Here’s a step-by-step checklist to simplify and make it easier to send those holiday cards on time.
1. SIMPLIFY / CUT BACK ON YOUR LIST
The most important reason for sending a card is how it will make people feel. With that in mind, go ahead and make some cuts. For example, keep only the following people on your card list:
- Family members and friends who send you cards and would feel hurt if you didn’t send a card.
- People who exchange updates with you every year.
- Older people you know don’t get a lot of cards, don’t have computers, and for whom receiving a card means a lot to them. As you get older, you start to lose friends and family. Receiving cards during the holidays can be a wonderful comfort.
2. START EARLY & PREPARE THE “INGREDIENTS”
Start a couple weeks before Thanksgiving if you can. Chunk out your tasks into manageable bites as shown below. During the weeks before Thanksgiving, strive to get 2 – 4 of these tasks done.
- Update your address book and mailing label lists & print out the labels (I recommend using a Word Template for address labels from Avery)
- Print out or gather your Return Address Labels.
- Buy Holiday Stamps from the post office online. They are usually available by Thanksgiving. If you order early you never have to worry about your local office running out.
- Make sure you have the right number of cards. Buy cards right after the holidays when they are on sale.
- If you send out photo cards, choose your photo & get them ordered.
- If you send a holiday newsletter, start outlining the things you want to include.
- If you send pictures inside a cards, choose one and get it duplicated.
- Write your Newsletter first draft.
3. PUT YOUR INGREDIENTS TOGETHER & MAIL. Week 1 after Thanksgiving do the next steps. You can do most of these while watching your favorite TV programs.
- Put Return Address Labels on all your envelopes. Try doing 20-50 cards at a time.
- Put Stamps on all your envelopes.
Week 2 after Thanksgiving do the next steps.
- Put Recipient Address Labels on the cards
- Do your final edit, then print and fold your holiday Newsletters (if you have one) and put them inside the cards.
- Put each card with it’s stamped and addressed envelope.
- Divide your stamped, addressed cards into sets of 5 – 10 cards each.
- Write personal notes and sign your cards. Each day work on a set of cards. Get a plastic bag to carry cards with you. Anytime you have to wait somewhere, like at a doctor’s office. If you really don’t want to spend time on personal notes, you can order pre-printed cards. If you do that, you can just skip this step.
- Mail the set of cards.
Do a set each day or two and even if you have 100 cards, you’ll have them all personalized and sent in 7 -10 days. If you have more cards than 100, go back to Step One and Simplify. Or start a week or 2 earlier. Wishing you Happy & Healthy Holidays!
© 2006 Ariane Benefit, M.S.Ed