7 reasons to keep sending Christmas cards when your kids are all grown up

I’ll admit, sending Christmas cards does get harder as your kids get older. I can think of lots of excuses not to, from lack of photos to lack of funds. But I also think that sending Christmas cards is about more than sharing baby photos.

Best Wishes Spinner Photo Christmas Cards Merry Treescape Horizontal Photo Christmas Cards
1. By sending Christmas cards every year you are teaching your kids the power of connection and showing them that you value meaningful holidays as well as old friendships. You may not think they are watching, but they are. Someday they will think of you when they send their own Christmas cards.

Family photo ideas
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Holiday Checklist: What You Can Be Doing Now

Have you started planning for the holidays? You’ve made travel arrangements, decided who’s hosting Thanksgiving dinner and your Holiday photo cards are ready to mail? Well, consider yourself a superhero because most of us don’t even want to think about the holidays yet. But if you get started on your holiday checklist now, you can eliminate some of the last-minute craziness and stress of the holiday season.

Holiday Planning Checklist
Talk to your relatives.
This may seem obvious, but rather than assuming plans will be the same as last year and that Aunt Susie will be hosting Thanksgiving as usual, you should ask the question and make plans accordingly. And if you are hosting (or can’t this year) let people know now, so they can make plans.

Keep your eyes peeled for deals. Whether you’re setting the Thanksgiving table, trimming the tree or decking the halls, decorating for the holidays takes time, money and planning, especially if you’re young and just starting out. You can be collecting ideas all year long, and keeping a lookout for sale items you can turn into something beautiful.
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Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas

Do you love to create a new theme or color scheme for your Christmas tree each year? Looking for inspiration, we turned to Martha Stuart for this year’s most creative Christmas tree decorating ideas.

Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas
Unbreakable Tree. Curious little hands can’t help but be drawn to the irresistible magic of a Christmas tree. With an unbreakable tree, you can let them explore without worry. Nylon threads provide invisible support for a small tree, which is decorated entirely with easy-to make, kid-proof ornaments.

Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas
Golden Tree. Kevin Sharkey punctuated this 10-foot-high flocked tree with golden glass balls, then added new and vintage glass icicles. Cut felt serves as a tree-skirt-cum-snowdrift.

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Featured Favorite

Real cards created by real people like you!

Christmas cardsIt wasn’t hard to choose this month’s Featured Favorite, because it was already one of our most unique family Christmas card ideas. We love how our customer, Tiffani, added her personal touches to make it even more unique—a greeting that could only come from her family.

Colorful Lights Ribbon Strand Christmas Cards, five vintage Christmas lights personalized with photos or text and strung on a green ribbon, was the perfect choice for her family. “I immediately loved the light bulbs when I saw them and just knew that was it.” This Little Light of Mine is a song she and her boys sing together. Text she had written for her church’s Christmas narration was perfect for the second light bulb.

When looking for family Christmas card ideas, Tiffani says, “I like something different. My formula for a good value includes the uniqueness and quality of an item in the equation. I selected this card because I can use it different ways. It will be my card, the toppers for some of my gifts, and garland on my tree.”

This card does require stringing the lights on the ribbon yourself, and Tiffani is planning to make it a family affair. “When we look back, it comes down to making memories, and lots of times it is the simple little things that we remember. My husband and two boys will make this into a family evening of education, memories, and fun. We will sort and assemble. We also usually each take turns saying things we are thankful about for the year.”

As she says, “It is hard to find a card that plants a seed that is remembered long after Christmas season is passed, and many of your cards have that wow factor that is remembered long after the tree is down.” Thanks, Tiffani! We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Get more ideas on how to make addressing and mailing your Christmas cards a family tradition, or see more Featured Favorites by customers like you on our blog.

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My least favorite time of year: the annual address book update

Updating Christmas Address bookOne of the necessary but painful activities of the holiday season is the annual updating of the address book. Yes, it’s all part of organizing for Christmas and must be done before sending out Christmas cards, but it’s a job best swallowed with a bottle of wine and lots of music.

A few years ago my address book was just that—a book. A little yellow book I kept in the kitchen with phone numbers and addresses. I learned early on never to take a pen to this precious book, always pencil, for easy updates. Still, some members of my family have moved so often the paper was worn through with erasing. And I could never tell from one year to the next whether the address I had was the current one. As new addresses came to me, usually via the previous year’s holiday cards, I’d toss them in a pile for updating next year, sometime around December 15th.

