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Organizing Your Way to a Simple Christmas: Christmas Cards

source: Jonathan_W
source: Jonathan_W

Today is day seven in our two-week Christmas series: Organizing Your Way to a Simple Christmas.

l love receiving Christmas cards in the mail, especially those with updated family pictures. We hang ours along the garland on our staircase, and it becomes just one more reminder that Christmas is about people not stuff!

Whether you hand-address or print labels for your Christmas cards, send a simple card or a holiday letter, write a personal note in each or include a picture, it’s never too early to start getting your Christmas cards ready.

Creating a Digital Address Book

If you don’t yet have a digital address book on your computer, now is a great time to create one. Rather than keeping track of dozens of pieces of paper or having to erase or white-out addresses as they change in your paper address book, you can simply update the file in one location and keep a printed copy in your home management notebook.

If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few templates available for Microsoft Office:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft OneNote
  • Microsoft Access database

Another alternative is to use a secure online address book. Tsh from The Art of Simple shared these options in her recent post about gathering your addresses for Christmas cards:

You should also make a list of any addresses you need — families that you know have moved during the year, new friends or acquaintances you’d like to add to your list, etc. Take the next week or so to track down those addresses so you won’t be scrambling to find them at the last minute.

Making Decisions About Your Christmas Cards

If you haven’t already, take some time to decide what type of cards you’re going to send so that you can add the cost to your budget and begin purchasing or ordering what you need:

  • Do you want to send traditional cards or photo cards?
  • Will you include a holiday letter or not?
  • Do you want to include an updated family photo or not?

Even though it will probably take you a few weeks to get your Christmas cards ready, knowing exactly what you need to do and purchase will make it easier to break the process into steps and add those steps to your Christmas calendar so that you’re not left scrambling at the beginning of December.

Other Tips for Simplifying Your Christmas Card Process

1. If you traditionally send a Christmas letter, begin drafting that now so that you have plenty of time to edit and make changes. You’ll be happier with the end result if you don’t have to rush.

2. Use your evening or weekend TV time to address and sign your cards over the next couple of weeks. Break your list down into manageable batches and do a little bit every day.

3. Be sure to keep a few extra cards ready in case you receive a card from someone who is not on your list and want to reciprocate.

Today’s task: Use the enclosed Christmas Card Worksheet to keep track of all of the information you need for your Christmas cards. Use the Christmas Address Book to write down any additional addresses that you need to add to your digital address book.

Do you typically send Christmas cards? What part of the process is most stressful for you?