Works For Me: Early Christmas Cards

Wfmwheader There are just a few immutable truths of the universe.  Jesus loves you.  Parenthood is hard.  Kitchen remodeling is the fastest path to insanity.  And taking Christmas card pictures of your children will not, WILL NOT, go as well as you’d like. 

And when you finally do manage to get those pictures taken, the stack of cards will gather dust on your kitchen counter for way too long, at least until somebody cleans off the dust by spilling orange juice on the whole pile. 

Or the photo place will lose your order.

Or you will lose your Christmas stamps.

Obviously, I have suffered Christmas card trauma in the past (incidentally, if you Google "goose poop Christmas", guess who the NUMBER ONE search result is?  Yep.)  I am determined to avoid it this year, and so far, I am on track. 

I took my kids’ Christmas card pictures already.  Really!  And not only that, I came straight home and ordered all my cards from the photo place.  I am working on my address labels and Christmas letter this week, and I plan to put it all together just as soon as the cards arrive in a few days.  In fact (don’t laugh) my goal is to be 100% finished with my Christmas cards–as in stamped, in a neat stack, ready to mail–by November 15th.  I’m doing it early, I’m avoiding the hassle, and I feel good about it.

Except that I haven’t actually done it yet.  But I’m going to. So it’s working for me, in a maybe-if-I-manage-to-pull-this-off sort of way.

So, do you have a tip you’d like to share?  Leave your clever WFMW tips below, and be sure to check in with the guidelines here first.  Remember to link directly to your WFMW post, not to the front page of your blog.

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Speaking of linking up, remember that this coming Monday is the Fall, Y’all! Bloggy Giveaway over at my other blog.  I’m sure you haven’t forgotten, right?  Because you’re all smart girls and you love free stuff, right?  Join us!

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59 thoughts on “Works For Me: Early Christmas Cards

  1. ellen b says:

    I love that. I love to have the cards all taken care of close to Thanksgiving. Good job! Thankfully we had a family wedding in October so the photo shoot was an easy one this year…

  2. Karen@FamilyBriefs says:

    What a great tip – thanks for reminding me of something ELSE that’s on my to-do list. Guess I won’t make it by November 15th, but thanks for the encouragement to go ahead and get it done!
    Thanks for hosting – have a great week!

  3. Myfriendconnie@SmockityFrocks says:

    Thank you, Shannon. I’m waiting for our new baby to take our Christmas picture. I’m due on Christmas Day, so my cards may go out late this year. I’m with you though, it is never easy to get everyone looking clean and happy at the same time!

  4. Heather says:

    I too am thinking about Christmas cards. We send out a photo cd so I am getting it ready now. Plus I usually design my Christmas cards and need to come up with something soon. πŸ™‚

  5. Amy says:

    I will have to say, I’m catching the worm this year (you know, early bird catches the worm). I’ve already taken the picture and ordered the photo cards. I’m like you, I hope to have the addressed and ready to go by Thanksgiving! I so love Christmas cards and getting them!

  6. Lynnae @ From Under the Clutter says:

    Great idea! I try to have Christmas ready by Thanksgiving. Cards, shopping, everything done, so I can spend the holiday season enjoying my family. I’m terribly behind this year though.
    I have an aunt who spends a weekend in November with one of her friends, holed up in a hotel room, and that’s when they address all their Christmas cards. I like that idea. Schedule a vacation, so you don’t have kid interruptions. πŸ™‚

  7. Jill says:

    Great idea in theory, but not so great when you have little ones who seem to change daily. I intend on fully embracing this tip once my kids are older though. I hate the stress of Christmas cards.

  8. Barbara says:

    I put all of my addresses into Word and print them off on label stickers. I use the return address labels that the charities send and the sticker-stamps that are sold at the warehouse stores (cost less than face value in Canada, anyway). I have this year’s Christmas envelopes ready. Our family photo is scheduled for November 25 and we’ll get them printed onto cards and into the envelopes. Now, I have to worry about writing a letter putting everything in the mail. The letter is most intimidating since I blog so often I have trouble summarizing. I want to write “Read my blog” on the card with the URL and leave it at that.
    My own WFMW post is up.

