Christmas is such a big deal that many stores start their holiday season before Halloween is even over. If you plan to send out Christmas cards this year, you might be wondering about the best time to send them. November is often considered the most effective time to send cards, especially because you are more likely to get more cards in return the earlier you send our your own. Another benefit of sending cards early is that you can get them out of the way and enjoy the busier time of the season.
Long before November, though, you can lay some groundwork to make your job a lot easier. Keep a master list of names and addresses on file on your computer. Midway through every year, go into that file and check to see if any updates are needed. Summer is a good time to add or subtract the names and addresses of friends or to note a change of address, especially since summer is a busy moving season.
Buy printable labels so that you can print those addresses out for easy fixture onto the envelopes. Make sure you also have plenty of return address labels for yourself. You may even want to get a little ahead of the game by purchasing cards and attaching the labels months in advance; just make sure not to lose track of where they are.
In October or November, you should decide whether you would like to enclose a Christmas letter with your card. This is a popular way for people to share their family news with friends and relatives. Draw up a draft with some highlights of the year and let others in the family weigh in with their approval and suggestions. Sending Christmas cards can certainly be a family affair; get the kids involved by having them affix labels and stamps and stuff cards and letters into the envelopes.
While some people do send Christmas cards later, if you want to be sure of a pre-holiday arrival, you would do best to get those cards out by the second week of December. Bear in mind that it will take longer to reach a destination in another country. If some of the people on your list are international, you should make sure to send those first.
Being organized about how and when you send Christmas cards can save you a great deal of stress as you try to spread some holiday cheer to the people you love.