Every year around now, I really start looking forward to the Christmas season. Pins are flying all over Pinterest, proffering more ideas than time for our family’s holiday season. As much as I love keeping the holidays simple, I also love making merry with fun, original, meaningful ideas.
And this is where the rubber meets the road. None of us are strangers to the irony of spending so much time pinning ideas that you don’t have the time do actually accomplish any of these newfound ideas. Nor are you unaware of the busyness our culture implies is required for the holiday season. You’re not a festive family if you’re not busy during Christmas.
I say no. I refuse to buy in to the idea that unless we’re nonstop filling our time with activities, we won’t have a memorable holiday. I want to spend my time snuggling with my kids, reading, baking, and in quiet worship. With lots of laughter.
That’s why we’re doing one holiday task a week for the next few weeks—because when you do them early, you have time for the stuff you really want to do. It’s all about creating a relaxed holiday spirit. Read all six steps here.
So what’s this week’s task?
Design and order your Christmas cards
I’m not implying you’re unthoughtful if you forego holiday cards—there are definitely reasons and seasons for claiming a bye year. But sending and receiving cards is one of my favorite Christmas traditions, probably because it’s whispers to a time when we still regularly used stamps and envelopes.
I love that friends still take the time to mail traditional cards. I love the process of hand-writing each envelope, saying a prayer of thanks for that person. I love displaying our received cards, seeing how babies have grown and pregnant bellies have swollen. And I love keeping these cards year-round as a reminder to continue in prayer.
But they can take awhile, so that’s why I like to order and design our cards early, while there’s still plenty of time. Later in the season, we’ll watch a favorite holiday movie, whip up some hot chocolate, and address the envelopes together.
1. Design your own
If you’re Photoshop-savvy (or even want to give it a go in Picmonkey), you can design your own cards and have them printed as postcards or photos. This is our route most years—you can see last year’s at the top of this post (though I may take a break this year, with my impending book deadline looming ever nearer).
These are some of my favorite places for printing my designs as postcards:
- Moo—you can also design up to 25 cards, so that you’ll have a variety!
- Overnight Prints
- Vistaprint (choose postcards)
Check out their sizes before you design, too, so you don’t have to backpedal when it’s time to order.
2. Order a design
There are more gorgeous card designs than you could ever possibly create, so have a good time choosing. It’ll be hard for me this year. Some of my favorite designers:
Wishing Good Things card from Cardstore
Candy Cane Countdown holiday card from Minted
Rustic Merry Christmas card from SassyInk Studio
Spread the Cheer card from Shutterfly
Review Newsletter holiday photo card from Snapfish
Snow Globe Fun card from Treat, if you like the idea of personalizing individual photo cards.
Priceless card from PhotoCard Design
3. Print photos and add them to “regular” cards.
No harm at all in buying boxed cards, printing a simple family photo, and tossing it in the envelope. Why not keep things simple?
Don’t forget to make your return address easy. When we don’t send out postcards (no envelopes needed!), I usually just print our address directly on the envelope, sending them through the printer in a batch. You can also order return address labels, run those through the printer, and get your kids to stick them on the back of the envelopes.
So your assignment this week? Design and order your holiday cards. You’ll be so glad you did, because now you can cross it off the list and wait patiently for them to arrive, instead of scrambling at the last minute.
Head here to watch for all of this year’s six steps (and feel free to pin it to make it easy for you to find).
Do you send out holiday cards?
Note: This post contains a few affiliate links.