5 weeks till Christmas: address and order your holiday cards

About six weeks ago, we talked about gathering your mailing addresses and exploring holiday card ideas. So because those things are already done, this week’s task is a simple one — address those envelopes.

12 weeks till christmas on simple momIf you can whip out the envelopes in one sitting — preferably with a mug of cocoa and while watching a Christmas classic, then you’ll have more time later to individually write your messages inside your cards.

And if this task only takes you a few minutes, then you can use your extra time to finish up some of the other tasks in our 12 Weeks to a Peaceful Christmas series.

If you still haven’t decided on cards yet, here are some of my favorites.

Custom Photo Cards

• Dayspring has a new line of custom photo cards out, and they are Christian themed. If you use the coupon code CHILDREN15, you’ll get 10 percent off your total and they’ll donate 6 percent of your purchase to Compassion International.

• Tiny Prints, though a bit pricey, offers extremely delectable photo cards — I love browsing their website.

• PhotoWorks also has a good selection of holiday cards this year — and they’re also a good source for gifts like calendars and photo books.

• There are a number of Etsy sellers creating custom photo cards — here are just a few. I’ve done this in years past, but I can’t this year, with my book deadline.

• Photo Card Design has the most unique layouts and customizations. I really love their work.

Make Your Own Photo Cards

If you’ve got a knack with Photoshop, you can whip out your own photo cards and have them printed at places like Snapfish, Shutterfly, Costco, or Target. Most of these places offer premade holiday layouts as well, if that’s easier.

I’ve also had good success with Vistaprint; they’re especially great if you need larger quantities.

Handmade Cards

Get the kids in on the action, and have them paint or draw a holiday scene. Then scan their artwork, adjust the size, and print your cards on simple cardstock. Make sure you buy envelopes before you create your cards, so that you know what size to make.

Email Newsletter

The tried-and-true paper newsletter is a favorite, and you can fill in your family and friends about your entire year. But the costs can add up with the printing and the paper.

An alternate newsletter idea is to email a newsletter, making it a bit spiffier than a standard email. My favorite newsletter service is MailChimp, and they make it very easy to create a custom layout.

Personally, though, I love receiving Christmas cards in the mail and then donning them as holiday decor around the house. Then after the holidays, we keep the ones with photos on our fridge, remembering to pray for these loved ones all year.

What are your plans for holiday cards this year?

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Tsh Oxenreider

Tsh is the founder of this blog and just finished traveling around the world with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

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  1. Thanks for the list, and for some alternative ideas to the average Christmas cards!
    .-= Lauren´s last blog ..Every Monday Should Be So Nice… =-.

  2. A little of a technical question…I’m new to a MAC computer this year…Does anyone have a simple way to collect and organize addresses (and transfer from an EXCEL sheet?) that can also easily be set up to print address labels? I feel a little lost this year without my already compiled list…maybe I’ll be doing the email newsletter 😉
    .-= Lisa @ WellGrounded Life´s last blog ..Five Lives {The Artist’s Way: Week 2} =-.

  3. I have my cards, pictures and address labels in a basket ready to go. I do all of the addressing and hubby writes out the cards to his family and I do mine. Usually we get family photos taken and insert them in store bought cards, next year I would really try to get our own cards made with a collage of pictures.
    .-= Tanna @ Complete Organizing Solutions´s last blog ..Card Catalog Turned Into Kitchen Storage =-.

  4. I just ordered my cards this week from snapfish. They have a 20% off code right now. I also ordered a calendar for a gift from them, and now you can import pictures from flickr, so it was super easy. We hang/tape all the Xmas cards we get–it ends up making a lovely garland in our kitchen.
    .-= Meg Evans´s last blog ..Sad =-.

  5. We haven’t even got our photo done yet and now I’m really starting to panic! 5 weeks! Where has the time gone. Thanks for the reminder Tsh.
    .-= Lynn´s last blog ..It helps to think we’re sleeping underneath the same big sky… =-.

  6. Great Reminder! 5 Weeks is plenty of time!
    .-= aaronshawphd´s last blog ..Baby Animals of the Day! Baby Walrus! =-.

  7. Great list! I have used Photoworks for years and can report that they have AWESOME customer service. One year, I made a cropping mistake on my cards but did not notice until I saw the final product – I thought I was going to cry. They still gave me a credit and were gracious in helping me out – even though it was MY mistake.

    Also, November is Killer Deal month for Christmas cards. I am getting my stuff together now to take advantage of it.

