The holiday season might seem a long way off but if you are looking for less stress then you need to start preparing. The best place to start is the holiday cards that you are going to send. I pull out my holiday card list for last year and start creating what I am doing this year.
Christmas Card List
I don’t like to use the same page each year, I like to change it, my tastes change and sticking with the same design each year is boring. I will keep the previous years though as a record of what I have sent and when.
This year I am thinking of putting together a folder to keep these records safer and easily accessible, currently there stored under my cards, sometimes there moved, creased, and damage does happen during the year.
It is possible to store this information on a spreadsheet, where you can include even more details including addresses, you could even tie this into a spreadsheet address book, and, a step further would lead to you tying this with your gift list; there will be people who you will need to send both a gift and a card. Unfortunately, I like the idea of a written list, it is just so much prettier and can change depending on your mood for the year.
When To Purchase Your Cards
If you are thinking about your budget then it is important to buy next year’s cards when they are at their cheapest. This is normally after Christmas and shops are getting rid of their stock of cards.
This is when I am able to buy the expensive looking cards and it depends on how many I send out as to the amount of cards I buy. It is not worth buying more than you need for a season as you can guarantee that you will get good bargains again next year.
If you haven’t got your cards already then you are going to need to budget for this cost on top of the postage. Put this into your budget for November to ensure that you are getting ready for the holiday season. Shops are stocking the holiday cards and you might be able to pick some for a reasonable price.
If you have young children who like to send cards to their friends then it is important that you factor these cards into your buying, unless you insist they purchase their own. Teaching children the best time of the year to buy things, like when the items they want will be cheaper is a budgeting skill that will last them a life time.
What Order To List Your Holiday Cards
Getting the list in order of posting for me is key rather than alphabetical, if the top of the list is the cards I need to write first, this helps to ensure that I don’t miss any.
If you have any International cards that need posting it is important that you get to these first. They need posting early in December and therefore, if you are spreading the writing of cards then it is important you consider those, which need posting at the top.
I like to write my cards in batches and over the years as the cost of postage increases, I have reduced the number of cards that I post.
It is possible to send people e-cards, these are great if you are reducing the cost of postage, and it allows you to connect with those people you care about in a modern way. It is possible to send an e-card free; it is a cheap way to connect with friends and family, without the hassle of writing and posting a card. However, I do feel personally that these are less personal than a traditional card in the post.
Therefore, if you spend some time planning and doing little things towards the bigger goal of the holiday season, it will ensure that it is an easier and less stressful period for you.