I almost didn’t write this post because I thought it may be too obvious. But I’ve had a couple conversations over the last couple weeks where I’ve been the sole person in the group who didn’t know or do what everyone else did and I thought “Why have I never known this?! It seems so obvious, but I would have never figured it out myself.” So, this tip is in that spirit.
I have a spreadsheet saved on my computer called Addresses. In January of each year, I create a new folder on our computer entitled that year Christmas Card (i.e. The new folder I will create in a couple weeks will be ‘2017 Christmas Card’). I open the Address spreadsheet from the previous year’s folder and save as the current year. Throughout the year, as people move, I edit addresses so that it’s not a huge, daunting task to get addresses as I’m mailing our cards. The spreadsheet also serves as a digital address book of sorts and because it’s saved on our Dropbox file, I can access it on my phone any time I need an address.
I go through the list each year sometime in November and make any necessary edits. Thankfully, we are at a life phase where most of the edits are adding new babies and not having to take names off due to deaths. By the time my Christmas cards arrive (I aim to order them on Black Friday, when I’ve found the biggest discounts), addresses are ready to go. In typical ‘me’ fashion, I go with efficiency and print labels. I know that some people feel strongly about hand addressing, and more power to them. But I’m all about a Microsoft mail merge export from the spreadsheet to an Avery labels template. From spreadsheet to printed labels takes less than 5 minutes.
Christmas cards arrive the first week in December (unless Tiny Print has a printing delay…….) and labels are ready to go. We have a return address stamp and postage stamps are purchased in November. Which means that instead of a rushed attempt to get everything for the card designed, printed and mailed in a hurried frenzy before Christmas, everything is ready in the beginning of December and the cards can be stuffed, sealed & stamped sitting on our cozy couch, taking my time while enjoying White Christmas.
It takes a little planning ahead and self-discipline, but it’s totally worth it to me for the latter.