On Mailing Christmas Cards
The last few evenings I've been staying up late trying to finish up our Christmas cards, and I'm mostly through the list. I always enjoyed the process of picking out Christmas cards for family and friends. Our Christmas list is pretty big, sometimes I wish I could get my Christmas cards made by somewhere like the Third Angle print shop, so I wouldn't have to worry about it, but I do enjoy it. I really enjoy the process of getting through the list, especially when I've been organized enough early on to make a list with addresses all ready to go. Caleb helped out a bit, putting on some air mail stickers or washi tape, but things tend to slow right down to a crawl whenever he's involved, so I did the bulk of it after he had gone to bed. I had meant to get them out the first week of December - it's nice to send them out a bit earlier, so the recipients can have time to enjoy them throughout the holiday season, rather than a Christmas day gift to be opened up under the tree on the 25th - but of course here I am now keeping my fingers crossed that a few cards heading south of the border or across an ocean will make it before January.
If you have started yet, it's not too late! Even to just a few friends or family members, if there's any time of the year to send something in the mail, now's the time, whether it's a holiday card or just a note on some nice stationery to say hello and wish them the best for the new year. If you don't have their address, my best tip is to come right out and ask them for it. I've tried the internet stalking thing with about a 20% (or less) success rate in locating an address, and I know it can seem a bit like you're ruining the whole point of a Christmas card if you have to ask them for their address, but more often than not, it's a good way to get back in touch with someone in any case - to share some Christmas cheer. You can also consider sending a card to some of your favourite local or independent shops, local government representatives, or stationery bloggers - a lot of these folks will have PO boxes or addresses posted online to receive mail in their Contact or About Me section, and it's always nice to hear from folks, since for most of the year, it seems like more of a one-way dialogue (i.e. a monologue). There are some loose rules about Christmas cards - some people will say that if they don't receive one from you last year, they won't send one to you this year, and there's validity to not sending out mail to potentially someone who has moved (and hasn't told you) or maybe isn't in a situation to keep in touch with you anymore. I'm not so fussy on that, maybe because a lot of the time we're sending cards to pretty busy people, especially in the retail business, so sometimes things get a little crazy. I also send some cards to people who just don't send out cards, but I'd still like them to know we're thinking of them. Each year, our stacks seem to get a bit taller, and it's sort of a lovely thing to contemplate, that as our shop has grown, the circles around us have grown as well. We have stationery enthusiasts around the world who have help our tiny shop thrive, vendors and customers who have become like family - and what a wonderful time of year it is to be able to send a little something in the mail to remind them of how much they mean to us.