Holiday Cards Prep

Holiday Cards Prep (Image from

It’s the most wonderful time of the year to be jolly and to do all the falalalaing. In high school, being in band meant playing holiday music in September. Now, September means holiday cards. Since 2009, I’ve been sending holiday cards to a motley crew of real-life friends, online friends, and families all over the world. I start doing all this in September because I usually have a huge stack to send. In 2010, I sent 62 cards. Last year, I only sent 30. This year, it’s looking like I’ll be sending around 40-50 cards.

Holiday Cards

Chantelle asked me what my techniques were. Honestly, I don’t really have any techniques. Instead, I have sheer determination to be on top of things and to be organised with all the cards and addresses. If anything, I do have a process in place, and it involves the following:

Step 1: Compile a list of people.
Step 2: Contact people to confirm and/or receive their snail mail addresses.
Step 3: Organise the list of names and addresses into a Word file and print a hardcopy.
Step 4: Go buy stamps for cards heading to the United States.
Step 5: Handwrite all addresses on the envelopes.
Step 6: Handwrite all personal messages in the cards.
Step 7: Tape down all the envelopes.
Step 8: Put stamps on the United States bound cards.
Step 9: Go to the post office on base and mail the US cards and some international cards.
Step 10: Go to the Korean post office and mail the rest of the international cards heading to other Asian countries and Australia.

This entire process takes me about 1-3 weeks, depending on how fast I can get them done. I generally try to ship out the cards by mid-November because I want them to reach their destinations before the actual holidays. I do a lot of my card prep either at work in between shift or at a coffee shop. This is what I do around this time of the year, the one old-fashioned holiday tradition that I haven’t forsaken.

Do you do holiday cards? What are some old-fashioned holiday tradition you do?


  1. I’m so glad I learned the holiday songs two weeks before the Christmas parade happened XD. It’s so cool how people still send cards these days rather than e-mailing them! I think it’s pretty neat how you have a big list of steps to follow to execute the project correctly.

    I remember doing a lot of holiday cards back in 2012. This year, I might do it. If anything, it takes me a few hours to get it done if I push to XD. I just have to go to the post office before it closes to make it happen ;D.

    • I hope you’ll get to do it! It does take a bit of time, but dedicating a few hours to do it will definitely get them done :)

  2. I usually try to volunteer at a food bank or a local hospital and spend with those who do not have any family or friends. I actually just submitted paperwork to volunteer at a soup kitchen, but I hear sometimes they don’t get back to you in time for their busy season due to the amount of effort and preparation it takes for them to get ready. I’m hoping they get back to me!

    And! I want to be able to send Christmas cards as well :) You’re awesome, Tara.

    • I think that’s great you volunteer at food banks and local hospital! That’s something I haven’t considered doing. Maybe I will do something like that. :) I hope the soup kitchen get back to you soon!

  3. That’s so cool that you send out cards all over the world. I got a postcard from a friend in Poland the other week and it was such a cool feeling! I want to do something like this, too. I’ll just have to meet people from all over the world first. :)

    • A lot of the cards I send to are online friends! So you don’t have to “meet” them physically to send a card :D

      And getting something in snail mail gives you the warm fuzzies, right? Snail mail may not be fast, but it’s more meaningful than email!

  4. I send out Christmas cards, too. And I used to make cookies with my grandfather, but now that he has passed, my cousins and I don’t do it anymore. Tis a shame. I always looked forward to it. Oh well.

    Very cool that you send out cards to everyone around the world. I’m sure it brings a smile to people’s faces.

    • Why not start making cookies with your husband? That can be a new tradition for the two of you :) Just an idea!

  5. It’s really nice that you still send holiday cards :D I used to send some before too but since I’m always unorganized, I ended up not sending anymore.

    It happened quite a few times when I’m going somewhere on vacation. I’d buy a bunch of postcards to send them to friends but in the end I only manage to send a half of them because I didn’t have time to write the others! ;o;

    • I know that sometimes I don’t always come through my projects, which is why I try and dedicate enough time to them! Hence why I’m starting my holiday cards now so I can ensure I get them done XD

  6. Wow, you send out so many cards! I only do maybe 5-10 a year. I’m pretty sure I still have every Christmas card you’ve sent me too. I have a specific box I store cards from friends in XD

    That’s great that you’re so organized and start so early. I imagine it helps to get them done before all of the holiday stuff starts!

    • That’s great you have a specific box! I have several boxes where I keep all the cards and letters I get from friends. I know I have some of yours, too!

