The holiday season is on and for me that means my Christmas cards need to be composed, and soon! Sending cards to loved ones is my favorite holiday tradition. Enjoyable as it is, it can become a bit of a task because I’m not always sure what to say.
I’m betting the same thing happens to you. Here is my plan for making my Christmas card ritual enjoyable and painless this season…maybe it will work for you, too.
Step one: Make a list
First step, I make a list of every person I will send a card to. Three reasons: 1. I love making lists. 2. Realize the scope of the project. 3. Know how many cards, stamps, etc. I need to buy.
Step two: Verify addresses
I send an email to everyone on my list asking them to email back and confirm their current address. You may be surprised to learn who moved during the year without your knowledge. You do not want the fruits of your labor returned because you had the wrong address.
Step 3: Gather supplies
I purchase and gather all the supplies before I start composing. Who wants to dampen the festive card-composing spirits by being a few cards short or realizing they forgot to buy the metallic gold pen they want to address the envelopes with? Necessary supplies may include: cards, stamps, pens, markers, address labels, envelope seals, return address stamp or labels.
Step 4: Put on thinking cap
I bet you thought the next step would be “Write”. Nay, nay I say. ‘Think before you write’ is a good motto and that’s the genius of this plan. Are you going to simply write “To So-and-so, From Me” inside that thing? Perhaps. Will that leave the recipient with a warm-fuzzy feeling and a smile on their face? Not likely.
Great Christmas cards are about thoughtfulness. It need only take a minute or two per person to consider what they mean to you, what makes them unique and then craft your message around those things.
This year I’m going to tell each recipient what my Christmas wish for them is. I’ll figure out what my wish for them is by thinking about what is going on in their life and what they bring to my life that is special.
Exhibit A – Let’s say my sister has been unsatisfied with her career over the last year. My Christmas wish for her might say: “Dear Sis, Merry Christmas! My wish for you this season and throughout the coming year is that you find peace and fulfillment in every area of your life.”
Exhibit B – If a loved one experienced health problems during the year, my Christmas wish might say: “Dear Grandma, this year hasn’t been easy with your health concerns, but I admire the strength you’ve shown through it all. May you enjoy all the pleasures of the holidays and as the new year unfolds I wish you healing, hope and peace.”
You’re going to find your stride after you compose a few of these messages and then you’ll forget that you ever fretted over it. Most important of all, your loved ones will appreciate the thought you put into your message and will have a sense of great connection with you because of it.
A special note…
You’re might send cards to some people you’re not especially close to. The “Christmas Wishes Plan” can still work because there are so many good things we can wish for people and that everyone deserves to experience.
You can wish someone happiness, peace, love, togetherness with loved ones, making unforgettable memories, dreams fulfilled, good health, healing, renewal, safety, the Spirit of the season, the knowledge of how special and valued they are, the best Christmas ever.
And now, you’re ready to write!
See more tips on what to write in your correspondence.
Image of greeting card courtesy of “Dana Newsom” under Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).