by Debra Wyatt
(last updated March 23, 2017)
I just received my first Christmas card of the season. I know that I should have already begun my Christmas cards, but I usually wait until after the first one arrives. I find that this always helps me kick myself into gear. I can't help wishing that I had started earlier in the season on my Christmas cards. I know that if I put a plan of action together with some organizational thought I will be able to get my Christmas cards out in no time.
My first step is to gather all the things necessary to mail out the Christmas cards. This includes things like pencils, pens, Christmas cards, stamps, address labels, and my Christmas card list from last year. I also gather any lists of names from organizations that I joined since last year, as well as any updates on addresses that changed throughout the year.
Reviewing my Christmas card list from last year I begin on this year's journey through what at first appears to be a never-ending list of friends, family, and business associates. I now decide on who is to receive a card from me and my family. The list will vary from year to year depending on my financial situation. When deciding on my list I know that some of the cards that I mail out are out of obligation and others (like those to family and friends) are because I want them to know I am thinking of them this year.
One of the ways to keep track of my master list is to place the names and addresses on my computer. I like using an Excel spreadsheet for this purpose. I discovered that it is easier to maintain the list this way, as I can update the list all year long. Another plus is that I am able to print it anytime that I need a new list.
If I begin early enough I will break the job of Christmas card writing down to two or three phases. The first phase is to address all the Christmas cards. The second phase is to place return labels and stamps on the envelopes. The last phase, which I do just before mailing out the Christmas cards, is to compare and mark names off of the Christmas card list. That way I am sure that I don't miss anyone.
The Christmas cards are now ready for me to drop off at the Post Office. I try to combine this with another trip that I have to leave the house to do.
I also keep my Christmas card list close by the cards I receive this year. I begin to place check marks by the names of those who send me a card. If there is a name that I have forgotten for some reason and I would like to send them a card I simply add their name to the list and mail the card out. I keep updating my list throughout the season.
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