Summertime is a wonderfully quiet and relaxing time of year for many people. If you are looking for a little project to work on, consider updating your holiday mailing list. No matter whether you computerize your mailing list or keep it as a hand-written list, reviewing it for accuracy is a great idea.
Throughout the year, when I get moving card announcements, wedding invitations and birth announcements from family and friends, I keep them in a folder along with my mailing list. Usually once a year I update all the information. I happen to keep my holiday card list on a spreadsheet on my computer which makes it easy to update. As the children of my friends marry I also add them to my list with their new information and as babies are born they are listed as well. My list continues to grow and I love it!
Summertime weekends make a great time to go through my phone book and all those cards and announcements and I update my spreadsheet so I can be sure my holiday card envelopes will be as accurate as possible.
I love to order personalized holiday cards, sometimes with a family photo and sometimes just with a pretty design. During some quieter weekends, I’ve been able to get my children together and we’ll get a family picture taken and many summertime backgrounds make for a fabulous holiday card photo. The inside of my cards usually has a printed sentiment that I either create or select and it’s followed by our family names. You can also opt to write a little message even if the cards are printed, if you want an extra personal touch, even if it’s something as simple as “wishing you holiday joys” and a signature.
A great time to order your holiday cards is in fall, as early as September or October, to give you ample time to have the order printed and arrive at your home, and then allow you plenty of time to address them. Aiming to mail your holiday cards just before Thanksgiving is perfect timing and is a really nice way to kick off the holiday season. If you get a later start, no need to panic. It’s never too late to mail a holiday card. I have even, on some years, chosen to mail a Happy New Year card featuring my family holiday trip photos. But by then, certainly, my mailing list is updated and ready to go.
Once your cards and stuffed into envelopes and sealed, It’s time for the addressing. I highly recommend hand writing your envelopes, even if you don’t have the best handwriting. It really looks nicer than anything computerized and adds a great personal touch. By all means, try to stay far away from computer labels!
Find a nice pen that is comfortable and provides a nice smooth imprint. Some enjoy using a metallic pen, especially when the envelopes are darker in color, such as cranberry or red or navy or evergreen. A fine tip Sharpee is usually my go-to pen as it is easy to use and makes it easy for me to create nice lettering.
When you address your envelopes, you can either use the formal “Mr. and Mrs. David Carter” or if you prefer to be more casual, you can write “Caroline and David Carter” followed by the address. Of course, if there are children, either state “and family” after the parent’s names or list the children’s names names on the second line. Generally spell all the words out on the address, rather than abbreviating.
Finally, bring a finished holiday card to the post office so it can be weighed and measured and they can quote you the proper postage. Sometimes cards will require extra postage if they are in square envelopes or if they exceed certain weights. Your post office also usually offers holiday-themed first class stamps as you get closer to November and they are very nice to use on the envelopes.
So, by all means enjoy the summer. Eat ice cream. Get some sun and go for plenty of walks. But, reserve a little time to work on that mailing list and you will make your Fall season a little easier!