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I'm Allison and I love planning for Christmas. If you find yourself overwhelmed by the holidays, never having enough time to enjoy the season, consider a new approach.

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Holiday Cards: Get that Junk Out Now

Holiday cards, because what else do you need to add to your to-do list then 30-50 hand written notes?

If you still send holiday cards through the mail, and you should, likely not a whole lot will change in your life between October and your mail-drop date in early December. This is another task that bogs us down and makes us grumpy, but can be done so early. There's a formula to the holiday card. It's something like Amount of Effort x Level of Creativity x Honesty = Done.

When creating your holiday cards, channel your craft. Are you a designer? Paper crafter? Do you enjoy sewing? Photography? Musician? Hand lettering? Love cooking? How can you take that craft and make a personal card out of it? This will require Level 3 Creativity and Level 3 Amount of Effort. To take it to a Level 4+, consider matching your cards, wrapping, any party invites you might send out and the decor of the party.

Want to include a personal touch within the Level 2 range? Go with a boxed card with a hand written note. Big box stores have some nice designs out now, or, if you want to go for the cream of the crop, check out letterpress cards I've pinned from Etsy or the Paper Source. If you're looking for a deal, visit HomeGoods early in November. You'll find some of the same cards you can find at the Paper Source deeply discounted on their shelves. For next year, consider day-after-Christmas sales to stock up in advance. We'll talk about this again in January.

Level 1 is the photo print card. Still personal but with minimal effort. Many photo card sites offer the option for you to not only upload your photo, but also to upload your mail list. The Paper Source also has some unique photo cards available. Now is the time for some great sales on these services as well. They're counting on you to wait until Black Friday to start! You can prove them wrong.

And of course, don't forget your holiday stamps. The USPS has them available now online or in stores.

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