The Case for Christmas Cards

Thanksgiving will be here soon, and while I’m holding true to my word that the Christmas season does not start until after the turkey is eaten, there is a little planning and prep work that has already gotten underway.

There maybe a closet or two with gifts stored away waiting to be wrapped. There may be supplies gathering around for my attempt at a craft project (say what? I thought you weren’t crafty? I’m not normally, but sometimes inspiration hits, stayed tuned though because I will be posting the project.) And there has been a little planning on putting together our family Christmas card.

Creating and mailing Christmas cards doesn't have to be complicated, expensive or a hassle. Here are some simple tips to help make a case for Christmas cards.

One of the best things about the month of December is being able to open your mailbox and have more than just bills in there. You know what I mean, all of those festive colored envelopes filled with Christmas cards, holiday greetings, family pictures, and newsletters.

It seems thought that in recent years there has been a decline in Christmas cards in my mailbox, and I know I’m not the only one.

People just aren’t sending out as many Christmas cards anymore. I know there are a variety of reasons, with the rising cost of postage many families just can’t afford to anymore. While finances can be a factor, I want to offer a simple  challenge to you this year: Do consider mailing Christmas cards, or at least a few, this year.

Tips to Help Simplify Sending Out Christmas Cards

They Don’t Have to be Elaborate

Christmas cards don’t have to be elaborate or fancy. You don’t have to custom make your own hand-crafted cards (but wouldn’t that be something!) They can be the basic box cards you buy on discount from the end cap at Wal-Mart or DaySpring carries my favorite selection of inspirational boxed cards that aren’t very expensive

Creating and mailing Christmas cards doesn't have to be complicated, expensive or a hassle. Here are some simple tips to help make a case for Christmas cards.

For the person receiving the card, a simple note is what blesses them the most.

Some of the most creative cards I have received actually haven’t been cards, rather newsletters or top ten lists typed up by the family. They use colored graphics, uploaded a family picture or two, and highlighted some important events of the year.

Printed on regular white paper, stuffed into a standard envelope, and bam!… a creative, festive Christmas card.

I’m a fan of the photo-cards, and while some can be pricey, you can upload a simple photo to almost any store website (CVS, Walgreens, and Wal-Mart have some pretty good deals this time of year) and print off a standard 4 x 6 print with Merry Christmas layered on top for pennies.

PicMonkey is my favorite online free photo editing site. You can create custom collages or edit photos by adding graphics and typography. All of the photos that I use here on the blog have been edited with PicMonkey. Which brings me to my next point…

The Photos Don’t Have to be Elaborate Either

A few years ago we had a newborn and a toddler, we didn’t have a family photo season and the thought of trying to stage one was just to much work for this mama at the time. So instead of having photos taken, I used photos that I had already taken and made a collage. Our family loved seeing photos of Silas meeting his new baby sister for the first time.

Creating and mailing Christmas cards doesn't have to be complicated, expensive or a hassle. Here are some simple tips to help make a case for Christmas cards.

This year we took some family photos so I will be using those to make a Christmas card using coupon codes from Tiny Prints and Shutterfly. Using two different photo companies means my cards won’t all be the same but by using their coupons emailed to me, or from the Shutterfly app on my phone, I will be able to save BIG!

Another great idea is to use PicMonkey to create a festive 4 x 6 photo of your family with a Christmas overlay. Print them out and then stamp a larger mailing address label on the back with a short update of your family. Place in a regular envelope and BAMB… super easy Christmas cards that only cost a few bucks!

Creating and mailing Christmas cards doesn't have to be complicated, expensive or a hassle. Here are some simple tips to help make a case for Christmas cards.

Evaluate Your Mailing List

You don’t have to send a Christmas card to everyone on your mailing list, and chances are there are a few addresses that need to be updated or removed as you have lost touch. If budget is a factor perhaps you could send cards to close family and friends only.

I usually only send cards to distant family and friends, immediate family, and very few select local friends. I would love to send some to everyone who knows and loves our family, but the budget just doesn’t allow for it.

Some photo card companies do let you email the photo card to people, but they would have to pay to print it and I am personally not a fan of e-cards, though others love them.

If writing out a bunch of addresses and return addresses stresses you out, then purchase a pack of simple white labels to print your own. You can also be on the lookout after Christmas for Christmas themed stationery to make your own for next year. I did this several years ago and loaded up on label stickers and I still have enough to last us.

Think of Those Who Could Be Blessed By a Card

Instead of mailing a Christmas card to everyone on your mailing list, why don’t you focus on the people who you think would greatly benefit from a little Christmas cheer?

