“…Time for toys and time for cheer. We’ve been good, but we can’t last! Hurry Christmas, hurry fast! Want a plane that loops the loop. Me, I want a hula hoop! We can hardly stand the wait! Please Christmas, don’t be late!”
Oh, Alvin and the Chipmunks, how I love you for not mentioning one word about Christmas CARDS not being late. Bless your little high-pitched hearts!
The bane of so many.
Do you know how many people I’ve talked to who are stressed the hell out about Christmas cards? CHRISTMAS CARDS!
You know you don’t have to send ’em, right?
That’s right. Christmas cards are not a requirement! In no way should you feel obligated to do this. You will not be blacklisted at the local coffee shop. An army of deranged elves will not hunt you down in the mall. And let’s be real honest here. How many sets of UNSENT cards have you unearthed around your house? How much money have you spent on photos and cards and postage that never got sent? How many times have you passed by said supplies and berated yourself?
Uh huh. That’s what I thought.
You do realize you can end up with the same results- UM NO CARDS SENT- and not suffocate under that Christmas cloak of self-loathing despair, right? You can make an upfront completely honest DELIBERATE decision and then wash your hands of the entire affair.
As a matter of fact, step 8 in the 12 step to a freak-out free Christmas is to do just that- Decide whether or not you’ll send Christmas cards and be okay with whatever decision you make!
Seriously, if you haven’t sent them out already, just decide RIGHT NOW if it’s actually gonna happen.
I know you think your sister-in-law will look down her nose at you if you don’t send out cards. Yeah, she’s probably already looking down on you for a million other things. Get over it. And if she’s clucking her tongue at you at least everyone else is safe.
Okay, let’s say you decided that you do, in fact, wanna go ahead and send out cards this year. Well, then you’re gonna keep reading. (Okay, even if you decided NOT to send ’em you should keep reading. There’s some good shit comin’ up in step 9.)
Use the assembly line method for getting your cards finished.
I’m talkin’ Detroit auto industry assembly line. Make Henry Ford proud assembly line.
And you’re gonna love it!
Wanna know why? Because it’s gonna allow you to work in small bits of time, make it SUPER easy for you to ask for help but, best of all? It’s gonna keep you from getting overwhelmed.
Here we go!
First, assemble your supplies. Seriously, get ALL of your supplies first. AND DON’T GO TO THE POST OFFICE TO GET YOUR STAMPS. You can order ’em online!
Here’s what you need:
Cards with envelopes
Printed mailing labels
Printed return address labels or an address stamp
Be sure to put all your stuff in one spot. I suggest a cute bin or basket that you can just grab and take to wherever you want to work. Starbucks, perhaps?
Next thing you’re gonna do is adhere all of your address labels to the envelopes. Don’t tell me why it won’t work or why it’s a bad idea. Just do it, okay?
Third? Adhere stamps to the addressed envelopes.
Fourth, adhere your return address labels or return address stamp to those envelopes.
Last thing you’re gonna do is put the cards in the ALREADY STAMPED AND ADDRESSED ENVELOPES. By putting the cards in at the end, you’re making sure all the crap stuff that doesn’t matter all that much is already taken care of so you can spend what little bit of time and energy you have where it counts- by writing a short note on the card!
Seriously. Can you picture it?
You take ten minutes (or get your kids to do it) and slap those address labels on. BOOM you’re done with one step AND you’re already at a good stopping point after only ten minutes! Next you take ten more minutes (maybe while you’re watching Criminal Minds) and slap stamps on. Hell, maybe get your husband to do it or bribe a friend! Again, you’re done in ten minutes and you’re at another good stopping point. Ten MORE minutes and you put those return address labels on there. Next you just take about a half hour to an hour to do the important part of the card. Pretty much you’ll be curled up on your couch. You’ll look at the envelope on the top of the stack and see who it’s to. You take a card, write a message and put it in the envelope. Lick it and you’re done! Even if you can’t write all of your cards in one sitting, you can mail them as you finish them up.
What do you think?
Me? I think even if those chipmunks WERE singin’ about Christmas cards being late, I’d still feel pretty darn good about it.