It’s easy to create a ritual around writing your cards, once you’ve cleared a little space in your diary to do it. (Hopefully, you've checked out part one of this Christmas card writing series - all about organising a writing date!)
Here's our tips to add a bit of festive fun to your Christmas card writing date.
Create a ritual
By creating your own ritual around writing your Christmas cards, you can make your card-writing date something to look forward to, not something to dread. Think about the little things that would make the experience pleasurable for you. The goal is to make writing cards feel special, and when you're in the mood, it'll make it easier for you to think of what to write inside your Christmas cards too. Win win.
Perhaps for you, it's sitting in the garden or balcony and writing cards in the sun, or adding a lovely bunch of flowers to your desk or picking up a coffee from your favourite cafe to fuel your efforts. Perhaps you don't feel festive until you've got yourself a mince pie or some gingerbread fudge. Whatever works for you and gets you in a Christmassy frame of mind.
Because I like to write Christmas cards in the evening, for me, it's all about creating a cosy ambiance. I love to light a Christmas candle (our eye is on The Little Flame Co.'s Christmas candle this year) so my surroundings smell suitably festive when I sit down to write.
I also like to slowly brew a relaxing cup of tea while I set up some work space. This year I'll be brewing The Tea Nomad's Noel blend.
Yes, tea, not wine. Have you seen what happens when you drop red wine on lovely paper? It doesn’t go well. You can have the wine, but as a reward for a job well done. Not at the start, or you’ll be snoozing halfway through the task in hand…
The great thing about the Noël blend is that it's inspired by the mulled wine that you find in lovely European Christmas markets so you get all the spicy, fruity vibes, with none of the alcohol or spillage risk!
Collect up everything you need
Get yourself set up on your table or desk, and collect everything you need to complete the job so you don't get distracted halfway through the task. Make sure the space feels comfortable and zen, and not too cluttered.
I'm a process fiend so I like to keep unwritten cards on one side and a box to collect up the written ones on the other. It's a visual cue of how I'm progressing.
If you're a stationery addict and it helps with your feeling of ritual, you might want to pick up a special pen to use to write your cards. I prefer gel pens, so I choose a cheap and cheerful one from Muji - but I have friends who only write cards in fountain pen, or maybe you'll enjoy the whole thing more if you're writing with a novelty Christmas pen. Really, it's up to you!
Now you're all set, so settle in and get writing.
Get in the festive spirit
We get it, it’s hard to feel festive when it’s sunny outside and you could be at the beach, but instead you have to stay in and write Christmas cards. So it’s important to create the right vibe to get you in the mood for your Writing Date, before you sit down to write.
Play some Christmas songs (you can check out our Spotify Christmas Card Writing playlist here), watch your favourite Christmas movie (mine is absolutely Elf as no. 1, with Scrooged a close second), maybe decorate the house first. Whatever is guaranteed to get you feeling Christmassy.
You may also fancy making sure there’s a copious supply of mince pies, gingerbread men or your Christmas treat food of choice in close proximity. It helps keep your energy levels up. Plus crumbs can be swept right off greeting cards (just make sure they don’t get caught in the envelope… and watch out for sticky fingers)
Don’t sweat the small stuff
We know that some people are self-conscious about their handwriting. Our advice? Don’t be!
Remember when those ‘print and send’ cards got really popular? Do you remember how you felt receiving a card that was TYPED? Sure, you could read it. But it doesn’t exactly make you feel like someone made an effort to send it.
Handwriting is personal. It takes effort and time. And that’s why people appreciate it. Even if the person at the other end can only make out 75% of the words, they’ll be 100% happier that you picked up a pen and wrote to them.
So don’t let your penmanship-self-esteem hold you back from connecting with the people most important to you.
In post no. three, we'll even share some tips on what to write.
And there you have it…
Some Lovely Paper tips to help you seriously up your Christmas card game this year. Let us know in the comments if you try our tips, have any of your own to add!
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 two of our Christmas card writing blog series. Check out our other posts here.