  9. SAHMmy Says says:

    Good for you! I bought two hundred or so regular cards last year on clearance, so maybe I’ll just make lots of copies of a cute photo and slip one inside each card. Thanks for the reminder to start early!

  10. Laane says:

    Here it’s not considered polite to send cards longer than two weeks before christmas.
    So there’s always the risk of them becoming new years cards. LOL!

  11. Hilda says:

    I much appreciate photo Christmas cards vs generics. I love looking at my niece’s chubby cheeks and I display those long after the holidays.

  12. MyStarbucks says:

    Wow! You’re good! I was just thinking about Christmas cards yesterday and the fact that I am going to have to get the kids ready for a picture. I always want to hold out and see if we get any snow but then that puts me all the way up to December 1st and that is cutting it a bit too close.

  13. Activities Coordinator says:

    Last year, we took Christmas pictures on Labor Day and cards were ready to roll (with clever Christmas letter inside) on Thanksgiving Day.
    This year…Mystical 8-Ball says, “Don’t count on it.”

  14. Everyday Mommy says:

    Christmas cards have never been a problem because of where you-know-who works…when you care enough to send the very best and all (snort). And, believe it or not, I have more than half of our Christmas shopping done πŸ™‚ Really.

  15. Tracy says:

    I haven’t managed to get a card out in years. This year, I have started, in hopes of finishing prior to Mother’s Day…
    Seriously, finishing them early would help a lot.

  16. Veggiemomof2 says:

    I get all my supplies set up in Oct, then I divide the # of cards by the # of wks in Nov & do that many a week. Then I’m done & usually ship them out Dec 1. I always keep a stack handy where I read my mail too incase one comes in that I didn’t send to so I can get one out to them. I also keep track of who sends back & if I get no response for 2 yrs in row, unless there is a specific reason, I delete that person from my list.

  17. Dawn says:

    I was highly motivated to take Christmas pics early this year.
    I bought a huge pile of 6-9 months winter clothing from a friend that is done having babies. One of the outfits is “Baby’s First Christmas” and it included a santa hat. Since it won’t fit my baby at Christmas time and I was dying to take pictures of him wearing it, I realized that Christmas cards was the perfect excuse to dress him up and pose him for my own gratification.
    I already ordered cards from Walmart for only $0.33 each, including envelopes!
    Addressing them and stamping them will be a different story all together…

  18. Linda says:

    Way to plan ahead! Does my having homemade Christmas cards already made, that I made and didn’t send out last year, but plan on using this year, count as planning ahead? lol
    This is my 1st WFMW!

  19. jubilee says:

    Sigh . . . time to think about Christmas cards, already?
    Two years ago, I was so late jumping on the bandwagon for Christmas cards that I ended up sending out “New Year’s” cards with letters. It gave me something to do the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day!

  20. Deb - Mom of 3 Girls says:

    Oh yes, although I’m not quite as on the ball with this – we’ll be getting pictures taken in a couple of weeks and I always try to have the cards done by the first week in December… πŸ™‚

  21. Naomi says:

    OOHHH! Thanks for the reminder about posting Christmas cards! My baby is due on November 15th so I’ll have to get things organised really soon!

  22. Kathleen Marie says:

    I do two Christmas card lists, one for our camp/retreat center and a personal one. Last year the personal one got lost somewhere along the way. I don’t want that to happen again. We did get family pics taken – Deadwood style – but most of the cards were mailed after the holiday. Shame. On. Me.
    Not this year. I am on top of it. I hope ☺.

  23. Julie says:

    I have always been for the Christmas photo card but never had the kids pose well enough to use the pics I took. Now I take a great picture sometime during the fall and download it to Costco to make phot cards and my photocard challenges are reduced!!
    Awesome post!

  24. kate says:

    I’m on the same wave. I’ve got the kit to make my cards all set to go and I’m taking the annual picture next Tuesday at Epcot. I hate having the cards hanging over my head the 2nd week of December.

  25. dana says:

    I do my Christmas cards early, too. It makes me feel better to know it’s done. But I agree, when I get lazy and procrastinate, things go wrong!

