If you send Christmas cards (as I am sure most of you do...with the exception of my mother...she never has and more than likely never will, BUT if you sent her one last year or the year before that or the year before that she still has it in her kitchen and looks at them often). Back to my original statement...if you send Christmas cards you know that is it a p-r-o-c-e-s-s. Picking outfits, having the pictures made, selecting a picture, designing the card, ordering the cards, addressing them, stuffing/stamping, and finally getting those suckers in the mail before December 25th. In one word...exhausting.
In years past I have really dreaded this entire process and inevitably stressed myself out trying to get it done, but not this year. No, this year I was determined to enjoy sending Christmas cards, and I am here to tell you that I succeeded! I found great pleasure in my Christmas card experience this year, and I am here to share my secrets with you. (Actually most all of you probably figured this out a long time ago, but as usual I am the last one to jump on the band wagon.) But here it goes:
1. Start Early - I started designing my card in early October, had the pictures taken in late October, ordered them on Halloween, and addressed, stamped and stuffed in November. Done before Thanksgiving!
2. Design Your Own Cards - I know this wont work for everyone, but if you are semi proficient in Publisher or Photo Shop I highly recommend this approach. I shopped all of my favorite Christmas card sites, grabbed ideas and designed my own. This way I was able to have them printed for much less and in turn was able to order more so I wasn't having to cut down my list like I usually do. I used printrunner.com and was very pleased with the result.
3. Let a friend take your picture. Don't get me wrong I LOVE professional pictures. We have a photographer that we have used several times, and it is such a treat when we have the opportunity to have her take pictures for us. However it does add a stressful element. I mean if you are paying 100's of dollars you really want those pictures to be great. So you stress much more about clothes, the weather and in our case the attitude and temperament of your toddler! Maybe it's just the stage we are in right now, but having a friend meet us a a park one afternoon was absolutely perfect. Thank you again Emily!!!!
As I said before...I'm sure the rest of you have this figured out, but this worked for me and allowed me to truly take joy in sending them. I even had time to write a personal note on each one...something I have wanted to do for years!
Thankful that these have been mailed, and that I get to savor spending time with family, shopping, wrapping, decorating, and running to the mailbox every afternoon to see what Christmas cards have come!