Christmas Checklist: Holiday Cards


Tips to Write, Make, and Send

  • Update your mailing list: Write a list of people to whom you intend to send holiday cards and update any addresses that have changed over the past year.
  • Stock up early: Avoid a last-minute hustle to the post office for stamps, envelopes, and supplies (if you’re making cards).
  • Know when to mail your cards: Allow at least four days for all domestic cards, no matter how close the destination. This year, Priority Mail must be sent by December 20 and Express Mail items must be sent by December 23 in order for them to make it to their domestic destinations by Christmas Eve

Take the Picture Perfect Holiday Photo

  • Use the right digital camera: We recommend a camera with at least 3 to 4 megapixels: This will ensure that the photos, whether 4 by 6 inches or 5 by 7 inches, are sufficiently crisp.
  • Clear the background: Position your subjects against a clear, uncluttered background.
  • Wear solid colors: They should complement each other but don’t match exactly.
  • Put yourself in a good light: Indirect light is the most flattering; the prime hours are in the early morning or at sunset.
  • Get a timeless look: Experiment with black-and-white and sepia-toned prints.
  • Keep the kids and pets happy: Enlist a helper to make distractions or keep their attention.
  • Pick your theme: Choose a visual idea for your photo that everyone loves (browse some of our fun-filled ideas), and have fun with props and the snowy weather outside!

Pick Your Card

  • Make it pop: A 3-D Christmas tree card uses pleated rectangular strips of paper — folded accordion-style — to unfurl a spectacular display.
  • Tie it snugly with a bow: A gift-wrapped card prove that presents aren’t the only things made prettier with a bow at Christmas time.
  • Roll out the rickrack: Rickrack — a braided trimming — zigzags into candy canes, Christmas trees, and snowflakes and other symbols of the season.
  • Forage for inspiration: These nature-inspired cards are adorned with sparkly sprigs of evergreen.
  • Add some seasonal sparkle: Using a fine-tip brush, add some dusty snow to a wonderful winter landscape.

Display Your Cards

  • Hang them as ornaments: Line them along the mantel or, more traditionally, dangle them from your tree.
  • Bedazzle them with jewelry:  Poke a pair (or several pairs) of stud earrings into a Christmas tree card so they look like twinkling ornaments.
  • String them into a garland: They can dress a along the mantel or descending flight of stairs.
  • Pin them into a wreath: Encircle your cards into a festive paper decoration.
  • Watch more of Martha’s ideas for displaying your collection of cards.