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 seven ways we keep our Christmas Cards simple:
Tips for easy Christmas cards
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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?
If you liked this post about Christmas cards, you might also like these holiday posts:
- A fun way to use up old Christmas cards
- 17 DIY and store-bought advent calendars
- 24 fantastic Christmas picture books
Photos by Heather Mildenstein