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.
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.
Here are six ways we keep our Christmas Cards simple:
Tips for easy Christmas cards
- Don’t feel like you have to have them done by the first of the month. There aren’t any prizes for the first Christmas card delivered, so I don’t kill myself trying to get them. Plus, the prices tend to go down the further into the month you get. 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 70% off and we spent less than $50 total on them, including postage. Score. And they still arrived before Christmas. You’re not a procrastinator, you’re frugal. You can also use the code READ50 for 50% at Mixbook, which is where we printed our Christmas cards this year.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Consider having them sent directly to the recipients. We don’t do this every year, but it’s seriously a huge timesaver. Most companies just charge you for the price of postage (no markup) and then instead of sending them to you and you having to assemble them and stick them in the mail, they just send them directly to the recipients. Oh man, this is the best if you don’t want to write personal notes.
- 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.
Any other tips for making Christmas cards easier?