Christmas cards made easy and more efficient

Black Friday Kick-Off

Festive greetings sent to family, friends, coworkers, and business associates are an enjoyable element of the holiday season. The first Christmas card was sent in England in 1843. Despite the popularity of online cards and social media posts for other occasions, and a greeting card industry that is declining at a rate of about 5 percent per year according to an IBISWorld analysis, when it comes to Christmas cards, many people still choose to write out and mail their cards.

The amount of money spent on holiday greeting cards is substantial, accounting for roughly 25 percent of total annual greeting card sales, according to the Greeting Card Association. Around $2 billion per year is spent on the 1.6 billion Christmas cards people send each year.

Although millions of people are still buying boxed cards, signing and mailing them, there is no denying that the process of choosing, addressing and mailing cards can take a considerable amount of time. Streamlining the process and starting card preparation early can make sending Christmas cards that much easier. Here is how to get started.

Choose your card

Photo greetings remain fashionable, particularly among families who may want to show how much their children have grown over the last year. Photographers book up quite quickly come the holiday season, and photo printing services may be backlogged in December. The best way to streamline the process is to choose your family photo early (take advantage of summer vacations or autumn foliage trips to snap a great shot) and have those cards printed well in advance of the holidays.

If you have the forethought to shop end-of-season sales, purchase deeply discounted generic boxed cards, if this is your card preference.

Maintain your contact list

Keeping a digital file of current addresses can make sending cards much more efficient. Update it regularly as people move or life situations change. While it may be more personalized to hand-address each card, sometimes time constraints may not permit that. Printing address labels can save time. This also gives you more wiggle room to put personal sentiments inside of the card, where they are more appreciated.

Edit your recipients

Mailing greeting cards can get expensive. Carefully review your holiday card list and see if anyone can be removed from the list. Opt for electronic greetings for those people on your list who you are not close with, such as coworkers. Reduce postage costs by personally delivering cards to family, friends and neighbors who live nearby.

Beat the rush

Spend the weekend after Thanksgiving getting cards sealed and ready to ship. This way your attention can be focused on the other holiday-related activities instead of on getting and sending cards.

Source: Metro Creative

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