How Regis & Kelly help me get my Christmas cards done each year……

I love love love getting Christmas cards. Each day in December I dash out to my mailbox to see if any newsy card awaits me. I hold my breath as I carefully open each card in anticipation of what is by far my favorite part of the Christmas card tradition. The picture.

The family pictures make the card for me. I just really love and appreciate them. Imagine my disappointment when I open a card and no picture falls out. It is so sad and disappointing but a letter makes up for it. Yet some don’t have that either, it’s just a card with a signature.

Please don’t send cards out of a sense of obligation. I think we are way too hard on ourselves. Christmas is such a busy time and it’s so easy to over extend ourselves which only leads to frustration and bitterness. No we definitely want to avoid that. That might mean avoiding Christmas cards altogether or being creative to come up with an alternative. For instance if you are a mommy blogger that frequently posts updates and pictures of your family why not just send out a Christmas email linking to a Christmas update on your blog.

Also let’s talk about the form letter. I know a lot of people don’t like them but I do. I like getting them plus I do my own every year. I just wouldn’t have time to write essentially the exact same thing out to each person 50+ times. To me that is just crazy. I type and print mine out on nice Christmas paper (25 sheets for $2.00 at the Dollar Store) and keep it to just one page. I keep it simple and just include the highlights from the previous year. I do make a point of handwriting a small personal greeting on each card though but only maybe one or two lines. I think the thing to remember here and the point of Christmas cards is to connect with friends and family who you might not have seen over the last year. I almost rarely do local cards because I can wish these people a Merry Christmas in person. Of course if I don’t think I’ll be seeing someone in town over the holidays then I’ll send a card just to let them know I’m thinking of them. For more help simplifying your Christmas card list, please visit this post by my friend Ariane of Neat & Simple Living.

Getting Christmas cards done early and without stress doesn’t have to be a daunting task and I might just be able to help you by sharing how I streamline my process. Each year at this time I set out to compile my supplies and get to work on my Christmas cards. By breaking the whole process down into manageable steps that can be done over a number of days you’ll have your cards done before you know it!

First thing I do is find myself a basket or box and collect all the supplies I’m going to need and keep them all together. This saves me much time in the long run. Here is the supply list I use:

  1. Christmas cards
  2. Stamps
  3. Address labels (I use Avery 5160)
  4. Pen
  5. Stickers
  6. Christmas paper for letter
  7. Address book/checklist
  8. Return address labels
  9. Pictures

Once I have all the supplies compiled in my basket I am ready to go. I do NOT attempt to do my Christmas cards all in one sitting. I have a short attention span so breaking the project down into smaller tasks works very well for me. Each evening as I sit down to watch my taped Regis and Kelly show (I love this show and have watched everyday for the last 15 years!) I bring my card basket with me and tackle one of the steps. Each step, except for two, can be done while I sit and watch my show each night for 45 minutes. Some days I might get only one step done, some days more. Then I put it away and come back to it the next day. Here is my to do list:

update and print off address labels (this can’t be done in front of the TV obviously but it only takes about 15 minutes to update as I have the file saved from last year)

put address labels on envelopes

put return address labels on envelopes

cut out photos (I use school photos which come 16 to a page usually. Sometimes I’ll also add a snapshot of the three kids together if I have one)

write the date on the back of each photo

write greeting on Christmas cards and sign

put on stickers

put pictures in cards

type and print out Christmas letters (probably the step that takes the longest but no more than an hour and a half tops)

fold Christmas letters

put letters into cards

put cards into envelopes

seal envelopes

put stamps on envelopes

DONE!

(don’t forget that you can also get the kids involved putting on the stickers, labels and sealing!)

Thanks Regis and Kelly, I couldn’t do it without you!!!

Spring the Christmas Card Planner!

Filed under: Holidays, Lists, Organizing

Comments

34 Responses to How Regis & Kelly help me get my Christmas cards done each year……

  1. 1
    Chappyswife says

    I feel the same way as you, Laura. I need to break it out into steps as you have instead of trying to tackle it all at once. Thanks for the tips.

  2. 2
    Mommy Cracked says

    I need to try this because I am the one that likes to sit down and do them ALL at once, which is really tiring.

  3. 3
    Kim says

    I love getting Christmas cards too! I am always so disappointed when we don’t get many! I never want to offend by taking someone off my list but maybe this year will be the first. I love Christmas letters too! I get so excited when I get one. I personally love to hear about other peoples year, even if they brag! How do you feel about just sending a Christmas letter and no card. That is what I’ve done the last couple of years. I always send a picture though.

  4. 4
    Marcia says

    I started mine on Sunday. There are little piles all over my desk – Business, Clients, Friends, Work people, etc. Now comes the fun part. I write out each card by hand – i’m too lazy to do the Christmas letter but maybe I should try this year?

  5. 5
    Multi-tasking Mommy says

    We’re getting our photos done next Monday! I can’t wait….
    I’m also in the process of making some of my cards this year.

  6. 6
    chupieandjsmama says

    I love Christmas cards with the picture of peoples children on it. They are so sweet. In the past I bought the blank cards, had my pictures printed off (usually taken under the tree after Thanksgiving) and then used my stampers to stamp cute Christmas pictures on the card. It just became too much work. This year I let Kodak.com make my cards for me and it pretty much cost the same. We send out about 80 cards (my husbands side of the family is big and if I don’t send a card to everyone my MIL gets frosty). I feel relieved that my cards are done already. Now I just have to write a personal note and hand address them and I’m done. YAY!

