Our favorite Christmas Card list tips

Are you all ready to send holiday cards? Or are you ready to start thinking about sending them, get kind of overwhelmed, and procrastinate until, say, January? This year, we are all about making it easy and fun—so we’re sharing the best Christmas card list tips we’ve got. We’ll help you make a list, check it twice, gather up all those addresses, and keep everything organized. (For a little extra emotional support, join our annual Christmas card challenge!)

Christmas Card Challenge: hand addressed envelopes and Hallmark cards

Christmas Card List Tips

OK, so we’ll admit this can be a little daunting. Who gets cards? What are their addresses? Here are tips for figuring it all out from our Hallmark experts:

Start with a system. Where will you keep your addresses? Everyone has a favorite method. Some go old-school with a paper address book. Others build out the contacts in their phone (where you can create a group called “Card List”) or computer OS. Our heroes have intricate spreadsheets with years of card sending and receiving history captured in symbols known only to the master. Do what works for you.

Pick a number. If you need to set limits based on time, budget, or patience, do it without guilt. Let this bring you joy, not stress! Decide about how many cards you can send, and get ready to make your list fit.

Go in circles. An easy way to start your list is by the circles you travel in: immediate family, closest friends, coworkers, extended family, trivia team, church friends, etc. etc. etc. Make a list of those circles (this is a great thing to note on your spreadsheet or sketch out in a Venn diagram), and start adding people to them. You can start close in and work your way out—or if your goal is to connect with people you don’t see every day, do the opposite.

Christmas Card Challenge: hand addressed envelopes and Hallmark cards

Capture categories. A few things to think about as you make your list:

  • Will you send “happy holidays” cards to people who don’t celebrate Christmas? Note how many you need of each kind.
  • Do you need different cards for personal friends vs. business contacts? Keep count of how many you need of each.
  • Are you getting boxed cards in bulk or find personalized cards from the rack? Track who gets what.
  • How many cards will you hand-deliver vs. send through the mail? Tally them up before you buy stamps.
  • Will you tuck a holiday newsletter in some cards? Write down how many you’ll need to print.

Who’s in and who’s out? If you have to shorten (or want to lengthen) your Christmas card list, it can help to make rules for yourself. For example:

  • If you’re unlikely to see people in the next year, they absolutely get a card.
  • If a circle or group is too big, you can cut it out completely—or save money by hand-delivering cards or sending postcards.
  • If you can’t find their address in one try, they’ll have to settle for a DM.
  • If you’re fairly certain they’ll just recycle it immediately instead of properly displaying it on the mantel, send a text instead.

Track everyone down. Thanks to smartphones and email, we don’t always have addresses written down. Some easy places to get them:

  • Your Mom’s (or super-organized sister’s) address book.
  • Church and school directories.
  • An all-call on Facebook, Instagram, or email with a request to DM or reply with addresses and zip codes. (One friend promised Christmas cards to anyone who would send him their address.)
  • Online people searches.
  • Last year’s Christmas cards. (And this year, when you get a card, take a pic of the return address and add it when you have a chance.)

And hey—while you’re at it—might as well get birthdays, too. You can be that thoughtful person who never misses a birthday!

Need help addressing your envelopes? Looky here.

Any Christmas card list tips we’ve missed? Tell us in the comments! 

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