Christmas cards have been a tradition since 1843, but over the years the tradition has become overblown and is often an additional source of stress as it compounds our ever-growing holiday to-do list. Here are five tips to help you tone down the stress when it comes to sending Christmas cards so you can spend more time kicking your feet up by the fire and watching your favorite holiday movies.
1. Pass on the annual Christmas letter.
Christmas cards are about connecting to friends and family near and far. You help them feel the Christmas spirit by sharing love and joy with them through your card. Don’t ruin the sentiment of sending a card by slipping a humble brag letter inside. Why add more stress by making yourself type up a really long letter that turns the card into your platform for showing off your successes over the past year. Most people have become numb to the typical Christmas letter format that dotes on their genius children, talks about the perfect vacation they took, showcases their new not-so-exciting hobby, and insists that everyone know about their recent job promotion and/or new house and/or new car. It's better to just stick to wishing people a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. You can always update people on your life by adding them as a friend on Facebook or giving them a call.
2. Don’t overdo it on the photos.
If you are going to include pictures in your card, limit yourself to one or two. It starts to become overshare when you include more. Remember, we now have Instagram and other social media avenues for share-dumping your favorite photos from the last 12 months.
3. Limit your list to family members and good friends.
Just because you found a good deal on boxes of Christmas cards and you liked all five designs doesn’t mean you have to send out 100 Christmas cards. Remember you have to buy stamps too and that adds up! It's better to send out 10 cards with a well thought out message than just signing your name on a bunch of cards and sending them to a huge list of people.
4. Let someone else do the stressful parts.
Many card companies let you design a card template with your own picture and a personalized message on their website. You can then pay for them to print the cards and send them to a list of addresses. All you have to do is upload the addresses to their website, select when you want them to be sent and you are done! No more standing in line at the post office for hours during the holiday rush.
Give virtual cards a try.
Paperless Post (and other websites like it) allow you to select designer Christmas cards and then customize the card by adding a picture if you like, typing a personal message, and picking the envelope liner, virtual stamp, and background screen design. The card is sent to your recipients’ email where they can click on a link to access the card. When they get to the card, it turns the card over and opens up as you would when you open up a physical card. It’s a fun alternative to the traditional physical card, but without all the hassle and expense. Plus, you can help save some trees. Bonus!