke up the actual card writing into a few different hour-long sessions (like I said, I sent a lot last year) and loved writing in the evening. I think this year I’ll head to one of my favorite coffee shops, Cracken Coffee Roasters. And since I have a full winter calendar this year, I’ll have to minimize my recipient list this year to VVIP’s (very very important people). I’ve learned not to beat myself up about what I did or didn’t achieve for the holidays, because that misses the point completely, so I don’t worry about sending as many cards as I have in previous years.
Tip #4: Have fun!
Play holiday music, open a bottle of wine, buy a set of colorful gel pens, write in your pajamas. Don’t worry about making mistakes or over think what you want to say. If you mess up, just cross through it and keep writing! So get comfy and have fun sharing love, joy and cheer with friends and family.
If you’re ready to get the ball rolling, check out my selection of holiday cards!