  8. I have had my cards for a couple of weeks now but have not addressed them. Plan to do that this weekend. I got mine from Tiny Prints for the first time this year. They are heavenly. It was a splurge but we have cut down our card list a bit and our gift list is smaller & I am making a lot of gifts this year so it should even out. I highly recommend them though – the website is easy to navigate, you can see a sample of what your card will be and they arrived fairly quickly.
    .-= Debra´s last blog ..My Favorite Things…. =-.

  9. Oh, I handwrite my addresses. It seems more personal. I use a return address stamp though. I think it’s sad to get (or send – I’ve done it in the past) a card that has no handwriting on it what so ever- like the card was one more chore to finish as quickly as possible. It shouldn’t be like that.
    .-= Debra´s last blog ..My Favorite Things…. =-.

  10. Oh my goodness. Thank you for the reminder! I really need to get the cards so I can spread the writing of them out over a week or two and not get overwhelmed.
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..Satisfaction, Thy Name Is Hat =-.

  11. I refuse to participate in this tradition. I find them annoying, wasteful, expensive, the antithesis of creativity & originality…I’ll stop. BUT, this is an example of an unexamined life.

  12. There’s a really great way to get 100 FREE (no shipping or anything) photo cards that Money Saving Mom just posted about yesterday if anyone is interested:


    I ordered mine yesterday, and you don’t even have to give a credit card # or anything.
    .-= cheryl´s last blog ..Jesse Tree Ornaments =-.

  13. Every year I have cards, do pictures, and then get stuck on getting the family letter printed and in the cards. I’ve gone 4 years without sending out anything and have missed getting to share a bit of good cheer and a bit of our lives with our friends and family. So THIS year I’m going to send out the cards and simply include the URL of my blog link to our family update newsletter/pictures. Then people can look if they are curious, or choose not to. It will save that much more paper as well. No email list, just a handwritten card and a link.

  14. I was planning on making my own Christmas cards this year but got a little overwhelmed. I think I’ll stick to the photocards. But hey, I already got my holiday stamps!
    .-= Jackie @ Lilolu´s last blog ..New "Cook Yourself Thin" Recipes =-.

  15. That sounds so cozy, addressing cards while watching a Christmas movie. I’ve been bad and done nothing the last couple of years. Maybe I’ll send out some cards (I have several boxes…I love to buy them, I just don’t send them!)
    .-= Kimberly´s last blog ..Nothing Much to See Here =-.

  16. I have to be honest. I hadn’t even thought about Christmas cards yet until I read this post! Thank goodness my dear wife is all over it.
    .-= Dustin | Engaged Marriage´s last blog ..Vote for Your Favorite Marriage Blog! =-.

  17. I love these reminders you are sending our way. I find I count on them to let me know what I need to take care of each week, so thank you.
    .-= Jan (Mixing Bowl Kids)´s last blog ..Mad Hungry =-.

  18. I’m doing store-bought cards this year. I found some beautiful ones at Lifeway when they were buy 1 get 1 50% off on Labor Day. I like to do a short hand-written note in each one, and if it’s someone we don’t see often, I’ll include a wallet-size photo of my girls. We won’t be getting those pictures done until December (I like to knock out Christmas and 2 birthdays in one photo session), so I will have my cards addressed and stamped and waiting for their photos so they can be mailed. 🙂
    .-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..Countdown to…Black Friday Shopping! =-.

  19. My goal has always been to have the card designed and our pictures taken by Thanksgiving, and ready to mail on Dec 1. That way I have plenty of time to finish up other people’s cards. I haven’t settled on a design yet… Hoping to stay on track!
    .-= PS~Erin´s last blog ..The Show =-.

  20. very interesting article! I will follow your themes.
    Can I subscribe to your posts on Twitter or on your Facebook profile?

  21. Tsh, just found your post (albeit 3 years later :0) as I loved your image of the mailbox in the snow. I was going to share with those who use SendOutCards to mail their holiday cards, but won’t as I see it is copyrighted. If I may contribute to your post, SendOutCards was virtually unknown in 2009, but has finally fully migrated from the business world into homes and is quickly becoming the most popular way to send cards. If anyone would like to explore how it works and send a card (card and stamp are paid for), they are welcome to visit http://www.cardattraction.com This service is available to anyone, anywhere in the world and costs 1/3 that of store bought. You may add your own photos, artwork and let the kids design and send their own. You may also have your holiday greeting print in your own handwriting. Cards are printed, stamped, stuffed and mailed from either Salt Lake City, UT or Australia, depending on where you’re mailing in the world. I started using the service in 2006. Now, each year, my mantle and shelves are filled with cards with photos of families, pets and artwork on the front and inside. It’s hard to put them away when the holidays are over.
    I’m grateful for finding your blog and the many solutions you share. Wishing you a great day everyday.

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