Christmas Card Extravaganza has begun!
There are few things in life I love more than Christmas cards. I love receiving them and I love sending them. I have always loved this part of Christmas. To me it's kind of what the Christmas spirit is all about. Sharing special holiday greetings and wishes for the year to come with all the special people in your life.
I go all out with my Christmas cards. Which is not to say I spend a lot of money on the cards themselves, but the whole thing is somewhat of a process. There is a letter to be written. That usually starts sometime in October and there are always several drafts before I get it to the point where I feel it is worthy of being sent. I take pride in the fact that my letters are not your typical Christmas tell all. I tell the good with the bad and try to sprinkle in a little humor with it all. This year marks the 20th edition of my famous (or infamous, if you prefer) letter and it is definitely my favorite part of the process.
Then there is the picture. I've never done studio pictures. I just always dressed the kids in something cute and usually took it in front of the fireplace. A few pictures were family vacations. When the kids were little the picture wasn't really an ordeal but over the years it became the hardest part of the whole process. If any of you have ever tried to get three teenagers to all smile at the same time in a photo...you know what I mean. And now with my family growing up and moving away...it's not an easy task to get everyone here for a picture. So far I've managed, but I'm not sure how many more years I'm going to be able to get everyone together to do a picture.
Next is the choosing of the stationary and cards. I like my cards to have a religious tone because, after all, Jesus IS the reason for the season. I usually pick stationary that has a more secular feel because I love that part of Christmas also! I love anything with a vintage look but whimsy is appreciated also. I hand sign all my cards (about 80) because I don't hand sign the letter and I just think it makes it more personal that way. I don't do personal salutations, hand address the envelopes or hand write on the back of the pictures either, because if I did that, they'd never get sent. I think labels are my best friend at this time of year.
Before I start putting everything together I make sure I have enough ink for the printer for all those letters and labels. Update my address list and purchase stamps. Not just any old regular stamp. Of course they must be Christmas stamps. Last year I asked my husband to pick up the stamps for me. I just assumed he would know I wanted Christmas stamps for sending Christmas cards. Wrong. He came home with an entire roll of stamps with state flags on them. So last years cards went out with state flags on the stamps and I'm sure I'm the only one who cared that they had nothing to do with Christmas. I did learn a valuable lesson from that...when sending the husband for stamps...be specific...or get them yourself.
I try to have all this accomplished by Thanksgiving. Some people shop on Black Friday....I sign Christmas cards. I try to get the whole process done during the Thanksgiving weekend. I like to send my cards out on December 1st. I want to get them out early but sending them before December doesn't seem right so...the 1st it is. I don't always accomplish my goal but if I shoot for this I always have them out during the first week of December. Again, I'm sure that's not important to anyone but me.