  26. Nicki says:

    Good planning. I don’t think it’s too early to start thinking about this at all. The more that gets done before the holidays get crazy, the more enjoyable the holiday season will be.

  27. dcrmom says:

    You go, girl! I’ve had mine done and addressed for a month. πŸ˜‰ I am NEVER this far ahead. This year, I got home from our Maine vacation, ordered Christmas cards, and got them addressed the week they arrived. I am SO proud of myself. πŸ™‚

  28. polly says:

    Great planning! I am terrible at Christmas cards; this year, with a new little one, I need to get on the ball! Thanks for the inspiration!

  29. Heidi says:

    I have big plans in this department too. Part of it is getting the (studio) pictures taken before Halloween. Only one week left…. Can I do it?

  30. Lisa says:

    Mine are done… no, wait – I still have 3 left that I need to get addresses for
    ( my family moves around like some people change underwear !! )
    TG for !!

  31. Kathleen Marie says:

    I do two Christmas card lists, one for our camp/retreat center and a personal one. Last year the personal one got lost somewhere along the way. I don’t want that to happen again. We did get family pics taken – Deadwood style – but most of the cards were mailed after the holiday. Shame. On. Me.
    Not this year. I am on top of it. I hope ☺.

  32. Scott says:

    No doubt our picture will be taken Dec. 18. Developed Dec. 20. Cards stuffed and addressed Dec. 23.
    Cards mailed January 3. That’s simply the way it is.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like an awesome system — I hope it works out just as you plan! But one meek, mild suggestion from a lurker: Would you consider hand-writing your addresses instead of using preprinted labels? It just feels so impersonal and thoughtless when I get a Christmas card envelope with an address label — especially when the card is preprinted, too — from someone I consider a personal friend. And since I won’t risk harming my real-life friendships by bringing up this admittedly minor issue, I’m getting this off my chest here in Bloggyland.

  34. chris says:

    I just love to procrastinate until the very last minute. It just wouldn’t be Christmas if I didn’t think there was a chance I wouldn’ get it all done in time πŸ˜‰

  35. Terina says:

    just so you know, it is possible. last year, because we were moving from one country to the other, i had my christmas pictures, letter, and card (i made the card) done before the movers came, which was mid october. we are moving again, but not country to country, so not in such a rush. i do plan on having them done well before thanksgiving. the picture is what is going to be the toughest. and i don’t have any tips. i just wanted to share this with you.:)

  36. Jane says:

    When I saw the title of today’s post, I instantly recalled the Goose Poop Picture tale! Still makes me laugh! Thanks for the memories!

  37. Tiffany says:

    oh my…I have not laughed that hard in AGES!
    I too have four children, ranging in age from 2 – 10, and I have yet to get a decent holiday photo.
    I think this year I’m going to photoshop their little faces onto elf bodies and call it good! LOL… okay, maybe not!

  38. Mama Duck says:

    Great idea, we’ve gotten a lot of holiday card orders already and always encourage people to order their cards early :). Now of course, mine are not even started, ha ha.

  39. Bailey's Leaf says:

    Oh my, I am so glad that someone else works on the Christmas cards soon, too! I actually begin writing the Christmas letter in the summer. Everything is fresh then. I keep updating the address listing as I find people have moved. It cuts down on the e-mails of “Excuse me, but if you would like the yearly mass Christmas newsletter and photo card of the fam, please e-mail your address ASAP.” Since our daughter’s birthday is December 20, I’m cheap and dunk her birthday invite in, too. I also put a small listing of holiday church events that we are involved in. It’s a multi-insert thing, but it works for me!

  40. edj says:

    The last time I tried to do Christmas cards, by March I’d decided it wasn’t worth mailing them.
    But I do applaud those who do!
    Want my address? I love getting cards. πŸ˜‰

  41. Jillian says:

    Wow, that’s what I should do. I don’t mail ours out until right before Christmas, because we don’t decorate or celebrate Christmas until it’s actually here…but I forget that just because I don’t send them early, doesn’t mean I can’t get them ready early. Good idea!

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