  7. Wow, that’s so awesome that you send out postcards! Who doesn’t love getting mail? Especially unexpected, sweet mail. And personal messages, as opposed to generic ones.

    I’ve always wanted to mail someone a postcard! I’m always seeing really cute ones at the store but I never have any reason to use them, haha.

    • Why not find some penpals or exchange addresses with one of your blogging buddies? That’s what I’d do if I really wanted to send someone a postcard :3

  8. I really want to do this. ^^ I think it could be amazing, but I won’t be able to start compiling my list until mid-October. Hmm… Hopefully, I’ll put a lot of thought into it and if I’m somehow able to come up with a list of around 50 people (ahh~), I think I’ll have to mail them out in batches starting in mid-November because I’d probably drive myself crazy if I tried to write the cards out all at one time.

    Also, it’s interesting that you write out the envelopes before you do the cards.

    • I hope you can do it! Even if you do it in batches, just do them :D

      And well I have to write out the envelopes! Otherwise I’d get all the cards mixed up, haha! So it’s easier for me to write the addresses on the envelopes and put the cards in the envelopes to keep track.

  9. This is super cute. I actually haven’t sent holiday cards since I was in high school! I need to start doing it again! It’s so lovely to receive cards, I remember getting a christmas card from Georgie a few years back – I still have it! It’s just so lovely! I’ll have to definitely opt in to do it this year <3

    • Awww, snap :D That’s awesome you got a card from Georgie! I have a couple from her, too :D I love getting cards. It’s definitely a great feeling getting it in snail mail.

  10. ya crayyyy, but I really appreciate the free holiday card, so I’ll send you some soap (just email me your address). Really nice of you to do such a thing as…it’s probably expensive! It’s really quite nice of you. You know, I know this is an extra step, but hear me out, what if you started handcrafting your own holiday cards each year instead of buying them? I know it’s a lot of work, but try just…like watercolor painting or something! Nothing too crazy, just need one of those cheap watercolor paint sets, some watercolor paper, & creativity & you’re good to go. Not too difficult to paint some snowflakes or trees, right? hehe.

    I don’t really send out holiday cards, but I do send out thank you cards & birthday cards. I’ve started handcrafting them so they’re more personal, but of course it takes time. It helps me improve my watercolor painting skills though. I kind of want to send out those cheesy photo holiday cards though. My family never does it, but our relatives do. I think I’d absolutely send out a, “we’re expecting!” card to all of my close friends & family though when that time comes. It’s better than a FB status haha.

    • Thanks for the soap offer :)

      I can see where you’re coming from, wanting to make things on your own! That’s great, but it’s just not for everyone. X_X;; The idea of making 50 cards by hand is just way too overwhelming for me. If I only had to create maybe 5-10 cards, it’s something I could consider, but 50+? I’d lose my sanity!

      Plus, I am just not good with painting or any thing with art. I’ve got crap fine motor skills, so I’ve learned a long time ago that art is just not something I’ll ever be good with, nor is it something I have the patience for XD;;;

      As for the price . . . I buy the cards the day after Christmas when they are 50% off and use them for next year. That’s my way of saving money and my sanity! ^^;;

  11. That is so awesome that you are so organised with sending them! I can’t wait to get mine and send one your way. :D

  12. You’re sending me a card so I am going to send you one too! I think I will be doing mine digitally this year unless people send me physical ones, in which case I will send them physical ones too. I will be making less, so I guess it’ll be more special? :D Hehe.

    I actually create my cards, write in them, and then write the addresses on the envelopes before I put the cards in. Then I go through all the joy of stamping them all! If I get bored of creating, sometimes I will write the message first then DIY the front (or whatever I do). Sometimes, it also damages the card less if I write the messages first then do all the decorating!

    I think September is too early to start doing cards but it’s good to be prepared. I did mine pretty late last year haha.

    • That’s a good idea to write the message in and then decorate it so you won’t ruin the decorations! If I ever do make my card, I’ll have to remember that :)

      Yeah, September is a bit early, but I like getting a head start and ensuring I have enough time to get them done :)

  13. Tara!!! You’re so on top of your Christmas card game. I’m usually pretty bad because I’m always super late and it’s not the same for the cards to arrive after Christmas. My goal this year is to send them out by the first week of December.

    For this year, I have an inside joke with a group of friends where we have this pretty awesome “glamorous” group picture that we took this summer and I mentioned that it’s worthy of a Christmas card family picture status. Little do they know that I’m dead serious about it! So I’m pretty excited to send those out to them. XD

    • Thanks for sharing your inside joke about the glamorous group photo XD That’d be a great thing to send to them XD

      I hope you can reach your goal! ^^

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