There's a lot of planning that goes into the holiday season, like sending out holiday cards. You have to find the perfect stationery, update your address book, get the appropriate number of stamps, take a photo for your holiday card, etc. It's easy for all of these tasks to catch up with you – I know how hectic life can get. That's why I've created a timeline just for you, so you never miss a beat this holiday season:
Take a photo: You may already have the perfect photo that you took on your vacation over the summer. But if you don't, it's time to schedule a photo session with the family.
- You could keep the photo casual and have everyone wear coordinating outfits (i.e., jeans and a black T-shirt), or you could opt for a more formal look, with the women wearing dresses and the men wearing suits. Some families put their children in the spotlight for the family photo, and dress their kids up in holiday pajamas.
Pick out the perfect stationery: Search through CardsDirect's directory of holiday cards. Select a holiday photo card like this Happy Everything card, or opt for a fun design like this Perfect Snowman Blueprint.
- You should order several types of cards to be sensitive of other's religious beliefs. For instance, you don't want to send out a card reading "Merry Christmas" to a family who doesn't celebrate the holiday. Instead, mail them a card that reads "Season's Greetings" or "Happy Holidays."
Update your address book: Chances are, some friends and family members on your list from last year have moved. You may also have some new friends to add to your holiday mailing list.
- I recommend compiling all of your addresses in a spreadsheet. This way, you can easily go in and update your address book throughout the year so it's always ready for the next holiday.
- You'll want to make sure you have enough stamps to go on each envelope – once you nail down your mailing list, head out and get your holiday stamps.
Mail holiday cards: You should ideally prepare to mail your cards right after Thanksgiving. Yes, this is early, but sending your cards anywhere from mid-November to the beginning of January is best. This gives you time to sign, seal and mail your cards within an appropriate time frame.
- Keep distance in mind: If you're sending Christmas cards overseas, this must be taken under consideration. You'll want to mail out those cards earlier than the rest of your holiday cards to ensure that they arrive on time.
- Use designer stamps on your holiday cards. Using stamps will save you time because you won't have to handwrite your return address on each and every envelope.
Start shopping: The earlier you shop, the better! There's nothing more stressful than rushing to find gifts the week before Christmas. Plus, you'll avoid the large crowds and long lines at the mall.
- Make a list of everyone you plan to buy for, and jot down a few gift ideas for each person. Bring this along when you shop so you're not wandering aimlessly through the stores.
- Conduct online research before heading out – this way, you can compare prices at various stores without actually going anywhere.
Buy gift wrap/tags: When it comes time to wrap gifts, you'll want to be prepared with fun holiday paper, bows, ribbons and tags.
Get out your holiday decor: It's time to put away the Halloween and Thanksgiving decor, and swap it for Christmas or Hanukkah decorations.
- Check for burned out lights: You don't want to spend an hour stringing lights on your Christmas tree only to find that an entire strand is burned out. Test your stringed lights and replace any strands before you start the decorating process.