Good morning! We’re just shy of ten weeks until Christmas, and it’s not too early to take some steps to de-stress your Christmas. By starting early and planning ahead, we can beat some of the rush and take some pressure off. In case you missed the rest of the series, we’ve already talked about adjusting our Christmas planning philosophy, starting a game plan for gift giving, and getting creative to help pay for Christmas. Be sure to check them out!
This week, let’s talk about Christmas cards. To be honest, this was one of my biggest sources of stress for the holiday season. Each year I’d worry about dressing the kids in their Christmas finery and wrangling them into some sort of pose in front of the tree. Each year I’d vow that I wouldn’t get stressed, and each year I’d crash and burn in a stressy blaze of glory…my kids hate dressing up, hate sitting still, and hate getting their pictures taken. No matter how perky and light-hearted I tried to be, they saw right through my facade and sense the stress. Kind of like how dogs can smell fear. On the bright side, our “blooper reel” of failed Christmas pictures always became one of my favorite photo book pages of the year…at least I can laugh about it after the fact!
Anyway…a few years ago I finally got smart, and I g0t the Christmas cards created and ordered before we even shop for Christmas outfits. I have so many cute pictures of my family from throughout the year, especially from our travels during summer–candid moments that capture their personalities as they’re doing things they enjoy. Those moments are much more worthy of sharing than a stiff, stressy, posed picture in front of a tree. So I chose my favorite family shots and pictures of each kid individually, and put them together into a cute Christmas card. They were ordered as soon as I spotted a great deal, then I could take my time addressing them and getting them mailed early in the season.
This week’s action plan:
Gather your Christmas card list and choose pictures for your card. Determine how many cards you’ll need, and gather any missing addresses now (in other words, not like me in years past on Dec. 22 asking: “Mom, what’s Great Aunt So-and-so’s address?!”). Buy stamps this week and set them aside–nobody will care if they’re not Christmas-y, and it’ll be one less expense closer to Christmas.
Go through your pictures from the last few months. Take the time now to upload them to the computer from your camera or phone if you need to. Do you have the pictures you need? If not, try to capture your kids having fun with something they love some time in the next week or two. Copy the pictures you want to use into an extra file on your computer’s desktop labeled “Christmas card 2014.” Then when a great photo card deal comes along (we’ll be sure to let you know!), you’ll be ready to roll–just upload that folder.
(Shutterfly: $10 off purchases of $10 or more with code 10OFF10 through 10/18; or 10 FREE cards with code 10CARDS)
Walgreens Photo (50% off Photo orders of $75+ with code OCTORDER thru 10/31; or 40% off Photo Card orders with code SENDCARD40 thru 10/24)
Snapfish: (30% off and get Free Shipping on Snapfish photo cards)
If you spot any other hot photo card deals, let us know! We’ll keep an eye out for them over the next few weeks and be sure to share them with you!