Christmas is upon us and the US postal service is gearing up for the deluge of Christmas card greetings. How many of the cards that you receive are actually memorable? To make your Christmas cards stand out rather than fade away, personalize, add heart, and take the time.
Money spent on a good quality Christmas card is lost if your message is the same one you send your mom as you write for your neighbor. If you’re going to spend the money for cards and postage, why not make your cards stand out?
Personalize your cards
Of the Christmas cards I receive, about 80% of them include a greeting, the pre-printed message, and the signatures of the senders. Thank you very much. I find that this boilerplate method of filling out the card’s message is lacking personality. You took the time to send me the card, now send me something that I will remember!
Sending your sister a card? Recall your favorite childhood memory of Christmas you shared together. Is your neighbor on the list? Then write how Christmas reminds you to be grateful for those in your life and for those lovely conversations about how to improve the yard. Is the postman going to get a card from you? Then write how nice is it that your mail is delivered all year around without hassle and that you thank your postman for doing such a great job! Personalizing the message makes your card special.
Don’t just write “Love, so and so.” Go ahead and convey how much that person means to you. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy love letter, and not everyone will get the same amount of emotion in his/her card. Yet, opening up your emotions and letting them touch the recipient will be remembered long after your card has been either saved in a box or thrown out.
Take the example I shared earlier regarding sharing a childhood memory with a sibling. By personalizing your card, you now have laid the groundwork to tug at the emotional strings of your recipient. Make it count by reliving the love, kindness, and tenderness shared. I have a photo of my sister and I as children, dressed in our pajamas and seated underneath the Christmas tree. I can feel the innocence of the time and the true sibling love we shared. Being in a loving home, provided for by loving parents, and enjoying the experience of Christmas is a special memory for me. I’ll tell my sister of that memory in my card this year. I think it will be emotional for her as it will be for me to write it.
Take the time
We are all busy during the run up to Christmas. Work, life, living, shopping, and traveling all conspire to reduce our disposable time. But with a little planning, you can make your cards stand out by taking the time. These thoughtful pieces of writing don’t happen easily but with some time and patience, you will be able to create a wonderful Christmas card for your loved ones.
Make a list of who will receive a card from you and each night; spend half an hour or an hour thinking about your recipient and what they mean to you. Generate the thoughts and write them down and boom: you have a Christmas card that will demonstrate your thoughtfulness by crafting a unique message. And the recipient of your card will know that you actually sat down and thought of them instead of throwing cards together and mailing them out.
Don’t let the craziness of the season allow you to get lazy. If you are going to send out Christmas cards, then personalize, add heart, and take the time. These ingredients will produce cards that stand out long after the thrill of Christmas day is gone.