Easy Tips to Save Money on Christmas Cards
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Save money on Christmas Cards? It’s that time of year again! Christmas is right around the corner, and to some people, this can be a stressful time. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to save money on your cards to make this holiday season more enjoyable for you and your family.
In today’s blog post we will discuss different ways to cut costs on Christmas cards so that you have more to spend on other things as well as streamline the process a bit.
Why do we send Christmas Cards?
It is a traditional way to connect with those that we haven’t talked to in a while. Christmas cards also let us spread joy to loved ones. It can also show appreciation for the people who helped us through a tough time over the previous year. And the most important thing we learned during quarantine? To confirm that we’re not alone during difficult times.
There are a ton of reasons, but if you read my Christmas budget post, you would see that we want to be able to save a few pennies here and there so we can make our money go further.
How much do Christmas Cards Cost?
The cost of each card can vary depending on where you buy them from, and how many you order at once. Even if you buy a set of cards to include all of your family members, it is likely to be cheaper than buying them individually.
How to Save Money on Christmas Cards:
With the holiday season fast approaching, many people are starting to think about sending Christmas cards. Christmas is a time to stay in contact with relatives and friends across the country, some of whom you don’t see or communicate with all that often-and Christmas cards are often an important way of doing so.
In addition to passing along holiday greetings, sending Christmas cards is also a way of keeping your family and friends up-to-date with what is going on in your life. Many people look forward to cards for these reasons, and you will find that your friends and relatives often expect Christmas cards.
Sending Christmas cards is generally a fun thing to do, but for someone who is doing it for the first time, it can be a little overwhelming. Thinking of Christmas cards often conjures up images of sitting on a table with dozens of cards to be signed, addressed, and stamped.
Thankfully, sending Christmas cards need not be that time-consuming. What follows are ten tips to make sending Christmas cards easier this holiday season:
Design Christmas Cards Yourself
If you are looking to save money this year when sending your Christmas cards, design them yourself. Many popular desktop publishing programs such as Microsoft Publisher include templates for designing your own holiday greeting cards.
I would make sure to customize the template and avoid using the standard template, but they can be a great starting point from which to design your own card. Many families include a family picture in their Christmas cards and base the design around that picture. No matter what, you need not be a professional designer to develop a nice Christmas card to send this year.
Make Your Own Cards!
If you are a scrapbooker? This should be beyond easy for you! You probably have stamps, paper, and other fun embellishments in your stash that you can use.
I liked to send out about 95 cards – to family and friends. Keep in mind I am over 50 and know a few people, LOL. I figured that if I planned ahead – and made just 8 cards a month, I would have all of them done over a year. It was a nice way to break up my project and I made a different design each month.
Choose Special Paper
A great way to make your Christmas cards stand out if you are designing them at home is to choose some kind of special paper. A different color, a different weight, a textured paper, or cardstock are all options for customizing your Christmas cards. A special paper can really make your card look professional and many people might not even be able to tell it was homemade!
Print Addressed Envelopes or Labels
If you design your Christmas cards yourself, you will likely print them yourself. Many people do this and then address the envelopes by hand. However, this is one of the most time-consuming aspects of sending Christmas cards.
Instead, you can save a lot of time by either printing envelopes or labels with the recipient’s address on them. It is easy to do a “mail merge” from popular desktop publishing programs (search online if you don’t know how) and you can save substantial amounts of time and work by addressing your Christmas cards this way.
Decide Whether to Send a Business or Personal Card
When sending Christmas cards, you should take a moment to decide who your audience is. Are you sending them to just family and friends, or are business contacts going to be included?
This is a critical question that dictates the message on your cards. Business contacts should generally receive separate cards, as those Christmas cards should be more formal, should generally avoid updates about your family (unless of course, your contacts are friends outside of your business relationship), and should avoid religious messages.
Consider Your Message
When sending Christmas cards, it is important to remember that you are sending them to a wide range of people with diverse belief systems. Consequently, it may be best to go with a general holiday theme rather than a religious theme.
This is particularly true as more and more people in the United States are part of faith traditions other than Christianity. Taking a moment to consider this in your message can keep you from potentially offending recipients. Similarly, you should also think about the message-what are you trying to convey and try to keep it brief.
Send News About Your Family
If you have children, many people appreciate receiving a brief update about how your family is doing on your Christmas card. Typically, this is included following your general message.
As an example, if you write, “The Smith family wishes you and yours a happy holiday season” you can follow with a few brief sentences about what your family has been up to. Generally, you should emphasize the positive in this message.
Sharing Pictures of the Kids
Yup – we are all proud parents. School photo packages are really great deals for pictures to send out in that holiday card to family and friends. My second favorite? Looking for places like Walgreens.com and getting the 60% off photo packages when there are 50+ pictures printed. That really helps keep the prices down for your budget.
Some people actually turn the pictures INTO their cards by photoshopping a greeting over the picture. You can easily do this at home and then get them printed.
Send Postcards to Save Money on Postage
Sadly, sending Christmas cards means spending at least some money on postage. If you are sending full-size cards, you can expect to pay regular postage rates.
However, if you want to save money on postage, you can design postcards and send them in place of standard Christmas cards. Postage is substantially cheaper for postcards and it is a great way to save money when sending Christmas cards.
Produce an E-Card
Another way of saving money is to move away from paper cards altogether and send an e-card. I would generally recommend producing this in an image editing or desktop publishing program and avoiding e-card websites.
All of the same tips for sending Christmas cards to apply, you just email them rather than send them through the mail.
Send Your Cards Early in the Holiday Season
Many people also struggle with when to send Christmas cards. Generally, it is a good idea to send them early in the holiday season. You don’t want to send them too early (few people enjoy being reminded of Christmas before the holiday season) and sending them too late makes the recipient feel like an afterthought.
I generally shoot for sending my cards during the first week of December. This ensures that recipients will receive them on time, even with the increased volume of mail during the holiday season.
Save Money on Sending Christmas Cards
Many people avoid sending Christmas cards because of the expense associated with it, but really, sending cards isn’t that expensive. I already have suggested designing and printing them yourself to save money, but you can also save money by reducing the number of people you send them to (and keeping your address book updated) and buying cards at the end of the Christmas season for the next year (if you are going to buy Christmas cards).
If you are making cards yourself, you can save money on envelopes by buying regular envelopes separately from the nicer paper you use for your cards.
With the twelve tips above, sending Christmas cards this year will be easy and you will likely find yourself saving money. Moreover, your family and friends will appreciate the fact that you took the time to send cards.