Holiday Series: Holiday Hacks for Christmas Cards and Gifting

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I spend hours surfing everyone else's blog looking for fabulous holiday ideas or hoping someone else's holiday ideas will spur my own holiday ideas and I have found so many wonderful crafts and ideas.  But, the little touches or ideas that are too simple to merit an entire post have probably contributed to the festivity far more than the larger ideas.  Thus, without further ado, I present a few "holiday hacks" and ideas.

1. Christmas Cards:
  • I loved my mom's Rolodex when I was a kid and I tried to make my own in my early adult years.  I got over it.  If you aren't yet over it, get over it and transition to an e-system.  I swear by google contacts.  Just go ahead and do it.  This is by far the easiest way to track relatives' addresses and it comes in handy year-round.
  • Writing a good Christmas letter is tricky.  If you write a letter, my best advice would be not to take yourself too seriously.  To some extent, your update will include the highlights of your year, but if you sound too serious it will come off dripping with self-righteousness.  You're always almost over the line with this one and yet people love getting these letters.  Tread lightly!
  • We've used SimplyToImpress the past few years and been pretty happy with the results.  I'm always tempted to do a cute animal card, but a poll of a representative sample of our recipients unanimously preferred card with pictures of us, even though we are far less cute than animals.
  • I love adding a cute little stamp to the envelope.  Cheap and adds an extra cute touch.

2. Gifting 
  • For a million extended relatives is an awful budget-strain/time-strain for everyone involved.  This year, our extended relatives opted for a secret santa exchange in order to make it easier on everyone and add some intrigue.  We used to generate our list for us over the Internet.
  • For immediate family we used Amazon wishlists and google docs that included all family members except the recipient so that everyone could annotate with what they were buying in order to avoid duplicates.
  • One of my favorite ideas for a friend this year was personalized wrapping paper and gift tags from  Who doesn't need more gift-packaging at this time of year?  And it's so convenient to get something you can use right away.
  • We also have extra hot chocolate in mason jars with chocolate-covered spoons in order to give with ease those gifts we weren't expecting to need to give.
3. Decorating

  • One huge plastic gallon of various red balls creates a uniform background that pulls the tree together in spite of all those fun, quirky ornaments and you can use those balls in glass bowls for great decorative pieces around the home.

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