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One of my favorite things about the holiday season is receiving Christmas cards from friends and family. I love the coordinating outfits, the beautiful pictures and the family updates. Yes, I often see photos from these same folk online in various social media channels, but there is something special about the physical printed picture and the excitement of opening an envelope (my mail receiving enjoyment is renewed by the enthusiasm and sparkle of my three year olds eyes when we get mail). The card is then hung by the chimney with care displayed for the rest of the month eliciting a smile each time it is viewed. I take this one step farther and keep the holiday cards we receive from years past. Simply punch a hole in the top corner and bind them. I set them out each year so we can see how much each family has changed.

 

Here is how you can get started on sending your cards:

 

Buying Cards:

  • Dollar stores offer some 2/$1 Christmas card deals (I ALWAYS buy cards from dollar stores - if not you can spend $3-4 per card!)

  • Have custom photo cards printed with sites like- Zazzle, Shutterfly, Minted and Tiny Prints. Many of these sites include envelope and postage printing asking the process more streamlined. I use Groupon and retailmenot.com to find coupon codes and deals on purchasing cards.

 

Sending Cards:

  • Use free online services like Postable to collect and manage addresses. I posted a link to my Postable account to my Facebook page - asking friends who wanted to receive a card or whose address has changed to post their updated information. I find this especially helpful since many of my friends move yearly (thanks to orders) and this site allows you to collect addresses and share your new address!

  • Ensure you put your return address on the cards. This action is a great way to keep your contacts updated with your latest address (two for one-Christmas card and moving announcement)

 

Digital Options:

I may be a traditionalist when it comes to sending snail mail (I believe handwritten thank you notes and cards are still the BEST way to acknowledge gifts and acts of kindness) but realize there are also some easy and affordable ways to spread holiday cheer digitally.

  • Ecards are a free and easy way to send quick holiday messages to friends, family and co-workers.

  • Mobile Aps: I sometimes use the ap “Ink cards” to send picture postcards to grandparents and friends who live far away.

  • I have my contacts addresses saved on my iPhone for easy access

 

No matter which method you choose, sending a holiday card lets someone know you are thinking of them and wishing them the joy of the season.

 

Please share - do you send holiday cards? (Bonus- post a photo of your Holiday card in the comments!)

 

About the Blogger: Briana Hartzell is a Navy spouse, mother to two beautiful girls (3 years and 6 months), a former full time USAA employee and a graduate of Texas A&M University. Briana writes at Being Briana, a blog focused on the joys that military life and parenthood can bring.

 

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