Take the stress out of creating and sending your holiday cards this year
Shortcuts and tips for creating a memorable holiday card without needing a full-blown professional photo shoot, hours to create and address the cards or an enormous budget
Have you made your holiday cards yet? We’ve received a few in the mail already! But for most of us, we haven’t even started.
Do you scramble every year, trying to find a great photo? Maybe you try to take your own (there are some hilarious Pinterest fail photos) or maybe you spend a ton of time and money finding the perfect outfits and photography to capture that one good photo.
Then, you create the card and hope it arrives in time to mail it. You sweat bullets hoping it arrives on-time, only to realize your list wasn’t organized and you didn’t order enough.
I don’t know if some or all of this has happened to you, but it has to me. That’s why I’ve tried to simplify my approach this year, and share the tools with you to do the same.
Here are 15 tips and shortcuts to create amazing, easy holiday cards.
1. The photo
- Find a great photo or couple of photos on your camera roll. If you have some you’d like to use from your camera, trying editing them in the ‘SnapSeed‘ app. It comes highly recommended from several photography friends.
- Take your own photo. I LOVE this idea from my photographer friend Rachael for an Easy DIY Christmas Card Photo Session (think fun baking session). Check out her blog for all the steps to create the most adorable holiday cooking baking card.
- Set up a photo swap with a friend (who you know is good at taking photos), where you agree to take each other’s photos. I’d recommend having 2 separate sessions though. No family is going to sit that long waiting for the other family to finish their shots
- Find a local mini session with a photographer. This is a simple way to get a couple of digital photos without the cost and preparation required for a full-blown session. Use a photographer you know or search Facebook for ‘mini session’ or ‘mini photo session’ in your city.
2. Make the card
- Use your favorite website to create a card. I LOVE Shutterfly but there are so many other great options out there. A couple of tips:
- Be sure to check the lead times of any company you choose, to make sure you get them in time.
- If you use Shutterfly, they often email coupon codes and occasionally send in the mail. Be sure to put any coupon codes in your account you receive, immediately, so you aren’t searching later. (I LOVE that they have a place in your account to store coupons ahead of time.)
- TIP: Buy a few extras so you can pop a card in the mail to anyone who you left off your list
- TIP: Buy a cute self-inking stamp to make it easy to put the return address on the cards. This is easier and cheaper than buying labels. I bought mine on Etsy and it’s lasted 2 years and counting. Search Etsy for ‘self-inking stamps’ and you’ll find a ton from which to choose.
- TIP: Avoid cards that are odd-shaped or require extra postage, that’s just more work.
3. The list
- Put your holiday card list in Google Sheets
- Organize your list so that it’s easy to print labels (or to use if you’re addressing by hand), plus it’s in an easy to access format to make additions and corrections for next year. Get ahead of the curve!
- TIP: after you have the list in Google sheets, you can easily update it from your phone. When you receive cards from new friends (or updated addresses), add them to your Google list immediately so you don’t forget next year.
- TIP: So, when someone moves during the year, you can update them on your master list and include the date you updated. When it comes time to send holiday cards, you’ll know if you updated their address on the list.
4. Address your cards and send them
- Download your Google list to print mailing labels (I used to think this was impersonal and tried to hand address all of them. But, it takes so long and I don’t think anyone really notices, so I’ve started printing labels. If you feel like it’s impersonal, try writing a short note on the envelope to make the card more personal).
- Buy the postage I always count up the cards I need to mail and then buy an extra book of stamps or two when I’m at Costco. Saves a trip to the post office.
- Send the cards
I hope this post was helpful and you use the 15 tips and shortcuts to create amazing, easy holiday cards this year. It should help take the stress out of creating and sending your cards, and free up your time for the rest of that long holiday to-do list.
Speaking of the holiday to-do list, if you’d like to have a checklist to organize your holiday cards, and all the other stuff that needs to happen for the holidays (presents, food, parties, etc), download my Ultimate Holiday Survival Checklist. It will help you get organized, and feel less crazy with everything that needs to get done.
Download the Ultimate Holiday Survival Checklist
And, if you’d like tips on how to save money and time and lower your stress about your holiday shopping list, check out this post — The 3 Steps to Get Control of Your Holiday Shopping List. I shared my fave tools to get cash back without doing any extra coupon-clipping, code researching, or other research.