7 Tips for Easy Christmas cards

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Bart has loved the idea of doing Christmas cards since we got married.

Of course, he didn’t love the idea enough to do them himself, so we didn’t start doing them until about 2009 when I finally decided I was willing to take on the project.

Since then, we’ve done them every year (2011 here2013 here, 2016 here, and 2019 here – apparently I never shared the other years).

I know some people feel like Christmas cards are this huge huge undertaking, but over the last decade, we’ve streamlined our processes enough that it’s pretty painless and I always feel awesome for getting them sent.

christmas cards

(By the way, we’ve used Mixbook for the last four years, and I LOVE their cards – they have gorgeous designs, great quality, and excellent prices. Plus you can use the code EREAD50 for 50%).

Here are seven ways we keep our Christmas Cards simple:

tips for christmas cards
Tips for easy Christmas cards

  1. There is no deadline for ordering Christmas cards. There aren’t any prizes for the first Christmas card delivered, so I don’t kill myself trying to get them. One year, when we sent them out fairly late, thanks to waiting for Ani to be born so we could get a family photo, they were still 50% and we spent less than $50 total on them, including postage. Score. And they arrived before Christmas. You’re not a procrastinator, you’re efficient.
  2. It will take you the same amount of time now or in mid-December. On the flip side, while there are no gold stars for early Christmas cards, it won’t take you any longer to do them this week than it will to do it in six weeks when it feels much more stressful. I did mine super early this year and it was zero stress because I ordered them and didn’t think about them again until they showed up at my doorstep, instead of tracking the mailman like a crazy person because it was getting so tight for time.
  3. Use ALL the filters to narrow down which card you order. I love that there are so many options out there for Christmas cards, but I also don’t want to spend half of my December sorting through choices. Although I appreciate that Mixbook has 800+ holiday card options, I don’t necessarily want to look at them all. So filters it is. For instance, I knew I was only doing one photo, so I selected one-photo options and boom! Down to 275 options. Then you can filter by styles, orientation, foil colors, etc and suddenly you’re dealing with a way more manageable bunch. I usually pick about 15 favorites, then I show them to Bart and we pick a favorite three and choose from there.
  4. Keep a digital spreadsheet of addresses. The gathering of addresses is for sure the worst part. The first year, we put together a spreadsheet on Google Drive with the addresses of everyone we wanted to send one too. That first year took a while to set up, but now it’s always accessible and as people move over the course of the year, we have one central place to update their info. When we’re ready to do Christmas cards, we just scan the list to see if we know of any updates we need to make, add anyone new to the list, and it’s ready to go.  Plus, it’s super handy to have all our addresses available anytime we need them throughout the year. This is truly my best life advice to anyone ever.
  5. Have the addresses printed right on the cards. This is the best thing ever when it comes to Christmas cards. I don’t particularly love my handwriting and I REALLY don’t like my handwriting by the time I’ve written 160 addresses, so I love having the envelopes come with the addresses for the recipients already printed on them. Saves me a ton of time and they don’t embarrass me when they go out. You just upload your spreadsheet (another reason to keep them in that format) and you’re ready to go.
  6. Double check your name. I live in fear of ordering Christmas cards and having them come with someone else’s name on them because I forgot to put our own name and it left on the example name. I also check about ten thousand times to make sure I haven’t put an apostrophe in our names (I do NOT want a card sent from “The Bradshaw’s).
  7. Order your stamps online. I do my very best to avoid the post office at all costs come December, so it’s very handy that you can just order stamps online (and then you can see all the designs available and spend as long as you want choosing the perfect one). They show up at your house and life is line-less and beautiful.

christmas cards

Any other tips for making Christmas cards easier?

If you liked this post about Christmas cards, you might also like these holiday posts:

christmas cards

Photos by Heather Mildenstein

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  1. Great ideas! I didn't have the addresses printed by the company, but I did keep a spreadsheet of them for a simple mail merge. Then I just printed labels the old fashioned way. I'm pretty sure it's the only way I will get the cards out this year!

  2. This is the first year we're not doing them. I love sending them and love getting them, but this year was a no-go.

    I do have a spreadsheet of addresses…such a great tip! But I'm the one that loves getting them out by the very beginning of December so people can have them the whole month to enjoy! (I take all mine down right after Christmas.)

  3. I love doing Christmas cards, too! I have a friend take the pictures and we coordinate it with my daughter's birthday pictures in November. Bam, two birds with one stone.

  4. Big fans of the Google Drive spreadsheet too! I love being able to access it on my phone so I don't have to look up an address before heading to the post office. I have one of those return address stamps, but I like addressing the cards by hand. It seems more personal and I try to send up a quick prayer for each family as I do. I could see myself doing away with that in the future though as kids get older/busier. The more important thing is that they get sent at all!

  5. I'm hosting a Christmas Card Blog Linkup Party that starts next week! You should join is!

  6. Normally I like my handwriting but when it comes to something like addressing Christmas cards I get nervous and shaky (plus left-handed = smudging) so we just print the labels. Thank goodness my husband is diligent about keeping a spreadsheet of address because nothing is more tiresome to me than sending out a mass "what's your address?" text. Anyway, I've always insisted we do them… Maybe because I feel like the tradition is dying out and also I like the excuse to have real pictures taken once a year. Can't wait to see y'all's… I'm sure they're adorable!

  7. I need to put all of my addresses on a spreadsheet. I'm taking the spilled coffee on my address book as a divine intervention on handwriting all of them again. Ha! Thanks for sharing these ideas!

  8. Thanks for linking up with us! I love your card choice and all your tips!

    I also love having a return address stamp which is a quick way to add your address without having to pay to have them printed on! And I don't love my handwriting either, so it's one less thing for me to write! 🙂

  9. I should really update my digital addresses. I have to go to three different places to get addresses and it's exhausting.

    Merry Christmas and thanks for linking up!

  10. Been spending time searching for the best and card samples, or maybe gift ideas as early as now. Would like to express my love for those who've supported me the whole year round. Thanks for some ideas here!. 🙂

  11. For anyone who isn’t married already, I will offer the tip that our Christmas card list in a google spreadsheet is a 12 year evolution of our wedding guest list. Each year we make a new copy, edit people who have moved, died (hey it’s life), or who we just don’t feel the need to send a card to any longer, and add new friends.

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