Sending out Christmas greeting cards by snail mail or hand delivery is such a very important holiday tradition. For business associates, family, and friends it is a seasonal ritual with a delightfully personal touch.
A tangible token of the season to help you keep in touch with those who might otherwise be lost track of throughout the years. The holiday cards that you send out are a heartwarming memento to those who receive them.
The process of preparing yearly Christmas cards can also be a very important experience for you. Sending out holiday greetings can help to remind you of all the events and warm memories that are associated with the many people who have touched your life throughout the years.
It is also an excellent way to show your appreciation of friends, family, and company contacts and it is a thoughtful method of keeping in contact with those who you have not seen in awhile. Most generally appreciate receiving a traditional holiday card.
Set a Date to Get Those Holiday Greetings in the Mail
If you are not quite sure where to begin then rest assured that you are not alone. There are many people who enjoy sending greeting cards out during the holiday season but who find that they have more than a little difficulty getting around to it each year.
The reason why seasonal card giving gets set to the side are varied. It can be that there does not seem to be enough spare time to accomplish it or simply because you forget to get around to it.
This is one holiday tradition that is just too important to forget. So set a date when you will sit down to do up your cards and then keep it. The hardest part is getting started and after that things generally flow pretty smoothly.
Make a List and Check it Twice
Hopefully you will already have a list prepared of the people who you will be sending cards to, if not then now is the time to create this list. There are generally three categories to which people send Christmas greeting cards to.
1. Business associates, clients, costumers, or co-workers.
2. Family and close friends
3. Long distance or not so closely related relatives and friends
Each of these distinct groups is categorized by their emotional bond so the form of greeting required within each persons card will depend upon which group that they fall into.
As you prepare the cards you will re-categorize the greetings into group that consist of how each card will be mailed. To help remind you where to place each individual draw a bright colored star by any person on the list who will need to have their card mailed to them. This will insure that cards requiring stamps will have them applied as needed.
Select the Group You Will Begin First
Select which category of cards it is that you wish to begin with. Where you begin is completely up to you.
Some people like to start with the easiest group to complete. This is generally co-workers and associates as these cards do not require a large amount of writing within them as such they tend to be moved through quite quickly.
Other people like to do the largest task first which would be the cards going out to family and close friends. I like to leave this group to the last as I can then do it in sections if I run short of time.
The point is to get the job done so organize your work load in a manner that will keep you focused on completing the task.
Play Holiday Music to Help Put You in a Festive Mood
Get Organized: Create a Relaxed Work Area for Yourself
Clear away any distractions, clutter, or other items from around the area that you will be using to prepare your cards.
If you are working from an office area then generally it is quite simple to get organized. Working from home though can add a few added issues and distractions into the mix.
If it is possible plan to prepare your cards while the children are away at school, this is a prime time to have them out from under your feet. If they will be at home then pop them up a big bowl of popcorn, pass them each a juice box, and put in a Christmas movie for them to watch while you work.
On the desk, or table where you will prepare your cards, set out a notepad, pens, a variety of Christmas cards, envelopes, and stamps. Set out any photos, checks, lottery tickets, or other items that you are going to include in with your cards. Then get comfortable and sit yourself down to work on the holiday cards.
What Goes Inside the Card Will Depend Upon Who is Receiving it
What goes into the greeting card is of course totally dependent upon who is receiving it. Business cards are generally quite simple to prepare.
If you are sending out Christmas cards from a business a simple "Season Greetings" or "Happy Holidays" is all that is required within cards for clients or casual associates. It is also acceptable to use a company stamp as a signature within these cards.
For sending greetings to associates such as a favorite business or client it is nice to include a small token of appreciation inside the card. For example you might include McDonald's gift certificates for the paperboy, or a small denomination coffee gift card to a teacher or a close co-worker. Otherwise these cards can usually be finished up fairly quickly.
It is then time to move onto the second easiest grouping of cards which is the distant friends and relatives pile. These require a little more of a greeting than the first set but are still relatively easy.
In these cards express "Best Wishes for a Merry Christmas" or "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year" or "A Very Merry Christmas Wish for you and your family". Then place a more personal message as a bit of an update on your family over the past year.
If required enclose in these cards a family photo, photographs of the children, or any other token gifts that you will be sending to them that fits within the envelope. Cards to far away family and friends generally require the most work.
Too Much or Too Little - Exactly What Goes Into Each Card?
The final set of holiday greeting cards are the ones for close family and friends. Those individuals who live within the same town can receive a simple greeting of "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.", "Seasons Greetings" or "Happy Holidays" within their cards. Because you see these people on a regular basis they are well aware of how your family is faring so do not need more than that.
Once your greeting is written remember to enclose any items such as photographs, gift certificates, or lottery tickets that you have set aside as token gifts for these individuals, and then seal up the cards in their envelopes.
The remainder of this final group of cards are for people who are very special but who live quite a distance away. These are the holiday cards which will generally take the most time to prepare. Allow yourself plenty of time to complete this group.
These individuals are some of the people who are closest to the heart. Because they live far away their cards will require the most writing within them.
Within these cards include a short letter of one half or one page in length. If your card has a blank side within it you can write your letter on this blank side of the card and then place your "Merry Christmas" and signature on the other inner side of the card. Once you have your letter done within these cards, pop in any photos or other articles that you are sending along with it and then seal the envelope.
When you are finished you should have 2 piles of cards sitting on your desk. The first pile will be cards that are to be mailed and the second will be cards that are to be hand delivered.
Get Started on Your Christmas Cards Early
Your first step should be to set aside a specific day each year when you will begin preparing your Christmas cards. A good rule of thumb is that cards should be sent out before or during the first week of December.
Set aside a time that will be the most convenient for you. Try to choose a day within the last week of November or the first week of December when you do not have a lot of commitments.
Plan on having your cards complete and ready to be mailed out during the first week of December. By sending your holiday cards out early in December you generally allow them plenty of time to arrive at their destination. If cards are mailed too late in the season it is very possible for them to become bogged down in the holiday postal rush.
Your local post office will be able to advise you of any deadlines put in place for mailing holiday cards that are destined for out of town destinations.
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