I'm scaling back my holiday spending this year because of the economy, so I'm putting more effort into my Christmas cards, because, well, they have to say "Happy Holidays! Sorry I can't get you a gift."
But if my Christmas card list is increasing, that means I have to establish a firm protocol so I don't spend all weekend working on them. This sadly means that I have to categorize people on my card list and not everyone gets a very personal message in the card. I love writing messages to people in cards, being cute and funny so they maybe hold on to them. I never used to hold on to cards but now I do, especially if there is a meaningful note in it.
To start the Christmas card protocol, I buy two boxes of cards: one that I really love and splurge on (known as Tier 1) and another box that is nice but on the more "economic" side (known as Tier 2).
Then, looking at my card list, I drop the names into one of the following categories, which determines which card and message they get in the card:
- Obligatory - friend of family, someone I have to send a card to: Tier 2 with standard holiday greeting
- Exchange occasional e-mails: Tier 2 card with standard holiday greeting
- Friend I've lost touch with: Tier 2 card with standard holiday greeting and note about keeping in touch more
- Acquaintance with mutual friends, keep in touch only when out in a group:Tier 1 card with standard holiday greeting
- Casual friend - talk regularly but don't socialize very often: Tier 1 card with standard holiday greeting and short additional note
- Close friends - talk and see each other regularly: Tier 1 card with standard holiday greeting and lengthy additional note
I know it looks anal retentive, but it helps keep things straight. So starting tomorrow, I'm off to begin organizing my cards so I can knock these out quickly this weekend and enjoy the view of my little Christmas tree in my apartment.
One holiday tradition I do every year is watch television with only the Christmas tree lights on in the apartment. That is one of my favorite evening activities :)
Am I the only one without a tree up just yet? It's after Thanksgiving now so it's acceptable to decorate for the holidays and pull out the Christmas music playlist.
Also, let me know if you have a routine when sending out your Christmas cards too. I'm already listening to my holiday iPod playlist to get in the mood.