Elderly grandparents, family or friends who may not have a lot of visitors LOVE receiving mail and updates. Or think of those who are widowed or who live alone or who have recently suffered a great loss.

Creating and mailing Christmas cards doesn't have to be complicated, expensive or a hassle. Here are some simple tips to help make a case for Christmas cards.
While you might need to approach with sensitivity, a lovely note inside a Christmas card might make their whole holiday season.

Make a Plan and Stick to a Budget

I have personally stood in a long line at the post office mid-December to buy a book of Christmas themed stamps and it’s not fun.

6 Tips for Planning Your Christmas Budget Now! Creating a plan can help curb overspending and allow you to relax and enjoy the upcoming holiday season! | CreativeHomeKeeper.com

Don’t do it!

Now is the perfect time to stock up on stamps because the Christmas themes are already in stock at most locations, and the lines are probably much shorter. To make things even easier this year, I have already bought my stamps in bulk at Costco. Sure they won’t be Christmas themed, but we have plenty of stamps to last for several months, no need to stand in a long line!

I also think it is incredibly important to have a Christmas budget already in place including not only gifts but all things Christmas related- cards, postage, wrapping supplies, decorations, food, and drink.

If you know how much you can afford to spend on Christmas cards you won’t set yourself up to fall in love with cards that you can’t afford…. Been there, done that, not fun!

Also, think about the card size, uniquely shaped cards cost extra and can be a hassle to mail. I’m reminded of my wedding invitations, they were square and trying to mail them out on a budget without having a tacky collage of stamps was like mission impossible.

Get Them Done and Mailed Out Early

Mine are ordered, which means they should be arriving here soon and my plan is to have them in the mail a few days after Thanksgiving.

Let’s face it, the holidays are busy and the sooner you can tackle on more thing off your to-do list, the sooner you can enjoy and be intentional with your family this Christmas.

I hope I have made the case that creating and sending out Christmas cards doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate, and hopefully, I have convinced some of you to put some in the mail this year. Are you planning on sending Christmas cards this year? What tips do you have for simplifying creating and mailing out your Holiday cards?

Are you planning on sending Christmas cards this year? What tips do you have for simplifying creating and mailing out your Holiday cards?

What are your tips for making and mailing our Christmas cards to be both budget-friendly and easy to do? 

Creating and mailing Christmas cards doesn't have to be complicated, expensive or a hassle. Here are some simple tips to help make a case for Christmas cards.

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33 Comments

  1. i was JUST stressing over christmas cards today – your list actually helped me stop and breathe and kinda make a game plan!!! :)) especially about how they don’t have to be elaborate. i love pinterest but sometimes i think it’s only given us all complexes over simplicity. haha!!

    thanks for sharing. i found your blog from another i visited. : )

    1. Amber glad you stopped by today! I agree, Pinterest is great but sometimes it can make us feel inadequate by all the cute ideas and projects. I have to remind myself to breathe too, and relax 🙂

  2. Jenn @ We Do Fun Here says:

    THANK YOU!!! This will be our first time sending out Christmas cards this year, as we just got married in May! I ordered our cards but I was not sure when to send them, ect. Thanks for sharing this, very helpful! Stopping by from the DBB 🙂

  3. Jamie @ Love Bakes Good Cakes says:

    I dread Christmas cards every year ….. Pinning this 🙂 Maybe this year will be different!!

  4. Elizabeth @ DogFurandDandelions says:

    Visiting from [email protected]… great suggestions! I love sending (and receiving) Christmas cards, and wish more people realized how simply it can be done, with a little advance planning. They are a great way to spread the joy of Christ at Christmas!

  5. Bonnie a.k.a. LadyBlogger says:

    I really enjoyed reading this! I haven’t done holiday cards for a few years now, and reading your post makes me think about doing it again! Came over from the Nicole & Her Blog Hop!

    1. Hope you do Bonnie, I know I might be weird but the act of sending out our cards every year always puts me in the Christmas mood. I love spreading the cheer. Thanks for visiting 🙂

  6. we were a family that was not going to send out cards for financial reasons. I was just going to do email or something but a couple company’s like Walgreens and Shutterfly offered 20.00 of free cards….we ended up using shutterfly and I even got a free code for shipping from kellogs rewards and we ended up getting 25 cards with envelopes shipped for free. We used pictures that we had taken at my daughters birthday party a couple weekends a go to make the cards. They turned out great. So all I have to do is purchase stamps now….so we will now be sending them and I like your idea of getting them sent early maybe this is something I can take care of next week!