Since then, I have upgraded my system to an Excel spreadsheet. The advantages to this are that it’s easy to make changes, and you can keep track of the changes if you want to. You can also use the list to print envelopes or address labels in Word. It’s not as convenient as I’d like it to be, however, because I still let the changes pile up and do them all, you guessed it, around December 15th.

I took an informal poll in our office to see if anyone had a better solution. I was surprised to find that about a third of us, even some of our IT gurus, are still in paper mode. Another third use some form of electronic spreadsheet, like I do. And the rest, the early adapters, have moved to a Google Doc format. A Google Doc is free to set up, and accessible from most smart phones and from any computer. This means that you can update addresses the minute you hear about a change, and that you have access to this updated address list wherever you are. You can also share it with other members of your family, and they can make updates, too.

When it comes to organizing for Christmas it seems that I am behind the times, as usual. But since it’s just one simple step to convert my Excel list to a Google Doc, I am not that far away from a state-of-the-art address book. I love the idea of having access to it on my phone. The downside is that currently you cannot print labels or envelopes directly from Google Docs, but it’s easy to export it back into Excel or Word to do this. Besides, I haven’t decided whether I’m going to hand-write or print address labels this year. I will make that decision later, probably sometime around December 15th.

Have you started organizing for Christmas or shopping for Christmas cards?  Find other ideas on addressing Christmas cards on our blog.

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Make reading Christmas Cards a family tradition

Taped Up Memories Christmas cardsIn our family, it’s a race to the mailbox to be the one who gets to open the Christmas cards each day, a practice that really isn’t fair when some of us regularly get home later than others. That’s why I was interested to hear some of the wonderful family Christmas traditions our customers have come up with to involve the whole family in opening photo Christmas cards.

One family has a son in college, and they wait for him to come home for the holidays before opening any of the cards they have received. It sends a message that he is still an important part of the family and that their family Christmas traditions wouldn’t be the same without him.

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Christmas card stuffing—it’s a family affair

hot chocolate
Sending Christmas cards can be a lot of work for one person. This year, make it a party and get the whole family involved. Stuffing envelopes and affixing stamps and address labels are jobs even kids can do. Here are some family Christmas ideas that will make it more fun:

  • Have your Christmas card list, address labels, cards, stamps and envelopes ready to go
  • Make it a festive occasion with some holiday tunes or holiday movies playing
  • Break out old holiday photo albums to share with the kids
  • Serve hot chocolate for the kids, wine for the grownups
  • Use snacks as a reward for finishing a task (sticky fingers and Christmas cards don’t mix)
  • Be sure to have the correct postage on hand. Most of our cards require one stamp, but we do sell a few that require more postage. If you are using a Christmas letter insert, recipe card insert or extra photos, it’s a good idea to weigh your card at the post office before buying stamps, just to be sure (self-adhesive stamps are easiest)
  • Self-adhesive Christmas address labels make addressing your cards go twice as fast—and they add a festive touch to your card before it’s even opened. Many cards have coordinating address labels designed to match!

Once you’ve got your Christmas cards and address labels ready to go, read more ideas on addressing Christmas cards on our blog. We’d love to hear more family Christmas ideas from you!

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Ahh … Address Labels

address labelsWhy, oh why, would anyone get excited about address labels? Yes, you have to put a return address on your mail and, yes, address labels can save you lots of time if you are sending lots and lots of mail…like during Christmas card season. But if all you can think about is the functionality, you are missing all the fun.

First impressions count. And when your friends and relatives get your holiday card in the mail, how will they know it’s not a bill, or junk mail, or a card from the realtor down the street? Because it has that festive, colorful, personalized address label on it, of course! It will make them smile and get excited to see the matching card inside, we guarantee it.

Another reason we’re giddy about address labels is how much fun they are to stick on things. Even a kid can do it. One of our favorite address label ideas is to get the kids involved in the Christmas card assembly process. Address labels and stamps are their department. You are the supervisor. Pour yourself a glass of wine and watch. It will be fun. We guarantee it.

Check and see if your Christmas cards have matching address labels available. And for more ways to make addressing your Christmas cards easier and more fun, check out our blog.

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