Have you ever thought, this was the year that you were going to get your shit together and send out the perfect Christmas card? You would find the perfect picture, go online and create something, get it printed and send it out to friends and family…before Christmas?
The thought was there, but weeks later, as you start getting cards in the mail from others, you realize that you have missed the boat again. Aw well, there is always next year right?
Well I happen to be an expert planner and am here to help you if you want to get your cards ready to go this year. Here are a few helpful steps and timelines to keep you stay on track!
(FYI – I am sharing my personal Christmas cards from the past few years, they are at the bottom)
- Figure out what you want? Timeline: Now! (ideally before the third week of November).
You need to start by figuring out what you want? Do you want a picture of your kids, family, pets? Or do you want a store bought card? One is not better than the other; you just need to decide and since we are already the second week of November you need to decide now!
Custom – If you want to send a picture with a holiday greeting, you need to select the photo. Take a moment and go through your phone or your Facebook. Find a picture that makes you smile or that reflects a happy moment. And voila! That it, you are done! It’s that simple, you don’t need to plan a photo shoot. That could be a goal for next year? I highly recommend you not try to fit in a family photo shoot the second week of November for your Christmas Card. It will be too stressful and rushed. Give yourself a break and find a nice picture that you already have. My blog is about helping not making you more stressed BTW.
Once you have your picture selected you can use a variety of different online tools and apps to write a message on them. Or if you want a printed version you can place your order online via Cosco, your local drugstore, Vista Print…. So many options that have templates that you can use; they will print and you can have them sent to you or you can pick them up. I would allow at least 2 weeks if you are getting them printed and sent to you.
If you place your order this week, you should have them in hand by the last week of November, which is perfect! If you decide to send via email, you are ahead of the game. Kick back and relax a bit.
Store bought – If you are going the store bought route, you have a bit more time. Go get yourself a fancy warm drink; feel free to add a shot of something in it. I suggest adding a shot of Fireball to your hot chocolate. It’s chocolate and cinnamon, trust me it’s yummy!
Take your time browsing the card section alone or with a friend and select the card that speaks to you. And BTW, I said one shot, no drinking and driving!
2. Who is on your nice list? Timeline: third or forth week of November.
Make a list and check it twice. If you mail out cards, this may take a bit more time the first year, but once you have your list with addresses, next year will be a breeze. Last year I sent out text messages to all my friends and asked for their mailing addresses. Those who didn’t reply, were automatically put on the naughty list.
If you are emailing or even texting your custom cards, you probably already have all their emails and numbers, so again, you are ahead of the game. Have another hot chocolate and fireball! Mmm, I think I need a name for this drink?
3. Get them out! Timeline: first or second week of December.
If you are mailing them, try to get them out by the first week of December; if you miss the cut and send them out the second week, no biggie. I have found that Canada Post is a bit slower than if you are sending within the US. If you are emailing, I would hit send the second week of December.
My Christmas Cards
I only started sending out cards three years ago. Every year I had great intentions, but didn’t properly plan it out. And I felt that I could never find that perfect card. Then I realized; hey I work with designers who apparently can be bribed to help me! I now taking advantage of my them, I rotate so that I am not always asking the same people for help, lol. FYI, I am not a horrible person, I treat them very well! They get special treats for helping me.
In the past two out of three cards I used pictures taken at Halloween. My strategy had been to find a funny picture first and then create funny text to go with them. My Meowy Christmas is a perfect example.
I obviously don’t take myself too seriously. The following year was my first full year living in the desert, so I found a wintery, snowy picture.
I think I felt a bit of pressure to maintain the same level of cheesyness from the prior year and I feel liked I choked! Lol. My “moose” card was ok, but it was too safe, lol
I should also add that in my attempt to be inclusive, I misspelled Hanukkah, nothing but class here! Lol, my apologies.
This brings us to last year’s card. It is my most controversial card to date!! Lol. So for Halloween 2017 I was a deer; actually I was a dead deer…twisted? Yes, but I thought it was funny.
I then had an amazing idea to use that picture for my Christmas card, the dead one, not the cute live one. Ok see below, then we will discuss, lol.
So there you have it, I killed Rudolph in last year’s card. I stand by that card, even though it was a bit dark; ok, a lot dark, lol.
And that brings us to this year’s card. I looked through my iPhone pictures and couldn’t find anything inspiring. So I came up with the wording first and my friend, who is an amateur photographer, and I went to the desert and shot a few different things.
As per my guidelines above, I am on track and will have my cards in the mail by the first week of December.
Let me know if you are curious about this year’s card, leave a comment below. If people want me to share I will right before Christmas.
It’s currently snowing here, I am feeling very festive! Thanks for reading!