11 Best Holiday Card Ideas
Sending cards to loved ones is a great tradition. Once a year, at least, this is an opportunity to reconnect with friends and family. You wish people well, maybe let them know what you’ve been up to, and how your family is doing. It’s also a great way to show appreciation for those who’ve been an important part of your life. Here are 11 holiday card ideas to match your sentiment and reflect a happy holiday mood.
1. Handwritten is best.
It doesn’t matter if you’re mailing a holiday card to neighbors down the street or loved ones across the world. A handwritten note is more heartfelt than pre-written cards or letters.
As a matter of fact, get the whole family together to make homemade holiday cards. Click here for designs and tips to ensure everyone on your list feels special.
2. Use the postal service rather than email.
Email greetings are better than nothing. But sending holiday cards through the mail is more meaningful.
Maybe this is because it takes more effort.
It’s also more rare these days. We look through stacks of bills, advertisements and coupons. There’s something nice about seeing an envelope from someone we know with our name on it.
Sending holiday greetings through the mail also allows us to more personally reconnect with estranged loved ones, catch up with old friends and spread good cheer like nothing else.
3. Make a list and categorize.
Who do you want to send holiday cards to? Think about the following people:
- Immediate family members.
- Close friends.
- Extended relatives.
- Friends and acquaintances.
- Your children’s teachers.
- Coworkers and colleagues.
- Business associates.
- Doctors, nurses or dentists.
- Religious leaders.
- Hairdressers, house cleaners, building maintenance workers.
- Other vendors.
- Postal carriers.
- Garbage workers.
Anyone who works for you or makes your life a little easier throughout the year. Now is a good time to remember them.
4. Shop around for the perfect card(s).
Think about heartfelt cards for those who are closest to you.
Acknowledge the different holidays, like Chanukah and Kwanzaa, for those who celebrate them. This is in addition to more traditional Christmas cards for the religious folks on your list.
5. Make it simple and sincere.
Set the right mood before you begin. Light a candle, pour yourself some eggnog and turn on holiday music.
You don’t have to write a lengthy message. If someone is a movie buff, ask them to share with you some great movies they’ve seen this past year. Is your favorite cousin a great cook? Tell them you think of them whenever you’re making their favorite dish.
Or you can just let people know they’re on your mind. Oftentimes, that’s good to hear by itself.
6. Consider sending a holiday card to strangers.
You may have extra cards after you’re done. Contact a local retirement community or children’s hospital. So many people are lonely, especially this time of year.
A card from you might be the best gift of all.
7. Send cards anytime in November or December.
Some etiquette experts insist on sending holiday cards the day after Thanksgiving. Or they say to mail cards no later than the second week of December.
But let’s be real. Life sometimes gets in the way.
Is a holiday card after Christmas so horrible? Or after New Year’s Day? No, it’s not awful. A belated card from a busy parent or loved one means a prolonged holiday season.
Good wishes are welcome any time.
8. Personalize it.
If you have a long list of people to send holiday cards, and hardly any time to send them, pre-written cards are helpful.
You can also buy stamps of your signature that make it easier on tired, or aging, hands. That’s perfectly acceptable. People are still happy to receive them.
Here’s a suggestion – write a few handwritten notes to people with whom you’re especially close. It’s a nice touch.
You can also go easy on your hands and fingers if you start weeks ahead of time. Write out one or two cards a day. This allows you to personalize each one. There’s no reason to feel like you have to do this project in one day or less.
Take your time. Enjoy it. And ensure your recipients enjoy getting these cards, too.
9. Make sure your return address is legible.
Have you moved to a new home in the last year? This is another good reason to get your cards out early. Write your return address legibly so people know where to send your card.
You might also want to include your new address in the card’s message itself. That reminds people that you’re in a new location. Besides, people sometimes throw away the envelope.
If they’re reminded, you’ll get their message sooner rather than waiting months for a forwarded card.
But in a few months you might smile at a belated holiday card that brightens up your February or March!
10. Buy extra cards for unexpected, good wishes you’d like to return.
Keep some cards around for those who may have slipped your mind.
Life is crazy sometimes. You didn’t mean to forget your third cousin twice removed. You’ve just been overwhelmed by a lengthy to-do list!
When you receive a lovely card from him, don’t panic. Just reach into your box of extra holiday cards and send one to him right away. Even if it’s late, it will be appreciated.
Create a spreadsheet and keep track of who you’re sending cards – and who sends cards to you. If you’ve sent out a holiday card to the Smiths for a couple of years without getting one in return, think about whether that’s a tradition that needs to continue. It’s lovely to keep sending them, but it’s also okay for you to stop.
They might not be into it.
11. Recycle your cards after the holidays.
Do lots of things with a holiday card rather than throw it away. You can:
– remove or cut out pictures to arrange in a photo album.
– store them in a memory box.
– use them to create homemade ornaments or scrapbooks.
In short, there are many traditions around the holidays. Sending out holiday cards, with meaningful messages, is one of the best.