Monday, November 29, 2010

Streamlining holiday cards

Over the years, the way I've done holiday cards has changed a bit. When I was a kid, my mother would design a handmade card and employ my brother and sister and me to help decorate them. These were small-batch artisanal cards, in today's parlance. When I got older and I started wanting to send my own holiday cards, I'd find cards I liked at Barnes and Noble, or, one year, Harrods, and spend Thanksgiving weekend writing unique messages to twenty or so families and friends. Now, as a business owner and married person, the list of recipients for my holiday greetings has grown somewhat, and hand writing messages, while a lovely thing to be able to do, isn't quite as practical or necessary as it once was. (In today's Facebook age, most of my relatives and friends can easily see what I've been up to over the year, should they care to.)

Our family's Christmas card from 1984.
This year I started using Send Out Cards, and I've been really happy with the product and the service. I'll be using Send Out Cards to create personalized holiday cards for everyone on my list, and it will take me probably half the time shopping for, writing, addressing and mailing cards would have.

Real Simple magazine had a great feature in the November issue regarding other online card services (unfortunately, the feature is not available online.) Send Out Cards is great, but it's fairly expensive to get started, as it is a subscription based service, with cards and postage extra. The sites Real Simple mentions just charge you for the cards you want to make. Not all of them also send the cards, like Send Out Cards does, and that's what makes a huge time difference in my opinion. Paper Culture is one that does provide this service. Among their other suggestions: Paperless Post (ecards), Shutterfly, and Tiny Prints.

Whether you are sending one holiday card or 500, it's worth looking into some of these new services.

Lelah Baker-Rabe is a Los Angeles-based professional organizer. To discuss your organizing needs, call her at 818.269.6671 or email

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