I get it, writing Christmas cards can seem like a real chore. We love the bit of the process where we’re picking out the designs, and feeling the texture of the paper and the ‘feeling organised’ part. But then reality kicks in, right?
We’ve picked up a few tricks for getting Christmas-card-ready over the years, so here’s a few ideas to get you not only with the task ticked off your ‘to do’ list, but actually enjoying the whole thing too.
Schedule a ‘when’
Part of the reason writing Christmas cards can get stressful is that it’s one of those jobs that sits in your brain and annoys you until after you should have done it, but still haven’t gotten around to it.
It also takes longer than you think. So clear a good couple of hours in your diary and block out the time for a 'Writing Date', at least three or four days before the day you absolutely HAVE to post them.
Image: Cherry Christmas letterpress Christmas cards available as single cards, Duos or packs of four and six.
Unless you want to involve the kids, try to find an hour or two where you won't be disturbed - perhaps during nap time or while the children are at school.
Personally, I prefer to make it an evening (feeling relaxed while you’re doing it helps…) and feel free to invite a friend to join you. You can keep each other on track.
Before your writing date, make sure you have everything you need. Enough of the perfect cards for everyone (of course!), a nice pen that feels comfortable to write with, postage stamps (Aus Post have released their lower priced Christmas stamps for cards sent overseas in November & December, and you can even order online to have them delivered to your home) and any other finishing touches that you like to add to your cards or envelopes.
Prep your list
When I was a kid, it was my job to maintain the family address book - a special notebook that we kept in our telephone table (remember those?!) In those days whenever someone moved house, they would send a letter with their new address and I would have to update the notebook with the new information to make sure it was wholly up-to-date. Each year, my mother would write the Christmas card list and I would have to cross-reference to make sure we had everyone's address ready in the book so when it came to writing time there was no mucking about.
I wish I was quite so organised these days, and every year I think I should maintain some kind of master Christmas list of people to send cards to, but I haven't quite managed it yet.
However, this year, I'm using one of our Emilio Braga notebooks to gather up the names of those who are on the Christmas card list for 2020 - and I've already sent out messages to those people whose addresses I don't have or who have moved lately to confirm the right ones before my card-writing date comes up. I have to write mine early this year as COVID has pushed forward the last posting date for my friends and family overseas.
My days of having a physical address book have sadly passed (although I do miss it sometimes) and these days I keep postal addresses in my phone contacts. A day or so before my card-writing date, I'll go through and make sure I have everyone's address and add any updated ones. I don't leave it to the same day as it feels a bit too much like admin to fit with my card-writing ritual.
Send fewer cards
Yes, yes - I know it may seem counter-intuitive for a company selling Christmas cards to say don’t send as many. But we mean it. A really easy way to make your Christmas card writing less stressful is to simply write fewer cards!
Christmas cards become a throwaway thing when they feel mass-produced - whether in how they’re made or in how they’re written. We’ve all received cards from our great Aunt’s second cousin’s wife with nothing but a signature, and thought ‘why did they bother?!’
People can tell when they’re on the ‘we’re sending you a card out of duty, not desire’ list. The odd messages, the large empty spaces, the misplaced signature that gives away the sender’s technique (open ‘em all, pile ‘em high, and scribble through them all as quickly as possible writing the same thing…)
We believe that sending a card should feel special. A little sentimental perhaps (if that’s your vibe), but certainly authentic, heartfelt and intentional.
Don’t make your card-writing a factory line. And don’t send a card because you feel you have to. Look at that list (or make one if you don’t have it already) and commit to sending cards to those people that you really want to.
Our cards are far too luxurious to send to just anyone, and we’re okay with that. We want beautiful handprinted cards, handwritten by you, to become keepsakes. They’re special cards for your special people.
In our next post, we'll talk about the Writing Date itself and why creating a ritual can make what some could feel a chore into an occasion to look forward to.
The Lovely Paper Christmas Shop is now open. Order your most special letterpress Christmas cards early to ensure they arrive on time!
This is part one of our Christmas card writing blog series. Check out our other posts here.