Maybe you are like me. Christmas card season simultaneously stresses me out beyond belief AND excites me so much I literally get giddy with anticipation. The whole process is stressful from planning and orchestrating the family portrait, to picking out the card and buying/getting them delivered in time for me to then send them right back out again. And I always have to update my address book too. It’s quite the process.
But I love it. I am a sucker for it. I love sending and receiving mail. I like to shop. I like to take pictures. I like to dress up in matchy-matchy clothes. Christmas cards are where it’s at for me. And now that Peter and I have been together for 10 years (it’s a miracle!), I have about a decade’s worth of experience getting Christmas cards out the door and it has taught me a thing or two:
- Get them done EARLY. This year we took pictures in early October and I ordered cards by mid-October. That means as soon as Penelope’s birthday party is over I will spend the rest of November slowly putting them in envelopes and addressing them. My goal is that when December 1st comes around all that’s left to do is to take them to the mailbox and sit back and relax. Now mind you, I am also the gal that has Christmas shopping and wrapping done before Thanksgiving as well. I know it’s tempting to hate and chalk it up to being over ambitious, perfectionist behavior that is only done to make other moms feel bad. But I promise you, it’s not. It’s about being proactive, planning and giving myself plenty of time so I don’t stress out, to reduce stress as much as possible so I can actually ENJOY the holiday season.
- Use any old picture. I love the idea of professional portraits for cards (Truth be told we had scheduled a portrait session with a photographer, but she totally bailed on us… I had actually won a free session from a Facebook contest I entered with a photographer down here and she was extremely unprofessional and a total flake and just decided that she didn’t want to show up or give me the session… Ugh!), but most of the time I just use pictures from a DIY session or just a great shot from sometime during the year. I love using family photos from a trip we took that year. This year we headed to the beach with the tripod and remote and prayed for the best. Below is one of our outtakes.
- Proofread! I am always in such a rush to create the card that I have had several years where there were major typos in the card. So embarrassing. Just take a deep breath and ssssslllloooowww down and proofread your stuff.
- Just get it out the door. No one really cares if it’s late. I know some women will just throw their hands up in the air and say, “Forget it! I am just not doing cards this year!” So don’t worry about being late, just get it out the door, even if it’s the end of January. You will be so glad when you are 80 and have a stack of family Christmas cards to flip through one day. Plus it brings such joy to the people you send them to. In my opinion, every little smile you can send out into the world is well worth the work.
I have used all kinds of card companies in the past, from Costco to buying directly from a professional photographer. This year I was contacted by Pear Tree Greetings and I am so glad they reached out — I am in love with this company.
Pear Tree Greetings is a Minnesota-based company that offers personalized stationary printed on heavy, 100% recycled cardstock. That’s what sold me. I remember back in 2006 when I was planning my first wedding to my husband (long story, but suffice it to say I called it off 6 weeks before our wedding date (fun times!) and all the recycled cards were so bland and ugly. The print world has come a long way since then! Pear Tree Greetings cards are just gorgeous.
They specialize in keep-worthy greetings, from baby announcements to party invites to an exciting 2013 holiday card collection. Their designs are super cute and modern – exactly what I want – and I love that they come specially made to be able share handwritten tokens of love with the people you care about. Pear Tree also has some charming new and affordable gifts, including the wildly-popular custom note pads, customized kids placemats, coloring books, and more. I got Penelope a personalized Christmas book. I am starting a tradition this year of giving her a little gift basket of goodies the day after Thanksgiving from her Elf on the Shelf (her holiday dress, her holiday nightgown, all the things I buy for each year but just give it to her without any fanfare). And each year I get her a Christmas book too. She has never had a personalized book before so I am curious to see how she likes it!
The kind folks at Pear Tree Greetings are giving away a $150 gift card to one lucky M+BL reader! Just enter to win below. Contest runs till 10am EST on 11.15.13.
And P.S. right now till 11/11/13 they are offering a sitewide 20% off coupon and free shipping on orders $100 or more. Just use code EARLYBF.
*This is a sponsored post and I was sent product and/or paid for this post. But y’all know me, I tell like it is, and I am very picky about what kinds of sponsored posts I do here on M+BL-you should see my inbox and the amount of offers I turn down! I only share about things I would buy myself and would rave to my best friends about anyway. You can see my full policies and disclosure page here.