By ALLIE MYSZKA

For many of us, the holidays are a time of reconnecting with those we love. Some of us can travel and visit with family, and others have friends and loved ones come to visit us in our own homes. Still others choose to reach out via holiday cards sent in the mail.

Holiday cards are not a new idea, but they have changed quite a bit in recent years. There are now nearly limitless options for designs and embellishments that allow you to create a custom card, and there are even a few companies who will address and send cards for you. Sending holiday cards in the mail can have advantages and setbacks, so if you’re on the fence about sending cards this year, keep reading as we help you weigh the options.

Check out a few “pros” to sending holiday cards:

  1. Holiday cards can become a fun project for your entire family to work on together. Ask for input on the design and photo that you use from your spouse and kids. Maybe you could even incorporate a drawing or signature from each family member to make the card even more personal. Even if you have young children, they can participate by stuffing envelopes or applying stamps. Gather up your whole family for a Christmas card assembly line—complete with hot cocoa!
  2. Sending cards can be a personal way to reestablish contact with long distance loved ones. Sure, a text message or email is great throughout the year, but there’s just something extra special about receiving a physical card in the mail—especially when you live far away from someone you love. Include a few notes and updates on how your family is doing, and odds are good that someone on the receiving end of your card will pick up the phone just to call and wish your family a happy holiday season.
  3. It’s an opportunity to get crafty. If you’re into art projects, creating and sending holiday cards could be the perfect creative outlet for you this year. Put your keen eye for design to good use!

And here are a few “cons”:

  1. Sending holiday cards will take time and effort. Yes, this is an obvious idea, but it’s very easy to underestimate the amount of time you’ll need to spend on a project like this. Between choosing a card design, taking photos, having them printed, then preparing them for mailing, it can take more time than we realize to get your holiday cards ready and sent.
  2. They could get expensive. It’s possible to keep costs low by doing things yourself and enlisting the help of your family, but purchasing all the supplies and postage stamps you’ll need can still add up quickly.
  3. They could add to your list of holiday stressors. Amongst the shopping lists and travel preparations you’ll likely need to tend to, holiday cards could become just one more thing that overwhelms you during this holiday season. If you know you’re facing a busy and full schedule during the holidays this year, it may be best to skip the cards.

Whether you decide to send cards or not, you can still tell your loved ones—near and far—how much you love them this holiday season. Don’t stress about whether to send cards, but rather focus your energy on telling your loved ones how much they mean in whatever way you can—a phone call, or even an email or text to say hello. In ten years, no one will remember how perfect a card design was, how long you talked on the phone, or how well-written a family update letter was. Instead, they’ll remember that you cared and took the time to send them a bit of love during the holidays, and that’s what truly matters!

 

 

Allie was born and raised in Georgia, and moved to Nashville after graduating from the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!). She’s a freelance writer, an old soul, and a chronic DIY-er. Connect with Allie or see more of her work on her website.