It’s time to get those Christmas cards in the mail, if you haven’t already. I know that I tend to procrastinate with this sort of thing, and truth be told, I will be ordering cards this weekend. If you’re similar in your foot-dragging when it comes to getting cards made, written, addressed and sent, here are some tips on making the process as smooth as possible:
- Look through your recent stash of photos on your phone or camera and see if you find one that’s appropriate. You don’t necessarily have to send cards featuring your family gathered around the Christmas tree, though you certainly can. If you have a nice picture of all of you, or of all of the kids (plus the dog for good measure, perhaps), then don’t feel bad about using it, even if it features them eating watermelon or walking in a flower-filled field. As long as it was taken within the past several months, it will be fine.
- On the other hand, if you need or want to take a photo, consider a low-stress shooting session. If your kids hate dressing up, don’t put them in frilly or stiff clothing for a Christmas card! Instead, hand them each a red t-shirt or sweater and let them wear jeans. Pile the kids on the steps of the front porch or snap a pic while they’re playing on the swings in the backyard. Or give them each a letter or two from your last name to hold up, or give one the word “Merry” and the other the word “Christmas” painted on cardboard.
- Have your cards made from the convenience of your own home. Once you get that perfect photo, upload it onto a site like Shutterfly.com. These come out looking great, glossy and professional. Choose the template you like best, type in a message and you’re ready to go! We have a selection of coupons that you can use in order to save a few dollars on your order. While you’re there, you could also make calendars and other photo gifts. Check out our most recent Shutterfly coupon code collection to see where you can save money and get some gifts that the grandparents will love.
- If you want to write personal messages, try to do several each night to avoid having a huge pile to do all at once. Write out the envelopes at the same time. This is also a good activity for older elementary-school students to practice their penmanship and envelope-addressing skills. If each adult and older child in the family can write out a few cards per night, this can really lighten your load.
- Another option is to simply send cards with photos now, and write out a longer end-of-the-year letter to send out after Christmas. This could become a yearly tradition, and you could even include a photograph of the kids opening gifts on Christmas Day.
If worse comes to worse and you don’t get your cards sent out in time, consider sending out e-cards to express your sentiments. Remember that in the grand scheme of things, this might not be a big deal in your family; most people don’t save every holiday card anyway, and chances are that no one will even notice if you don’t send cards this year. If it’s becoming a source of stress for you, it might be time to cut this tradition out or at least to cut back on your list of people to send to!
What are some of your low-stress and creative Christmas card strategies?