Time to fess up. I’ve been having a love affair with Christmas cards all my life.
They represent much of what the holiday means for me:
hearing from far-away loved ones whom I rarely see, but want to keep in touch with;
sending and receiving greetings that remind me what the season is all about;
and the sheer eye candy of all the gorgeous holiday images that I love so much… trees and wreaths and snowy scenes.
Disclosure: This blog post is sponsored by Minted and also contains affiliate links for holiday cards you might like. This means if you make a purchase from one of these links, we’ll make a small commission at no additional cost to you so we can keep sondra lyn at home coming your way. All written content here is, as always, totally mine.
Sending cards hasn’t always been easy. There were numerous years that Christmas cards almost weren’t.
Yep, I’ve had several close calls with Christmas cards. Years when it was extremely doubtful that I could get my act together in time to get them in the mail. And, truth be told, I’ve had some pretty unusual Decembers.
Like the first one we had as a married couple, for instance! We got married on December 18th. Yeah, that’s right – exactly one week before Christmas. And yeah, not sure what we were thinking. Young and in love, I guess, but Christmas took a back seat to our wedding that year for my whole family!
And then there were the three times we moved in December. How – or better, why – does that happen? It’s life, right?
And I used to write a Christmas letter. In spite of Miss Manners, who feels one should spare their friends and family this torture, I had the opinion that it brought infrequently seen friends and family up to date on our family’s goings on.
But that was before social media provided the means to stay in touch year-round with loved ones. Now you can just post a pic of the Jill’s first day of school on Facebook for everyone to see! You can even send your Christmas cards as e-cards through email or social media.
Ah, but that’s just not the same. I still love to the cards we receive and I treasure thinking of the senders as I open them.
So, here’s my newest list of Christmas card etiquette and ideas:
- Make your list – check it twice. Your card recipient list will likely change through the years, as those in your sphere of influence come and go. It’s OK to update your list from year to year, adding or taking away as needed. Experts say that, if you’ve mailed greeting to someone for 3-4 years without a response, it’s perfectly fine to remove them from you list.
- Decide what type of card to send. Do you want to share a family photo? A new addition to the family? A new home? These days, it’s easy to personalize a card to share any of these messages and more! If you’re sending photo cards, you will need to budget enough time to get them ordered.
- Design a card that unique to you! With all of the options available today, it’s easy to design a card that is unique to you and your family. Minted, for instance, even offers multiple color choices for each card design. In our case, I designed the colors of ours to pick up on the denim that some of us are wearing in our photo. And they can even transform your art into a holiday card!
- Try to get them out early. Not too early, but I’ve always had the opposite problem! Many years, it’s just been so hard to get it done before mid-December. But the post office gets so busy that last week before Christmas, that it is best to mail before the 2nd week of the month. My goal this year is to get them out right after Thanksgiving!
- Include a newsletter if you want. Just keep it short. Experts advise keeping it to one page and just hit the highlights of the past year. Minted offers some awesome templates that include photos and text that you can work your newsletter into on the back of a card. Genius! No separate page to compose, print out and insert!
- To save time, have them pre-printed with recipient’s addresses. What a time-saver! Hand-addressed is great, but if it comes down to getting them done – or not – it’s perfectly fine to have them pre-printed on the envelopes. For a limited time, Minted is offering this service for free! Yep, I said FREE!
- Turn envelope-stuffing into a party! Get everyone involved sealing envelopes, attaching stamps and getting your cards ready to go. Serve hot chocolate and Christmas cookies and get it all done! (Keep the hot chocolate away from the cards, though!)
And, here’s a peek at our card for this year. It was great fun taking the family photos, choosing them and designing the card! (The address shown below is fictitious)
Now, go… get busy! And most of all, enjoy the process of sending greetings to everyone on your list this year!!
Thanks again to Minted for sponsoring this post and giving me some great ideas for our own holiday card!
- Minted is a design marketplace of independent artists from around the globe.
- This year, all holiday cards are available with matching envelope designs and recipient addressing, FREE for a limited time. Save time and make your holiday card beautiful from the inside out.
- 2015 holiday card trends: Take it from our community of independent artists—hand-drawn patterns, dark grey with metallic, geometric, and bold color palettes are what’s on-trend for this season. Among this year’s top trends are real foil-pressed holiday cards in gold, silver and rose gold, available exclusively at Minted; also new are photo letterpress holiday cards featuring the luxurious look and feel of letterpress paired with unique inks and neon colors.
- Minted is known for its high-quality paper and printing. Minted’s Signature paper is thick and luxurious with a creamy cotton texture, and has been optimized for photo printing. You can also choose 100% recycled paper, Pearlescent paper which adds a subtle shimmer, DoubleThick paper or even TripleThick paper. Minted also offers 9 unique die-cut shapes. A variety of backer options allow you to add additional photos, text, and customization options to your holiday card.
- Love your holiday card so much that you want to make it a permanent fixture of your home? Introducing new Holiday Keepsake Art. Create a gallery wall of holiday memories with a framed keepsake made of this year’s holiday card.