Holiday Celebrations: The Holiday Card

HappyHolidays2One of my favorite holiday rituals is the sending and receiving of holiday cards. I love opening the mail box to see the cards waiting for us. Each is a warm hello from a friend, loved one, or neighbor, and each reminds me that someone is thinking of us, during this especially busy time.

For our cards, we’re part of the make-your-own photo card crowd. From selecting the photo (or photos), searching online for the perfect card template, and scoring a deal on printing and shipping, these cards are my annual project, and, despite the work they entail, I’d hate to give it up–though I wouldn’t mind help licking the envelopes!

I love when our package of personalized cards arrives in the mail; it signifies the start of the holiday season. I even enjoy selecting just the right stamp to use on the envelopes and writing each address by hand–I’m old school that way.

I hang all of the cards we receive on the door leading into our den and we enjoy looking at them throughout December and even into January. The cards are always the last thing I put away. After the tree is composted, the Nativity scene is packed  up, and our Elf on the Shelf begins his 11-month slumber, those cards stay up. And, when, finally, it’s time for them to come down, I place them in a decorative box, a sweet momento of Christmas. I keep the cards for a year or two, recycling them only to make space for another round of cards.

If you still have holiday cards on your to do list, here are four tips to keep in mind:

1. There’s still time! There are gazillion online companies that make holiday cards, and several of them will even mail out your cards for you, saving you time and a cramped hand.

2. Look for coupons. Always search for coupons before placing your order. It’s usually easy to find codes for free shipping or 10 free cards, and those are pennies you could use elsewhere.

3. Keep a list. Write down who you sent cards to and who sends cards to you. This will ensure you don’t miss anyone and will help you plan for how many to purchase next year.

4. Save one for you. I’ve been making photo cards since my son was born six years ago, and I always make sure to keep at least one card from each year for us. They are so fun to look at—especially the first card, when I dressed him up in a little Santa suit. (I can’t wait to pull that one out when he’s a teenager and thinks I’m terribly uncool.)

Happy Holidays!