Holiday card season is upon us and its time to get started on them. Here is your holiday card how to guide:
Decide whether you want to include a photo: Sending out a photo is NOT a must. Sure we all want to show off our cute kids and pets but some of us are a little more private and would rather spread holiday cheer with a simple message to friends and loved ones. If you do opt for a photo holiday card you will want to either find a photo (or array of photos) that you like with a decent resolution, or have professional photos taken. Given the choice, print on a smooth finish rather than an eggshell finish so your photo is as crisp and clean as possible. Make sure you have a .jpg version available that can be uploaded easily to a holiday card website or emailed to your custom stationer.
What information to include in your holiday card: After you decide whether to include a photo, then you have to decide what information you want on your holiday card. Most people include a greeting such as “seasons greetings” or “happy holidays,” “merry Christmas” or “happy new year,” as well as the family members names and perhaps their ages. Some people combine holiday cards with wedding save the date cards or baby announcements and therefore include additional information. Family “newsletters,” provided they aren’t too “braggy” can be included as a separate piece if you have a lot of great news or updates to share.
When to order your holiday cards: Order your holiday cards as early as possible, preferably by early November. That way you have them ready to send in time for the holidays. It takes time to stuff envelopes, address envelopes, stamp envelopes and cart them to the post office. If you are doing more than your standard one layer holiday card (adding layers, upgrading printing from flat to letterpress or thermography, having addresses hand lettered) then you may want to get started even earlier.
How many holiday cards to order: The best way to determine how many holiday cards to send out is to complete an excel spreadsheet with a row for each household. Then order 10 additional as you will receive holiday cards from new people each year and will want to return the greeting!
Where to order holiday cards: There are dozens of websites like ours with pre-set holiday cards that allow you to simply plug in your own information and upload your photo. Most of the websites even offer envelope addressing for your envelopes (provided you upload them in the required format). If you want something a little more custom or elaborate, visit your local stationer (like Paper & Posh), and meet with a stationery expert who will guide you through the process of customizing something amazing for your family holiday card.
When to send your holiday cards: Find out when the major holidays fall in a given year and try to send your holiday cards in advance of those holidays. Its also okay to wait and send a “happy new year” card if you don’t get your act together in time.