Day 3: Holiday Cards {12 Days of Being Organized for the Holidays} | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Day 3: Holiday Cards {12 Days of Being Organized for the Holidays}

Monday, November 24, 2014

Day 3: Holiday Cards {12 Days of Being Organized for the Holidays}

Do you send out holiday cards to friends and family?  It's always fun to receive these festive greetings, but sometimes it can be overwhelming to send them out.  Today I'm sharing a few tips to help make this process easier.

1.  Make a list of everyone you will be sending holiday cards to

This may take awhile the first time you do it, but then you can keep using it year after year.  Think about family members, friends, neighbours, colleagues, coaches, teachers, etc. that you want to wish well this Christmas and add them in.

If you already have a list from previous years, make sure you add in any new people you met this year.

You can keep this list on your computer and even print out labels to save you more time.

There are also lots of free printable greeting card lists available online so check out my Christmas Organizing board on Pinterest to choose one that will work for you!

2.  Consider cutting your list back each year to simplify your Christmas

If you have a list of who you've sent holiday cards to the last few years, take a look through it and see where you can scale it back a bit.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • People who haven't sent you cards for a few years (I know greeting cards don't necessarily have to be reciprocated... it's the thought that counts... but it's one place to at least look for where you may cut back)
  • People who have died in the last year (a little morbid, but sadly, it happens)
  • People you have lost touch with in the last year or two

3.  Decide if you're sending photo greetings or traditional cards

This is really a personal decision.  We typically send traditional cards, but mainly because that's what we've always done.  And I have quite a stockpile of Christmas cards that I've accumulated over the years.  I actually decluttered my stash last year!

One thing I do to save me from writing similar things over and over in each card, is I print out a short letter on festive paper, outlining some of the major events and milestones in our family during the past year, and I include that in each card.

If you choose to do photo cards, you don't have to write anything on the cards unless you want to.
Here are a few places you can order holiday photo cards from:

[Update: the codes in this post were from 2014 and have likely all expired. Check their websites though because there could be similar current discounts.]

  • Tiny Prints - They even have a special that ends TODAY (11:59 pm PT) for 30% off all card orders!  Just use the code 30SWSALE at checkout.  

If you need more time than that, you can save 10% on any order using the code 2014TP10 at checkout (until Dec 31, 2014 at 11:59 pm PT)

4.  Send your holiday greetings as early as possible

You don't want to go to the trouble of sending Christmas cards and then not have them get to your friends and family in time for Christmas.  So work on these early.  Some keeners take their family picture early in the fall and then order their cards before the holiday rush.

This is definitely one task that does not need to be done in the midst of all the other tasks that need to be done closer to Christmas.

Having said that, if you haven't started your holiday cards yet, you still have time!  But get working on it soon so you can cross this task off your Christmas to-do list and move on to other things!

And after you've sent your holiday cards, you can start looking out for all the cards you receive from your family and friends!  Check out this post from last year on ways to keep holiday cards organized so you don't end up with Christmas Card clutter.

5.  Don't feel like a family picture has to be "perfect"

There's nothing that can ruin the holiday spirit more than fighting with kids (or even spouses!) to get that perfect photo for your Christmas cards.  So many takes to get everyone facing the camera at once.  Wearing uncomfortable clothes.  Or having to stand or sit in awkward positions.  Saying "cheese" 637 times.  Not fun.

What is fun is to let your family show their personality a bit.  I let my kids be a little goofy for a few shots.  They have so much fun that I can usually get a few "good" smiles mixed in.  They're pretty silly a lot of the time anyway, so why not let our friends and family see that?

Here's our Christmas Eve picture from last year.

And after the silliness I got this smiley pic.

I like them both!

So your task for today (or as soon as possible), is to organize your holiday cards.  Get your list together, decide if you're doing traditional Christmas cards or photo cards and either write them up or order them (depending on which you choose).  Then, get them sent out as soon as you can so you have time to focus on other tasks, or on enjoying the holiday celebrations that are already starting!

If you're looking for other holiday organizing ideas, check out previous posts I've written on the subject in the Organizing tab at the top of the page - choose the Christmas submenu. 

Do you send holiday cards?  Are they the traditional greeting cards or photo cards?  Do you have any other tips for taking family photos for Christmas cards?

Happy organizing!

Here are all the posts in the 12 Days of Being Organized for the Holidays series!

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