By Shanna Walker of The Chic White Sheep
You know the feeling. The feeling of dread as Christmas Card Season draws near. Fretting over the family photo, deciding on the perfect design, updating the address list, stuffing the envelopes, the list goes on. All this while trying to make Christmas magic happen for your own family. Not exactly jolly, is it?
Never fear, help is here! As a person who has sent 400 million Christmas cards (give or take a few), you can trust my tried and true method for Christmas Card Success. Just follow these 35 simple steps, and you, too, can get a lovely Christmas Card into the hands of your friends, family, random acquaintances, and several complete strangers before Christmas Day!
1. Decide you aren’t doing a card this year.
2. Change your mind. Resolve to keep it simple. For real. Just find a picture on your phone, drop it into a basic template, order a few dozen, move on with your life.
3. Realize all your phone pics are memes and screenshots of recipes you’ll never cook.
4. Book a session with the best photographer that money will buy and that has an opening. But not that much money. And it has to be a Sunday afternoon.
5. Scour the Internet for outfits that don’t exactly match, but just coordinate in a “hey-look-at-us-casually-standing-in-this-field-while-all-wearing-navy-and-a-very-specific-shade-of-coral” kind of way.
6. Realize that everyone needs new shoes. Everyone.
8. Complete photo session.
9. Apologize for all the things you said while getting ready for the photo session.
10. While waiting for photos, sift through thousands of card examples on the internet. Fret over sentiment. Would anyone be offended by “Merry Christmas?” Would “Happy Holidays” be better? Wonder if “Happy Holidays” would offend Jesus.
11. Have small crisis of faith. Decide that implications of offending Jesus are far worse than offending the dry cleaner. “Merry Christmas (and please don’t ruin my shirts),” it is.
12. Wait, why is the dry cleaner on the card list?
13. HOLY SHIT, WHY ARE THERE THREE HUNDRED PEOPLE ON THIS CARD LIST?
14. Stamps are HOW much?
15. Photos arrive. Holy hell, what have you been eating?
17. Receive first Christmas card in the mail. It’s mid-November.
18. Curse loudly.
19. Mentally remove Miss I-Have-My-Life-Together-and-This-Card-Matches-My-Underwear from your card list.
20. Laugh. Down to 299, bitches.
21. Stay up until 2 am previewing multiple cards with multiple pictures and multiple price points.
22. Show your spouse your top three choices, along with explanations of why you picked them, and ask his opinion.
23. Spouse reviews for 45 seconds. Gives opinion. Has absolutely no reason for opinion. Instantly forgets entire interaction.
24. Remember that there was another option that you actually really, really liked, and now that you think about it some more, that should definitely be the one you get.
25. Order Christmas cards. Quantity: SHIT TON.
26. Receive dozens of cards while waiting, each one causing a small rise in anxiety levels.
27. Cards arrive!
28. Realize that you now have a shit ton of cards that need to be stuffed, stamped, and addressed.
29. Curse. Quietly, because there are children present.
30. Remember that you have children capable of manual labor.
31. Tell kids to quit their damn whining and get to work if they want anything under the tree.
32. Take shit ton of cards to post office.
33. Smile because it’s over.
34. Laugh because you are never doing this again.
35. Cry because you know you will.
About the Author
Shanna Walker is a lover of wine, words, family, and friends. Not necessarily in that order, but especially when they’re all together. Shanna worked for several years in the Real Estate Finance industry before assuming her current role as full-time CEO of her chaotic household. She is responsible for the health and well-being of her hardworking husband, two precocious daughters, and a high maintenance Goldendoodle, as well as all the facilities and supplies needed to run such an operation. She’s doing an ok job with it all. To hear more of her thoughts on the ridiculous and mundane, you can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @chicwhitesheep, or browse her blog at chicwhitesheep.com.