Sending Christmas cards is a fun way to stay in touch with friends and relatives, but it can seem like a daunting task during an already busy season.
Add the cost of printing and mailing the cards… and it can be expensive in addition to time-consuming.
If you love sending Christmas cards but don’t have the time or money to invest, try these tips to simplify and save money on your Christmas cards.
Time-Saving Christmas Card Tips
Save address labels from each year
Every year, as you receive Christmas cards, or even when you receive a note or just-moved letter from a friend, save the return address label. Tape the addresses to paper (use the Organized Christmas Cards page in the Organized Holiday Planner) and store all the address labels for people who send you Christmas cards.
When it comes time to order cards, count the number of labels and you’ll know exactly how many cards to order.
You may want to order a few extra cards, too. Every year, we receive some unexpected cards right before the holiday!
Saving the address labels will also make addressing the cards much easier! As you’re addressing the cards, you won’t need to hunt through your address book. Instead, write out the envelope for each card as you go through your sheet of return labels.
I usually wait until after Thanksgiving to set up my Christmas tree and take a family picture (or at least a picture of the kids) in front of the tree. But that doesn’t always work out as well as I plan (like the year that I knocked over the Christmas tree and then disgustedly left it until my mom finally came over and helped me set it back up).
If your kids are older, use last year’s Christmas picture or even use pictures throughout the year. Or, skip the pictures altogether and send a traditional card.
If you really want to get a head start, immediately address the cards for the following year using the labels that you just received. Just make sure that you put them in a safe place where you won’t lose them!
Make notes throughout the year
If you’re going to send a Christmas letter or personalize your Christmas cards, start a notebook and keep track of things that you’ll want to include.
Chances are, if you wait until the end of the year, you’ll forget to mention that Johnny made the winning score in soccer or Ella was the only ballerina who didn’t pick her nose on stage.
Save yourself a trip to the store. Unless you’re picking up a discounted box of cards while you’re in the line at the store, you’ll probably find a better selection for a better price online.
Many stores, such as Shutterfly or Walmart, offer photo cards that can be ordered online and shipped or picked up in a store once they’re printed. Before you shop, sign in to Ebates to get cash back and find discount codes and coupons.
The best part about ordering online is that you could order your cards at any time of year so you can get a head start on writing out your cards. Especially if you order during the off season, you may find better deals and discounts on sites like Ebates or Shutterfly.
Reevaluate your Christmas card list
If you send 120 Christmas cards every year but only receive 25, it might be time to reevaluate your list!
Maybe sending Christmas cards is the highlight of your year. But if you’re looking to save time and money on your Christmas cards, chances are pretty good that you want to simplify.
Especially if you send more cards than you receive, don’t feel bad about cutting back.
If you can, wait until closer to the holiday to mail your cards. Have your cards printed and stuffed in envelopes, and then send cards to each person who sends you a card.
A week before the holiday, mail any extras that you want to send, like to your Aunt Sally who never sends a card but expects to receive one, and then save your shorter list of cards for next year.
Pick up discounted cards at a store
If you’re going to send traditional cards instead of photo cards, you might be able to buy your Christmas cards at a discount in a store.
Some stores, like Hobby Lobby and Michael’s, offer huge discounts on their seasonal decor before the holiday. As you’re shopping, check online for extra coupons (you may even be able to use the Ebates app to get cash back in store).
But for an even bigger savings, try shopping for cards the day after Christmas. Just make sure that you don’t forget where you stored them!
If you’re looking to save time and money on Christmas cards, try using these tips. By planning ahead and simplifying your Christmas card process, you’ll be able to save time and money on your Christmas cards!