How (and why!) to throw a Christmas card party

Sending Christmas cards is a celebration—of the season, of connections with friends and family, and of the traditions we love. And when we hear “celebration,” we immediately think of gatherings and snacks and fun. So! Let’s declare this the year of the Christmas Card Party. Let’s clear off the kitchen table, get out the craft supplies, serve up some snacks, and make sending holiday greetings as much fun as receiving them. Read on for supplies, tips for hosting, and easy, creative ways to plus up your envelopes. 

Special Note: Because every single person who has seen these photos has asked…all of our envelopes are decorated with fake names and addresses. They’re just there to show off the pretty designs. Thank you for worrying about our friends’ privacy! You’re all adorable.

 

Signing and sending holiday greetings at a Christmas card party

Holiday cards from Hallmark

Why should you throw a Christmas card party?

If you can even imagine, there are folks who see addressing holiday cards as a chore. (We are Hallmark, so we cannot even imagine.) Perhaps that’s because they’re not doing it the fun way.

Picture your loved one’s faces when they open the mail box and pull out an envelope with their address in your handwriting…and your doodles and drawings. It’s just the best way to let them know they’re on your mind and in your heart.

A Christmas card party makes it even more fun to get creative. Invite a few friends, set out some snacks, and leave plenty of room on the table for art supplies.

Decorating an envelope at a Christmas card party

CHRISTMAS CARD PARTY SUPPLIES

  • Christmas cards, envelopes, stamps, and address lists (everyone brings their own)
  • Markers and paint pens
  • Tissue paper
  • Other paper (gift wrap, construction paper, etc.) in colors to complement your cards
  • Paper punches and scissors
  • Glue sticks
  • Envelope decorating inspiration
  • Drinks and non-greasy, non-messy snacks (we’ll give you some ideas at the end of this post)

Tips for an envelope decorating party

Note-writing and card-signing needs some contemplation and focus if you really want to make it meaningful. So this party is all about the envelopes. Invite your crafty friends over and welcome the season by making things together.

  • Make sure everyone has a spot in easy reach of the supplies (and snacks!) they’ll need.
  • Suggest they bring their favorite markers and pens. (We know y’all have them.)
  • Since everyone’s focus will be on the table, don’t worry about anything else being perfect—or even particularly tidy. Light the pine-scented candles, crank up the Christmas music, and break out the hot chocolate or a bottle of wine.

Setting up for a family card-signing party

Getting those Christmas photo cards in the mail doesn’t have to be Mom’s responsibility alone. Create a new family tradition by getting everyone in on the fun.

  • Give everyone, big and little, a job to do. Write a note, sign the card, add a sticker, make a doodle, address the envelope—fit the tasks to kids’ (and spouses’) ages and skill levels.
  • Add simple touches to cards for family friends—and personal drawings and notes to the kids’ favorite people.
  • Set up your table assembly-line style, with supplies for everyone at their own “station.”
  • Leave room for hot cocoa and cookies!

Artists decorating envelopes at a Christmas card party

Adding a gift wrap liner to an envelope

How to add an envelope liner

If you’re just doing a few liners, follow the directions below. If you decide to make a whole bunch, make a template (steps 1-3). Then trace the template on to the wrapping paper and follow steps 4-5.

SUPPLIES

  • Envelopes
  • Gift wrap
  • Ruler
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • Glue stick
  • Optional: Chipboard or poster board for template

DIRECTIONS

  1. Open the flap of an envelope, lay it open and flat on the reverse side of a piece of wrapping paper.
  2. Trace the envelope shape onto the wrapping paper and cut it out.
  3. Cut a sliver (1/8″ or less) off each side and about 1/2″ off the bottom.
  4. Slip the liner into the envelope, design up, and close the envelope, creasing the liner.
  5. Open the envelope and glue the liner in place.

Adding a gift wrap liner to an envelope

Using a brush marker to paint a background on an envelope

How to add a painted background

Make your hand lettering stand out by creating a contrasting background on your envelope.

SUPPLIES

  • Envelope
  • Paint markers
  • Paint (acrylic or gouache) and brushes
  • Markers for addressing
  • Scrap paper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Play around with techniques and designs on scrap paper or extra envelopes. When your paint dries, make sure the markers you plan to use work on your backgrounds.
  2. Slide a piece of paper into your envelope before you paint to prevent bleed-through.
  3. Paint your designs and let them dry.
  4. Once you’re absolutely positively certain they’re dry, add the addresses.
  5. Save inserting your card for the final step.

Addressing a decorated Christmas card envelope

Decorating a holiday card envelope with tissue paper confetti circles

Sprinkling tissue paper confetti inside a holiday card

What to do with confetti

What’s a Christmas card party without confetti? We much prefer the giant kind, cut with paper punches from tissue paper. Sprinkle a few pieces inside a card, or use a glue stick to decorate the envelope. Circles are classic and perfect…but snowflakes or trees or other holiday icons would also be pretty great.

Hallmark artists at a Christmas card party

Hallmark artists at a Christmas card party

Pro tips for envelope decorating

  • Need some inspiration for your decorated envelope? Just look at the card. You can doodle your own versions of patterns or illustrations, use a complementary color palette, or riff on the lettering style. Or check out our free downloadable tip sheets!
  • White paint marker on a green, red, or kraft paper envelope is always simple and striking.
  • If you’re using an odd-sized (square or vertical) envelope, make sure you’re using the right postage. The US Postal Service has all kinds of helpful hints for holiday mail.
  • Make sure everything gets where it’s going (and answer those pesky etiquette questions) with our tips on how to address an envelope.

Christmas card envelopes decorated and ready to send

Christmas card envelopes decorated and ready to send

Wait—there’s more!

You know we have more envelope tips.

And we did promise recipes for your Christmas card party.

When your mailbox fills up with cards, we’ve got some stylish ways to display them.

And if you haven’t already, get all the information about our Christmas Card Challenge here.

One final request: There is nothing more gratifying than looking at your beautiful stack of addressed envelopes. Show us yours! Use the hashtags #writebacksoon and #showusyourstack on Facebook or tag us on Instagram!

Photography by Pat Bush.

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