Do you write and mail a Christmas letter describing the highlights of the last year to friends and family you haven’t seen all year? My wife and I used to do that. Every December we would type up a letter, proof it, and tweak it. Then we would find some seasonal 8 /12 x 11 paper, and print dozens of copies. Finally, we would spend hours addressing, filling, and stamping dozens of envelops.
To be honest, writing this blog article has got me wondering why we ever did it in the first place, but several years ago we started saving quite a bit of time and money by putting our annual Christmas letter online…
The online Christmas letter
I already had a family website which I used to display some pictures of our kids. The site was created with OurChurch.Com’s Beacon Web Builder and later migrated to the NE1 Web Builder. After typing up the Christmas letter in a word processor, putting in on the homepage was simple and only took a few minutes.
One of the additional benefits of putting the Christmas letter online is that it allowed me to include a number of photos, something we never included in our printed/mailed Christmas letters.
Another cool thing is that if you do it every year, you (and your family and friends) can look back at past Christmas letters and pictures very quickly and easily.
And a Picture Postcard
We still wanted to send out of town friends and family a Christmas card, so we decided to go with a picture post card. These days you can take the picture your family using a digital camera and order custom photo Christmas postcards online at Walmart, Walgreens, Ritz or just about any place that develops pictures.
We include a short note and mention that the Christmas letter and photos are available on our website.
And because we’re sending postcards instead of cards and letters the postage is less.
One more time-saver…
At the risk of sounding like a total geek, here’s one more idea that could save you some time… If you send Christmas cards or letters to a lot of people and you don’t consider it too impersonal, consider keeping your contacts in a spreadsheet and printing address labels instead of hand-labeling all your envelops/cards.