Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday Marriage Matters: Holiday Cards

I started sending holiday cards after my first year in Law School. I made my own cards, and found post-finals to be a great time to get my craft on and relax with a big pile of red and green paper, rubber stamps, and glue dots.  Mark sent his own cards, and occasionally, signed cards to his friends that I wrote out.  This continued for three years of thoughtful, heartfelt Christmas cards which went out in a haphazard process of me not having any idea who I actually sent cards to (and later finding a card that did not get mailed to x, y, or z under my craft table.)  It was not a good system, but I found that I really liked the tradition of keeping in touch with certain people via holiday card (something my parents value as well, because for people that do not have Facebook, the holiday cards are how you keep in touch with people.)  Last year, we made the jump to photo cards which do not require exhausting heartfelt sentiments and instead let you generally wish people the best for the coming year.  (And a Merry Christmas if you and they celebrate it.)

I loved last year's cards that I did on Shutterfly (who sponsored them), except they broke my one rule: dont send cards that say Merry Christmas.  But the thing was, I really wanted a card that let me tell people that I passed the bar exam, because that was news that I got in November after the wedding and if you weren't on Facebook, you didn't know.  So I used one of Shutterfly's "year in review" cards that let us talk about the highlights of the year.  We listed exciting things that happened to me, to Mark, and to both of us, followed by "yay!!!" at appropriate intervals. 

It was cheesy, but we were told it was just cheesy enough.  (I think the key when you don't have kids and send Christmas cards that are a little ironic.) We didn't send it to Jews who are offended by Christmas cards, and we didn't send to our friends because we didn't want to spend the money on extra cards (erm, sorry friends).  The year-in-review theme is a good option to consider if you are sick of writing Thank You notes, don't want to write a holiday letter, but have news to share with people. 

This year we ordered holiday cards from Vistaprint.  I don't expect the quality to be as good as Shutterfly, but we are sending 80+ cards this year and they were less than $40 for 80.  I also looked into Mixbook, and both Mixbook and Vistaprint let you customize the text of your card so it says Happy Holidays or Seasons Greetings or Happy New Year or Let it Snow.  I am anxiously awaiting our holiday cards arrival in the mail, but since we picked the "Slow" shipping, I suspect they will end up arriving the week between Christmas and New Years.  That's fine, since really, they are New Year's cards.

This is our refined holiday card strategy (roughly the same as our process for wedding invites, so this might look familiar to you):
1.) Pick a photo, bicker over whether holiday photo is holiday-y enough since you took it over the summer and are wearing t-shirts. If no photo can be agreed on, stage a photo shoot.  Ask your parents to take the photo. Argue over photographic style differences and whether a flash is necessary with said parent. Vow to hire a professional next year. Upload photo to card website. Debate card layouts and language. Order cards. 
2.) Consolidate and update addresses before cards arrive, perform a mail merge and print labels
3.) Buy stamps (when you have 15 overseas family members needing cards, you spend more on postage than cards).
4.) When cards arrive, label and stamp while watching a favorite holiday film (my preferred favorite is The Santa Clause).  Write personal notes on cards if you really want to.  Add a "Happy Hanukkah" note on the Jewish cards unless Hanukkah has already ended for the year.  Look up spelling of Hanukkah if you are not sure.
5.) Mail cards!

What do you do about holiday cards? 

1 comment:

  1. I love holiday cards.

    I especially love photo cards, but Carson has firmly shut that down.