Christmas card tips {five favorites}

I’m getting ready to write and mail my last few cards of the year, and I realized today that I’ve finally nailed down a method to this madness. Thought I’d share a few tips and tricks.

~1~

I prefer to send 4×6 snapshots of our family, rather than a photo card.  I love getting photo cards, but they do get boxed up (more on that later) or trashed at the end of the season. I send a snapshot so my grandma and a few assorted relatives who want to keep them on the fridge can do so without staring at snowy season’s greetings in August.

~2~

Because it’s a snapshot, I print labels for the back with the year, all our names, and the kids’ ages. You can know my age if you like, I’m not that shy.  But I don’t really feel like anyone cares about it, especially grandma, who already knows it anyway.

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Speaking of labels, I print them for return addresses and mailing addresses as well.  I do sign the cards, though. It’s the most handwriting practice I get all year long.

~3~

I send old fashioned cards with the snapshot tucked inside. If you don’t send photo cards, consider buying yours at the dollar store. Not kidding.  I mailed out 125 cards this year. I bought one expensive pack at the Mission gift shop, and the rest I got at Dollar Tree for, wait for it… $8. That’s right, folks. $8 for 112 cards.

There were plenty of Santa cards, Peace cards, and Snow cards, but I went with the religious themes this year.  Because that’s how I do.

Not too shabby for the dollar store, eh?

Not too shabby for the dollar store, eh?

~4~

If you do get snapshots printed, consider MPIX. (I compared them to Snapfish a couple years ago.) The quality of the prints is really top notch, and all the photos are hand-inspected. No weird crops or white lines on these, and they start at $0.19 each which is comparable with most other photo printing services, and they often have sales. Really, their photos come ready for a frame if that’s what you’re looking for.

I don’t get paid for my reviews of them (ahem, yet) but I recommend them to virtually everyone.  Last year I ordered a really cool print on metal for my in-laws, and this year I ordered a couple more gifts through Mpix. If you’re still not sold, a professional photographer was the first one to recommend Mpix to me.  Love.

~5~ 

I really only have one “do not.” Do not bother ordering stamps online, thinking you’ll save time at the post office.  You may actually save time, but I was surprised at how slow the shipping was.  It took me almost a week to get a few books of stamps.  Boo, USPS. I had to go buy a few extra today and I just got the ones from the machine.  They’re not festive, but I had 3 kids six and under with me at lunch/naptime, so it was the right decision all around.

~Bonus~

Finally, to get back to what I mentioned above about boxing up cards. Last year Kevin had the brilliant idea of saving the Christmas cards we had received.  We stuck them in our Advent box, and then this year when we set up the Advent wreath, we tucked last year’s cards in a basket near our dining room table.  Every evening at dinner we pull a few cards out and pray for those people, and pass them around so everyone can look at them. We really enjoy looking at the photos from last year! You were so cute then, remember? It’s a new tradition that has already become a family favorite.

~Double Bonus~

If you stuck with me this long, you get a super treat: a sneak peek of this year’s Christmas snapshot. The “real” version has 100% fewer hats and graphics, but all the same people. Including Baby BOY Darr, due end of May/beginning of June.  🙂

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Alright, that’s all for now.  Head on over to Ashley @ the Big White Farmhouse for more #5faves.