Sharing the Holidays Through Christmas Letters

Central Park, Manhattan

My wife’s family lives in South Carolina, mine lives in Tennessee, and we live in New York. We don’t get to see either side as often as we’d like, though we fly south when we get the chance.

The holidays are a problem.

We want to see both families, so we try to divide and conquer. We spend Thanksgiving with one side, and Christmas with the other.

Both families want us for Christmas, though, so we alternate years. Last year was Christmas with her family, and this year we’ll be with mine. It’s the best we can do, but it’s far from perfect – one family always misses out on Christmas morning.

We make phone calls and send gifts, but what really helps is the Christmas letter. When we mail our Christmas cards, we enclose a 1-2 page letter describing highlights from the past year, along with a couple of photos and funny stories.

Yes, it’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it. The holidays are a time for storytelling and reflection, and these letters help our friends and family feel more connected to us.

Even if you don’t have time to write a letter, you can send a photo card with a personalized message. Family photos are great, but pictures with a story behind them can be even better. Find a way to let loved ones into your life this Christmas, even if you can’t be with them in person.

Do you send an annual Christmas letter?

Photo credit: Jon Nicholls

The Proof is in the Pudding

This old cook’s saying means that you won’t know how a recipe turned out until you taste it. However, in our business a “proof” lets you see how your card will look before we print it. It adds a little cost and time to the order, but it can provide immense savings in the long run, especially if you’re requesting custom colors for a logo, special imprinting or other custom touches. A proof ensures the card will look like you imagined it would. And if something needs to be changed, it’s easy to do at this stage.

How Do I Request a Proof?

  • Select “yes” in Step 4 of your order process. This will generate an electronic proof in a PDF format that will be emailed to you. There is a service charge of $15, but if you change your layout after receiving your proof, you will not have any additional charges.

Will You Send a Proof Before I Order?

  • The company will send you a “pre-proof” if you request it. A pre-proof is a mock-up that allows you to get an idea of what your card layout will look like when finalized. It’s only used on standard orders. You select the card number, the verse, ink color, font, and your text and email us at This is an especially good idea if you are worried about the end result.

If you have other questions about proofs, email or call us at 866-388-0137 and we’ll be happy to help you.

Keep an All-Occasion Box of Cards Handy

Don’t you hate it when you realize you’ve missed someone’s birthday or other important life event? Who wants to be known as “Belated Birthday Guy?” Giving cards to co-workers or clients at work is a thoughtful gesture. But beyond getting that birthday card to the recipient, you want to have some cards on hand for all occasions. That way when something comes up that you’d like to acknowledge, you’re prepared.

What Cards Should you Have on Hand?

1. Birthday
Start with an assortment of different types of birthday cards. You’ll want several styles:

  • More formal, traditional birthday cards that you would send to a client or colleague that you don’t know well. These also work for new business associations.
  • Casual cards that are appropriate for a closer work relationship or a client with whom you’ve had an account for a while.
  • Funny cards that would be great for a colleague/buddy.

2. Thank You
Stock up on a selection of different cards in this category, too. Have some formal cards with pre-printed verses and a few that you can insert a personalized greeting. Also add more casual, blank cards for co-workers.

3. Congratulations
These can be great “all occasion” cards. Congratulate someone on a promotion, landing a new account, or acknowledge a personal milestone.

4. Get Well
Have both traditional and casual or funny cards in this category.

5. Sympathy
This type of card takes more thought and discretion than the others. Pre-printed verses on formal, traditional cards are appropriate for almost anyone. Blank cards work well for people to whom you want to include a personal note.

6. Assorted Holiday Cards
Have versions of both traditional and more casual on hand for all holidays.

If you put some thought into getting your “all occasion” card box together, you’ll never be caught empty-handed at the next colleague’s or client’s event that you want to recognize.