Last year Lincoln refused to smile for our little photoshoot and I spent about 14 hours trying to pick a Christmas card. I ended up needing rush shipping just to have them arrive before we left for my parents and spent far too many consecutive hours addressing envelopes. It’s a good thing I ended up really loving the cards (that doubled as our pregnancy announcement) or I would have hated the process. Sound familiar?
But, as stressful as getting cards out was, I LOVED going to the mailbox everyday in December to find new cards from friends across the country. Their faces smiled at us from the fridge all month (and well into January) and it was such a fun way to catch up on what was new and exciting for them.
Side note: I was also pretty thrilled when the first THREE cards that arrived featured pictures of friends that I had taken! I don’t do a lot of photography outside of what I do for this blog but it is pretty rewarding to see my work in print 🙂
This year I wanted Christmas cards to be a fun part of our holiday season instead of the most stressful so I ordered them from Tiny Prints way in advance. We’ve been addressing a few a night together so no one gets carpul tunnel and we have an excuse to watch a show in the evening (we’re trying to cut out netflix most of the time :/).
For me, the hardest part about last year’s card was picking the single image for the front so I loved going with more of a year in review card this year that let me feature pictures from our trip to Europe, Adelaide’s birth, and our life as a family of four. Plus, it let me make up for the fact that Adelaide isn’t exactly smiling in our front picture with a big picture of her in the middle (it is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to get both babies smiling at the same time). Tiny Prints has so many cute card options though, so whether this is your first Christmas married, you’re a single millenial, or your card is doubling as a birth announcement, they have the perfect card.
Here are a few tips to make your Christmas card process a little bit easier:
Tips for Christmas Cards from Tiny Prints
- Order this week. Really, don’t put it off any more. You’ll have to spend the same amount of time now as you will later and this way you won’t be worrying about it for the next two weeks (and you won’t be paying rush shipping).
- Start collecting all your addresses in one place. We love using Postable.com for our addresses so I can just send the link to our address book to family and friends and they input their information. This is also a great way to help figure out how many cards you’ll need to order.
- Speaking of addresses, print them directly onto your envelopes! Tiny Prints offers free recipient addressing when you order custom envelopes. You can either upload a full csv file (that you can download from Postable.com), or you can type them in yourself. Even if typing seems a bit time consuming, my guess is you type faster than you write. And this way your handwriting wont get progressively worse. Don’t have all your addresses ready yet? Don’t worry, you can add as many addresses as you have and the rest of the envelopes will mail to you blank.
- Print return addresses or buy return addresses labels. The worst part of addressing cards is writing your own address eighty-nine times. This year I used TinyPrints to print the address right on the envelope and my hand is already thanking me.
- Keep your messaging short. I like to add a paragraph or two summing up our year and it’s something I love reading on other people’s cards. But, don’t bother with a two page typed insert like my parents used to do. These days we’re used to 180 characters and 8 second videos. Keep it short and sweet.
- Set aside time to address them. Like I said, we’ve been putting them together while watching a favorite show in the evening. This spreads it out over a couple of days and makes it something I look forward to, instead of dread.
- Add a personal touch. Okay, adding a personal touch doesn’t make your card writing any easier but even just a handwritten “Miss you guys – Merry Christmas!” makes a huge difference.
- Enlist the troops. Ben and I split up the Christmas card duties, each responsible for addressing and stuffing envelopes to our own extended families and close friends. It works out well because he doesn’t end up resenting all 53 of my cousins (okay, they don’t all get Christmas cards) and I’m not stuck trying to figure out what personal message to send his great aunt I’ve met once. If your spouse isn’t on board, get the kids involved in stuffing, stamping, and sealing envelopes. And if you didn’t take my advice and get return address labels, consider letting one of the kids practice their handwriting with the return addresses. Personally, I would LOVE to get a card I could tell was addressed by a fifth grader 😉
A few fun things you might not have known about Tiny Prints:
- You can order personalized stamps! This year our square cards required special postage so I went ahead and ordered cute little stamps of Adelaide’s face (and a few of our family picture). This was easily my very favorite part of our cards this year.
- Ornament cards are a thing! The holiday card doubles as Christmas decor – and now I’m thinking of just keeping a hole punch on hand and making ornaments out of all the cards we receive this year – how fun would that be?
- Color-in-cards are also a thing. These are new to me but I love this way of getting your kids involved.
- You can upload your Christmas Card picture to see it as the demo on all of the sample cards. Personally, I’m always drawn to the cards where I like the photography or the family on the front so I like being able to tell exactly what the card would look like with MY image on it as I’m scrolling through all my options.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.