  7. 7
    Jill says

    I started working on my list of names/addresses earlier this week. If you have a spare moment, is it possible you could blog about the christmas letter? It probably sounds dumb–but I’ve never done one, have only gotten ONE ever, and would kind of like to hear feedback/input from others! thx! :)

  8. 9
    Laura says

    Kim, I have no problem with just a letter and no card. In fact it makes a lot of sense!

    Jill, my Christmas letter is just a simple one pager. I give each member of the family one paragraph with just the highlights of what has happened over the past year. Yes some may consider it bragging but I would except that the family and friends receiving our letter would care about those things. I know I love hearing about the accomplishments of my friend’s kids.

    The photo card! Totally forgot to mention that. I love them and it’s a great time saver isn’t it. Nothing wrong with that!

  9. 10
    Lady Why says

    Thank you for the reminder! I need to get to work on my Christmas card pictures right now!!

    How did I miss that great organizational gene that you have? I love how you get everything together and break it up into manageable steps. I soooo need manageable steps! :-)

  10. 11
    Hollie says

    I get only a handful of cards now adays and I cherish each one, I save my cards though form year to year and love going back and looking at old ones!

  11. 12
    GiBee says

    Great tip! I love the photo cards. Each year, I love seeing how the kids change, and usually, my friends tuck a letter in the envelope along with the photo card.

  12. 13
    Susanne says

    I love getting Christmas cards but fewer and fewer people are sending them. I love the system you have. I try to keep all my stuff together. Of course, I never thought of the basket. :vD

  13. 14
    Ornery's Wife says

    OF COURSE you start with getting a container to put it all in! :-)

    Great post. I am more the stick with it till it’s done sort, but then I don’t have young kids or outside employment to distract me. I am with you about the letters and photos, though. They make the greeting.
    TM

  14. 15
    Annie says

    Avery 5160’s ROCK!!

    I’m glad you like kids pictures…I should be betting them next week from Wal-Mart, expect one!!

  15. 16
    Sharon says

    Like you, I love getting Christmas cards in the mail! And the pics & letters, too. (or as my mother-in-law calls them, “brag letters! lol)

    I take one night just to address the envelopes. Another night I start doing family cards, then another friends, etc. It works for me. I have fun, too. :)

    Great post.

  16. 17
    AnneMarieZ says

    I love getting pictures and am helping friends and family get photos into cards this year!
    I like to make my own cards… a little more personal- it takes time but those that get them love them :)Since I make my own I have to do them in steps. It makes it easier on me, I get to change things up if I am bored and it lets me be more creative!
    I do handwrite personal messages- love that others took the time and do it myself..
    everyone signs the card- baby included with a stamped hand or footprint- that is always a winner! lol!
    this year I have figured out how to make a digital card and that has been loads of fun!

  17. 18
    bohgirl says

    I love getting holiday cards, especially the pictures. Only thing is that I usually run out of space to display them and don’t exactly know what to do with them when the holidays are over. I used to cut out the pic and frame or scrapbook them, but sometimes it just gets time consuming and I lose the date and greating that is attached. So I found this nifty little book through Innisbrook when my son had a school fundraiser. Now I can keep the picture organized, intact, display them on the coffee table for the season AND have a way to store them afterwards ;)

  18. 20
    VeteranMilitaryWife says

    We must be on the same wave length! I just wrote about Christmas cards on my blog too! There are lots of lowcost, low frills methods to keep your friends and family in the loop every year. One of them, is a nice website, with the same address, that you update every year. We have family and friends around the world, and this has become the norm for us as our Christmas list started topping 100!

  19. 21
    Amy says

    You said you use Avery labels. You should check out the ones at http://www.colourmefamily.com. They were recently on Bloggy Giveaways and too cool!

  20. 22
    Forgetfulone says

    Thanks for the tips and the step-by-step!

  21. 23
    Megan@Disorder2Order says

    Great minds think a like… This is pretty much the same method I use and I too love cards, pictures, letters and notes! I will say that my most favorite (and labor some) task is the hand written note! It makes the card! Happy Season!

  22. 24
    Amy @ By His Grace says

    Another great time saving tip is to print the ages of the people included in your photos on some sort of label. This way, you only have to peel and stick to the back of the photo!

  23. 25
    Amanda says

    You’re kidding about Regis and Kelly, right? That was tongue-in-cheek, yes?
    Regis, maybe; but Kelly? No way! She is so off the charts ridiculous and smarmy. Please don’t model anything in your life after her. Pleeeasse?

  24. 26
    Laura says

    Amy that is a fantastic idea!!

    Amanda I’m sorry to say that yes I have been watching that show for 15 years! I love it and I enjoy both Regis and Kelly a lot. They make me laugh and are my daily indulgence.

    Laura

  25. 27
    Dawn says

    My five year-old has been very helpful peeling and sticking the labels, stamps, and return address labels on our Christmas letters for the past couple of years (hooray for self-adhesive stamps!). It definitely simplifies things!

  26. 28
    sheila says

    can i just say? i love your blog, so glad i found it.

    great tip – i love christmas cards, too.

  27. 29
    Tracy Hoth says

    I am always a tiny bit sad when I just get a picture of the kids. I want to see the adults, too. I want to see how they have changed, too! Just a thought…

  28. 30
    Emma Jardine says

    With Christmas cards that don’t include a photograph you can cut them up and make them into gift tags for next year. I haven’t bought gift tags in years! And doing it piecemeal is definately a good idea, but I do each card to completion.

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