It’s often a mad, mad rush to choose and mail the perfect card for Christmas wishes. If you do the family photo card, you know that just getting that photo can be a challenge. And then, once you have the photo, there is a myriad of online choices that can print your card for you. (minted, shutterfly, snapfish, simply to impress, mixbook, etc) and don’t forget about the digital options. Sites like paperless post will send your personalized cards via email.
If you prefer the traditional Christmas card, there are so many stores and options from which to choose! Hallmark, Paper Source, Target, Ikea (sells a Unicef card), and every other store in between. As for the mail order selection: Red Stamp offers some different options, and TPD Designs with Vanessa Kreckel at the helm, creates masterfully crafted designs. Moma sells funky holiday cards, and there is a line of Caspari cards to be found on Amazon, in religious, snowy, or a perennial wreath design. And the Met angel cards are always popular.
My personal tip - don’t forget the power of a postcard. There are fabulous makers on Etsy that are creative and willing to make whatever ideas you may have brewing. Or use a sweet drawing from your child and have a postcard printed via one of the online sources.
Of course, Christmas cards serve many important purposes. Businesses use them to recognize customers, they are the perfect opportunity to announce a move (perhaps featuring your new home or city in the artwork), they are a connection to friends we may not see throughout the year and they can bring a moment of joy and love to older friends or relatives who may not get about much anymore.
The idea of the Christmas card is great, but what happens when the effort it takes to send those cards becomes more of a burden than an opportunity to reach out to friends?
With the countless needs pulling at us at this time of year (work, house, family, decorating, baking, parties, entertaining, school pageants, shopping, gift wrapping), mailing holiday cards can feel like one more item on an endless To Do List. And that makes it hard to focus on choosing an ideal card and sending a heartfelt note to friends and family. I’ve decided that this is one item that I can remove from the holiday madness and I encourage you to think about letting it go as well. If letting go of Christmas Cards, helps you de-stress your holidays, then let it be.
I would like to propose that we savor the time with meaningful December festivities and put pen to paper after the holiday, and share the month of January with sending full and heartfelt cards during the quiet month. And that family photo you wanted to include in your card, the parties and gatherings in December make an ideal setting for photos to include in a New Year note.
It has been such a relief, to let go of the Christmas Card deadline! I send the bulk of my goodwill wishes to friends and family in January. The only cards I send in December are those for older family and friends that I want to be sure aren’t forgotten at the holidays. Paring my list down to just that handful of cards, also means that I can take the time to include a longer, more personal, handwritten note to those who might not have entered the digital age via email.
I’ve made this change in my annual notes for several years, and I love the fact that cards no longer feel like a task or an obligation for me. They feel like an opportunity to share family news and make a connection with friends and family.
Consider dropping this from your December to-do’s. Take a breath and be present to all the other holiday demands. Move it to a time of year when the recipient can thoroughly enjoy a more personal touch. Spread out the love, the gratitude, and the work involved, and send them in the New Year. If the new year, is still a busy time for you...remember, there is always Valentine’s Day!