Sneak Peek! New holiday card ideas

Maybe you’re not thinking about holiday card ideas quite yet, but our busy little elves have been working on our new collection and we can’t wait to show you! Here’s a sneak peek to put you in the mood. Watch for our new Christmas cards sometime in August.
Read All About It Christmas CardsRead All About It Christmas cards
These photo holiday cards deliver a one-of-a-kind look in an even more unique layout, so if you’re looking to stand out this season, this card was made for you! Favorite photos, a poster-like holiday greeting, unique diamond designs and room for a custom Christmas letter are all folded up and tied with ribbon so loved ones can open it to reveal plenty of Christmas joy. Top off the customization with your choice of colors to accompany the ecru background.

Christmas CardsModern Cheer Christmas cards
The holidays are filled with plenty of cheer, so why not share your cheer with loved ones? These holiday photo cards make the message loud and clear in a unique way with individually cut-out letters spelling Cheer that all string together to hang on a tree or from a mantel. A Polaroid-style photo strung on the end adds personalization, while the back side of the letters holds angled stripes in fun colors of green, aqua, pink and black to add trendy style. Continue reading

There’s more than one way to say Merry Christmas

There’s more than one way to say Merry ChristmasOut of the dozens of Christmas cards you get this year, how many of them do you think will say, “Merry Christmas from the _____ family?” It’s the standard greeting, of course, and one that certainly gets the point across. But if you have the opportunity to customize your own Christmas greeting, wouldn’t it be nice to make it a little more personal?

You don’t have to be a poet, or a songwriter to write a great Holiday card, but it helps to know a few! Here are a few of our favorite simple but creative Christmas card wording ideas:

The important thing is to choose words you love, because that’s what will give your Christmas greeting the perfect personal touch. Know what you want to say? Start creating your Christmas cards now. Or look for more Christmas card wording ideas on our blog.

My least favorite time of year: the annual address book update

Updating Christmas Address bookOne of the necessary but painful activities of the holiday season is the annual updating of the address book. Yes, it’s all part of organizing for Christmas and must be done before sending out Christmas cards, but it’s a job best swallowed with a bottle of wine and lots of music.

A few years ago my address book was just that—a book. A little yellow book I kept in the kitchen with phone numbers and addresses. I learned early on never to take a pen to this precious book, always pencil, for easy updates. Still, some members of my family have moved so often the paper was worn through with erasing. And I could never tell from one year to the next whether the address I had was the current one. As new addresses came to me, usually via the previous year’s holiday cards, I’d toss them in a pile for updating next year, sometime around December 15th.

Since then, I have upgraded my system to an Excel spreadsheet. The advantages to this are that it’s easy to make changes, and you can keep track of the changes if you want to. You can also use the list to print envelopes or address labels in Word. It’s not as convenient as I’d like it to be, however, because I still let the changes pile up and do them all, you guessed it, around December 15th.

I took an informal poll in our office to see if anyone had a better solution. I was surprised to find that about a third of us, even some of our IT gurus, are still in paper mode. Another third use some form of electronic spreadsheet, like I do. And the rest, the early adapters, have moved to a Google Doc format. A Google Doc is free to set up, and accessible from most smart phones and from any computer. This means that you can update addresses the minute you hear about a change, and that you have access to this updated address list wherever you are. You can also share it with other members of your family, and they can make updates, too.

When it comes to organizing for Christmas it seems that I am behind the times, as usual. But since it’s just one simple step to convert my Excel list to a Google Doc, I am not that far away from a state-of-the-art address book. I love the idea of having access to it on my phone. The downside is that currently you cannot print labels or envelopes directly from Google Docs, but it’s easy to export it back into Excel or Word to do this. Besides, I haven’t decided whether I’m going to hand-write or print address labels this year. I will make that decision later, probably sometime around December 15th.

Have you started organizing for Christmas or shopping for Christmas cards?  Find other ideas on addressing Christmas cards on our blog.

Choosing your perfect Christmas card

Family PictureI’m seriously excited. I just got a glimpse of the photos I hope to use on my family’s Christmas card, taken by my friend and colleague Michelle. I was worried the photos wouldn’t turn out, but she did such a wonderful job that now I am going to have a hard time deciding which one to use. And I was already conflicted about which card design to choose! There are so many holiday card ideas out there. Where to start?

Some people select the design and then try to take a photo that complements the design. If you are like me and are photographically challenged, you can’t even think about the design until you have a photo that is actually in focus and everyone is smiling (minimum requirements). This year, for the first time ever, I am actually considering a photo of our whole family, instead of just the kids.

Once I have the photo, I just go with my instinct on the design. I choose a few I like and put the photo in each one to see what it looks like, changing colors to match the photo if that’s an option. I always have fun tinkering with the text in the card, too. This year, I came up with the idea to use the lyrics to a Christmas song in my card, but I am also thinking about ways to incorporate my family’s culture in the text somehow. I don’t know which idea will be the winner. In the end, what really makes a photo Christmas card the perfect card is that it is a reflection of me and my family. My card will not look like anyone else’s, and that is what makes it perfect to me.

Christmas Traditions

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. A time to do, well, everything you did last year all over again. There is so much comfort in Christmas traditions. Remember when you were a kid, and you used to ask, “Are we doing that again?” Not because you didn’t want to help decorate cookies, but because the holidays are special and often chaotic, and you were searching for routine amidst the hubbub.

As we get older, we realize how precious our traditions are. Every year, I buy one ornament for my son, daughter and husband. It’s really important that my husband’s has the year marked on it, since I have done that for the last 10 years. We always put the tree up together the day after Thanksgiving and use C9 bulbs — yes, old school, but we are not changing. On Christmas Eve, we cook a lot, leave chocolate chip cookies for Santa (his favorite, apparently), write him a note, and then break out the special wine while we wrap and put together presents. We look through the holiday cards again, to think of people far away that can’t spend the holidays with us. On Christmas morning after breakfast, we drink dark coffee and open presents, and commence the Christmas movie marathon, including A Christmas Story and Holiday Inn.

Our Christmas traditions are the same every year, but that’s what makes them traditions. Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without them.

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