I know it’s only February but I’m thinking this month about the Christmas Card thing. I never seem to get my cards out on time and really, I’m o.k. with that. What I’m not o.k. with is how nuts I get when I’m stuffing envelopes on December 22, or worse, December 27! So, I’m starting early.
Now first of all, there is the issue of “to send or not to send” cards. I mean, it isn’t cheap to send cards out and that is something to consider in our current economic situation. I figure it’s about $1.00 - $2.00 per card sent, depending on the type of greeting you choose. I received a number of “e-cards” this past Christmas, and that is great because I like to hear from people, and at least I can find out what is going on in their lives.. One person I know posted her Christmas letter and pictures in her blog. Finances were tight and she generally sends out over 500 cards so under those circumstances, I’d say she made a very wise choice. One family, who are friends of my daughter-in-law, decided to do a You Tube video Christmas card. It was hysterical and unique. Of course, a You Tube video can be seen by more than just your immediate friends and family so consider that before you decide to do one.
After this year’s cards were in the mail I gave some consideration to the whole electronic card idea, but I can’t quite bring myself to do it. Here’s why. I LOVE to get letters in the mail. When the Christmas season rolls around, I look forward to seeing what’s in the mailbox every day. My favorite thing is to grab a cup of tea, sit in the recliner, read the news in people’s letters, and ooh and aah over their kids’ pictures. I don’t care if their letters are typed, I just love to read about their lives. So, for as long as I can afford to, I will send out a real Christmas letter with some sort of picture. (I love those pictures, too and I save them from year to year.)
You’ll need to make your own decision on the Christmas card issue, of course (and if you’ve gotten this far into my blog, I’m assuming you are at least considering joining me in my Christmas Sanity Plan.) Here is what I’m doing now to prepare for next year’s Christmas letter. I printed plenty of return address labels to have on hand when the time comes. It seems silly I know, but last year this became an issue just as they were ready to mail. I just purchase Avery return address labels and use them. You can order pretty ones if that is important to you.
I also went and purchased stamps today. They will get put away in a very special place for next year’s mailings. No, they won’t be Christmas stamps BUT they are cheaper now than they will be next Christmas. I heard the other day that the cost of stamps is going up again in May so I purchased the “forever” stamps. They have liberty bells on them. Not Christmasy, but then again, Christ came in the form of a baby to set us free from sin, so . . . liberty, . . . liberty bell, we’ll make it work. And, I’ll save a whopping $3.00 on my 150 stamps!
In addition to the stamps and return address labels, I am seriously contemplating buying self-adhesive envelopes. We usually just send a picture card with a printed letterhead so a regular size envelope will work just fine to mail it in. And, if I don’t have to lick 150 envelopes, all the better. Once I have the envelopes, I can actually go ahead and address them either with labels, by hand, or by running them through the computer.
I need to touch on one more issue before I finish up this very long blog. How do you decide who gets a Christmas letter from you? Generally, here is how I choose. If someone sends me a card, I try to reciprocate. My family members get cards regardless of whether they send one to me or not. And, I will usually keep people on my list unless I haven’t heard from them in years. Then, I figure they just don’t like me anymore and aren’t interested in my letters. Their loss. However you make this decision, now is a good time to review your list of recipients.
If you know me at all, you know this whole “thinking ahead” deal isn’t really my thing. I’m a total procrastinator. My Christmas Sanity plan is simply that; my attempt to have ONE Christmas season where I’m not nuts. If it works, yippee! Then, I’ll try it again. Please feel free to join me.