If there's one surefire way to spread cheer during this festive season, it's with a holiday card. In today's digital-first world, there's nothing sweeter than receiving a personalized card in the mail, especially when that card features a cute family photo and a few heartfelt holiday wishes. We understand that the thought of putting one together can feel daunting, though. Who should receive the card? What kind of message should you write? When do you take the picture? To help set the record straight on all-things family holiday cards, we asked Mariam Naficy, CEO and founder of Minted, for her best tips.
Courtesy of Minted
Start the holiday card process about six weeks before you want them to arrive in mailboxes.
That means you'll need to get going right now should you want your cards to be delivered before the end of the year. Naficy says to begin compiling addresses and finalize your photo, should you decide to include one, about six weeks before the holiday season. Five weeks out, you'll need to place your holiday card order. Plan to drop them in the mail about three weeks before the holiday. "If you have friends or family that live aboard, cards will take longer to mail," Naficy adds. "To make sure they come before Christmas, send international cards immediately after you receive them from the printer."
When it comes to photos, fight the urge to be perfect.
If you plan to include a photo (or several!) in your holiday card, Naficy says there's no need to be perfect. "We recommend embracing the imperfections; not everyone needs to be looking directly at the camera and smiling. One idea we love is to capture more of a documentary-style, authentic moment in your lives and use that as a card, perhaps paired with a less traditional message," she says. And if you can't get one single photo with your entire brood, use a selection of your favorites from different events throughout the year.
Get the greeting just right.
This is your card, so send the message you want to. "Families can choose to not only share wishes for the holiday season but also [use their cards] as a way to celebrate and share any news that may have happened this year," Naficy says. "We have many customers who enjoy sharing a life moment or milestone as part of their holiday card." Whether you just got married, welcomed a new baby, moved to a new home, or retired, there's no reason not to share those happy events on your holiday card if you'd like to.
Prefer to stick to a holiday greeting? Naficy says you have options here, too. "Be yourself and be authentic," she urges. "A 'happy holidays' message is a great way to send cheer no matter what holiday you celebrate. There are many different ways to say 'happy holidays,' including sayings such as 'peace, love, and joy.'"
Make the mailing list as narrow or as broad as you'd like.
There's no hard and fast rules about who should receive your holiday card, so feel free to send it to as few or as many people as you'd like. Naficy's one word of advice? Do your best to send a card to anyone who's sent one your way in the past. Minted even has a special service that takes the guesswork out of adding names to your list—mail them your physical envelopes at the end of the holiday season and their concierge service will update your address book for you.
If you're running late, you still have options.
If you're tight on time, seasonal stationery with a handwritten message is still a great option for spreading holiday cheer. However, Minted is making an effort to help you create beautiful holiday cards with very little wait time. "This year, for the first time, we're offering a super rush delivery service that will allow you to get your cards in as little as two days," says Naficy. Premium features, such as custom foil and expert proofing, will add to the wait time.