    1. I love Shutterfly too! I am also a member there as well, and I am always getting coupon codes for cards, address labels, and photo books. I don’t think I have ever had to pay full price there for anything! I also get a lot of Shutterfly coupons and credits from my Pampers rewards too. Sounds like you got a great deal!

  7. These are great tips! I have had my Christmas cards printed for a few weeks now (is that embarrassing?) and I plan to mail them out right after Thanksgiving. This is the first year we have done them so I am a little bit excited!!

    1. I’m impressed that you have had your cards done, it’s not embarrassing it’s really great planning! You have one thing off your Christmas to-do list now. Thanks for stopping by Chelsea!

  8. I like the idea of doing a photo collage! I don’t think I have the patience to try and get a family photo together, but I really want to send out cards again this year. You’ve inspired me to think outside the box!

    1. Photo collages are so easy to put together with photos you already have, I agree it can be very exhausting to try to get a nice family shot especially with little ones! Glad to have inspired you Sarah!

  9. Jenni Mullinix says:

    Thanks for sharing these great tips with Thrive @ Home Thursday!

  10. Hey it’s Deonna from the Child at Heart blog! Thank you so much for linking up at the Merriest Blog Hop! I can’t wait to see all of your holiday ideas…people like me need to read this post! I have never sent out cards because it’s just one more thing on the list but you have talked me into it! I LOVE picmonkey. I make everything on there…it’s so fun!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Deonna. Isn’t PicMonkey great? I love it too! Glad to have provided a little motivation to help you get some Christmas cards together 🙂

  11. Jane @ Devoted Sonriser says:

    I have a promocode for Walgreens to get 20 free Christmas photo cards that I’m super excited about! I’m trying to start a tradition with my husband to send out a photo card every year. At least, like you said, to the top closest people–20 cards is plenty for us. 🙂 Now, I just have to get a picture taken of the two of us. I think I’m going to have someone snap one of us in front of the Christmas tree once we get it put up. 🙂

    1. That’s a sweet coupon code Jane! It is so fun to mail out photo cards. Make sure to keep one for yourself too, it’s fun to look back over the years and see your Christmas cards. Your future kids will love them too! 🙂

  12. Linda Loosli says:

    Oh I am so glad you stopped by my Friday with Friends blog hop. Every year I think I am going to send out Christmas cards THIS year. I read the book, Simplify Your Life for Christmas (something like this). I have to be realistic with my budget and even though the card thing is awesome I know so many people could use that money. Like a single mom. Like my daughter. These are great tips! Thanks for sharing! Pinned! Hugs! Linda

    1. So glad you enjoyed the tips. I agree that budget can be a factor for many, and that’s OK. Hopefully those who can’t afford to mail out cards will be blessed by others.

  13. I am so with you on sending Christmas cards, especially when it’s so easy now with the photo card sites. Thanks for sharing on the weekend re-Treat link party!

    Britni @ Play. Party. Pin.

  14. I love sending and receiving Christmas cards. #1REASON IS I CAN SEND A TRACT WITH IT TELLING THEM ABOUT CHRIST. Cards can be so cute–we see Mickey Mouse, snow scenes, and all the world has to offer on them, but girls who are Christians, we have the greatest opportunity to share Him when we send cards at Christmas.I grew up not knowing about Jesus and folks gave me tracts to read when we didn’t have time to talk. There are so many lovely Christmas tracts that you can get for 10c or 11c that talk of Christmas in different ways. Do a search for tracts or maybe Christmas tracts and maybe something will speak to you of what you want to say. I love seeing the many different ones and we do have friends who look forward to receing them each year. I know times are tough, but some may never hear if we don’t send them the real story.

  15. Thanks for sharing at the Foodies and Crafties Soiree!

  16. Thanks so much for linking up at The Merriest Blog Hop. You’re post received the most views! I enjoyed this post and felt calmer about Christmas cards simply by READING your tips. I’ll be featuring you at the next party 🙂

    Happy (early) Thanksgiving!

  17. Pingback: The Merriest Blog Hop #2 Countdown to Christmas: 26 Days! | My Love For Words
  18. Pingback: Thrifty Thursday Link Party | Link Up Your Budget Friendly Blog Posts
  19. Stephanie @ Six Figures Under says:

    We have a tradition of a Christmas poem with a stanza about each of us. I love doing it and it is a really great record of our family. I love going back to read through poems of years past and it really sums things up well and captures each child’s personality at the time.

    If I can’t find a great deal on photo cards, I just print 4×6 pictures to include with our poem

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