Are Your Holiday Greeting Cards Addressed and Ready to Mail?

IMG_1389-1I pulled out my greeting card list to get started with addressing the cards. Wow!  I didn’t realize it was such a mess.

Addresses were scratched out.  New ones written to the side.  My niece got married.  A new last name plus a husband’s name were added.   A few names are scratched off because either they passed away or I no longer wish to send them cards.

It’s time to update my list on the computer and print out a new copy.  I set this list up many years ago. It has been a great organizer when tackling the task of sending out greeting cards.

It’s set up in such a way that I can make sure the Hanukkah cards are mailed on time.  Hanukkah starts this Saturday, December 8.  Once those are done I’ll start on the Christmas cards.

This list is also set up in a way where if I run short on time it’s easy to prioritize who I want to send cards to and who will be left out this year.

Below is an excerpt from the holiday tip eBook on how to create the greeting card system I use.

Take a few minutes to set your list up today.  You’ll then be well on your way to getting those greeting cards out on time.

Holiday Greeting Card System – Tip #12

From the eBook “Tips To Simplify And Organize Your Holidays”

Step 1: Write out the names of people you want to send cards to.

The first step is to look at your address/phone book and write out all the names and of the people you want to send cards to this year.  Be selective.  You don’t have to send to everyone.  Write these on a separate piece of paper or type them into your computer.  Don’t worry about the addresses now; you’ll work on those in the next step.

If you already have a list from last year then just add any new names or scratch off any you don’t want to send cards to anymore.  Remember, you don’t have to send cards to everyone. Now review each name and decide if you can cross off a few more.

Step 2: Divide into sub-lists. Update addresses.

This step will take a little time to set up depending on how many people you have on your list.  But the time is well spent by helping simplify the task of sending out greeting cards this year and many years to come.

1.  Label a separate sheet of paper with the categories listed below. You can also do this on the computer at this time or after you have completed the handwritten copy.

  •         Family
  •         Friends
  •         Co-workers/Business acquaintances
  •         Neighbors
  •         Others (mail person, hairdresser, school teacher, etc.)

2.  Now write the name of each person/family you want to send a card to under the appropriate category.  Do not add the addresses yet.  You are just dividing the names right now.

3.  Once all the names are listed in their categories you will want to mark next to the name which kind of card you want to send.  A Christmas card, a Hanukkah card, or a Seasons Greeting card.  A generic Seasons Greeting card can be sent to most people if you aren’t sure about their religion.

4.  Now you can make your final list with the addresses included.  You’ll do this by making a separate list for each group and each kind of card you are sending.  For example:

  •         Friends – Christmas
  •         Friends – Hanukkah
  •        Friends – Season Greetings

Customize for the people on your list.  Several categories can go on the same page if you only have a few people in each. You might want to include first names of the family members on this list.  This will help if you like to personalize the inside of the cards.

This is now your master list. It will help you prioritize who’ll you’ll sent cards  to if you don’t have enough time to get to them all.  If you want you can even list the names in each category in order of importance.  You may want your sister who lives out of town on the top of the list and your 2nd cousin you rarely talk to, on the bottom of the list.

If you didn’t put it on the computer yet now would be a good time. It will be a lot easier to update the copy on the computer before printing it off each year. Step 4 explains how to make the list portable and why.

Step 3: Buying your cards.

Your master list will help you determine what kind and how many cards you’ll need to buy. 

1. If you have cards left over from last year be sure to check them out before shopping.

2. Look at your categories and determine how many of each kind of card you will need.

3. Subtract the number of left over cards you can use in each category and this will give you the minimum number of cards to purchase.

4. Try to find boxes that are close to the number you need with maybe a few extra.  You really don’t want to store boxes of unused cards each year.

Step 4: Addressing the envelopes.

1.  To make it easy to keep track of which ones you’ve addressed and to make it portable, you can put the printed sheets in plastic page protectors.  Check off each name with a dry erase marker once the envelope is completed.  When you’re completely done with addressing the envelopes you can take a damp tissue to wipe off the marks.

2. Start with the most important category for you and work from there. Family, friends, co-workers, etc.

3. Sign the cards at this time and put them inside the envelopes.  Don’t seal the envelopes now because you may want to insert a newsletter, photo, or write a personalize note right before mailing them.

4. If you make the sheets portable (see number 1) then it’s easy to take the addresses, cards, and envelopes with you while waiting for your child’s dance lesson, music lesson, etc. to be done. You can also address them while watching TV in the evenings.

Step 5: Insert a newsletter, photo, etc.

This is where you will insert a newsletter, photo, or personal note.

Step 6: Stamp and mail envelopes.

Stamp the envelopes and mail them at the proper time.  Here is a list of suggested dates the United States Postal System puts out for the latest days to mail cards and packages.

  •     Dec. 4   Military mail destined for Iraq or Afghanistan
  •     Dec. 11  Military mail to other international destinations
  •     Dec. 15  Parcel Post
  •     Dec. 20  First Class Mail  
  •     Dec. 20  Priority Mail
  •     Dec. 22  Express Mail

Dec. 17 is the busiest mailing day of the year.  Buy your stamps now and plan on mailing your cards and packages before that date.

If you found the above tip helpful you can find 24 more tips in the eBook “Tips To Simplify And Organize Your Holidays”.  It’s only $2.99 and is available for your PC (PDF), Kindle (Amazon), or Nook (Barnes & Noble).

To a lighter load along the way.