Holiday Cards

Every year around this time I start thinking about holiday cards. Now holiday cards have a ton of decisions to be made. Do you hand write them or do you get them printed? If you’re not religious (or you’re of different religions) can you find non-denominational cards that you can send to everyone? How many do you send? Do you hand address them?

I’ll take a stab at answering the questions for myself. Many years ago, when my list was only in the single digits, I sent handwritten cards at the holidays. For the last several years the list has grown and I have taken the easy way out and put together photo collages of the highlights of our year, and gone to Vistaprint to get them printed.  Since my husband and I are not religious (and we were born of different religions), I usually opt for a “New Year’s” themed card and add a short bit of text to what’s being printed. The one thing I have done for the past few years is hand address the cards using my fountain pens. I really enjoy putting Robert Oster’s Fire and Ice in a broad-nibbed pen and going to town – all that shimmer and sheen just feels holiday-inspired.

Of course my dilemma for this year is that we haven’t gone anywhere and we’ve done very little due to coronavirus and the state of the world. While I miss my family and friends terribly, and I am deeply thankful for all my blessings this year, I can’t figure out the best way to go about sending holiday cards. I don’t have new photos of us, and it’s hard to think of what to write if I go the handwritten route.

Have you thought about your holiday cards yet? What will you do this year? I’d love to know!

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10 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I am notoriously bad with holiday cards, but I have picked up some very generic ones at card stores and usually add a letter to the card. This post has me thinking more of what I’ll do this year since it is looking like all holiday plans will be cancelled within my family (a huge bummer emotionally, but we all agree it is for the best). I usually only send cards to my closest friends and family so that makes it a pretty short mailing, haha.

    I usually bust out shimmer inks and fatter nibbed pens for the holidays. Nothing says a gift tag like Emerald of Chivor with a matching wax seal.

  2. Yes, I have thought about writing my holiday cards. I hand write all my cards and hand address the envelopes. I decorate my envelopes using rubber stamps, washi tape, and stickers. I always pick up cards on sale in the previous year. So, I bought my 2020 cards the end of 2019. I usually write a personal message in each one. I might mention a memory we share, a joke, or my new favorite quote. I always ask about their welfare. I might send a picture if I know they’d like to see it. But this year, I am not so into my holiday cards. I will put on some music and sit down with a cup of tea and do my best to write a thoughtful card that can bring a smile to my friends and family. I send about 25 cards.

  3. Green glitter + glue to (poorly) draw fir branches on blank cards, then customize the message inside by recipient. Feels more winter and non-denominational. If I lived in colder climes, I’d scribble the fir branch in green marker and add iridescent glitter for snow. My list is ~30

  4. I handwrite a message in all my cards but my Christmas card list is very limited so I don’t find it too onerous. It seems to me you have composed your message to friends and family in your post. “While I am deeply thankful for all my blessings this year, I miss you terribly. We haven’t gone anywhere recently but we have been… e.g. reading a lot, watching movies, and baking or whatever.”

  5. I am an old lady and I have been sending Christmas cards since my 20s. I make my own. For years, I silkscreened, then I rubber-stamped for a number of years. Now I am watercoloring the image and then printing it on cards. I include a brief printed letter telling about my past year along with a short handwritten greeting message. I still have friends from the 1960s that I don’t see anymore. I send 40-50 cards. The number dwindles each year. I love using colored inks with a fountain pen for the address and inside message.

  6. Although I love getting cards, for me it’s more about the conversation. So for family, most of them don’t write, I just send the one liner. But I adore art and communication with my correspondants.

  7. My husband and I have always made our cards together as a team project. The past 20 years or so, we have chosen one photo from our travels as the front image and have the cards commercially printed. Then we handwrite personal messages inside (I’m embarrassed to say we use labels for the addresses, but we send out about 75 cards. That’s my excuse, anyway). This year we might take a photo standing in the driveway, since that’s about as far as we’ve traveled. 😉 But at least we don’t have to worry about keeping up with the Joneses, since no one else went anywhere, either.

  8. When the corona virus lock downs hit, I ordered a bunch of plain white note cards and envelopes, and started writing to all my co-workers. In those early days of the quarantine, several folks told me that getting a handwritten letter or note in the mail made all the difference in the world. It didn’t hurt that I wrote them all with a Twsbi Eco 1.1 stub, and Noodlers Liberty Elysium ink. I also wrote to friends and family, this time using a 1.5 stub in a Lamy LX, and Diamine Syrah (the romantic in me likes the idea of writing a letter to someone I really care about in what looks like red wine).
    Since I’m a huger by nature, the handwritten notes are as close as we can safely get right now, so I’ve tried to continue to do so as much as possible. Now that it’s the holidays, I’m planning on something similar. We’ve done picture cards in the past, but that feels so impersonal this year, aside from what everyone else has mentioned; we haven’t done much. I’ve even ordered a new pen and ink to do it: Diamine Holly ink, and a Twsbi 580 in Rose, with a 1.1 stub. That will be one of my 2 official note and letter writing pens from now on.

  9. I’ve put together a list of about 60 people for this year’s holiday cards, and my plan is to hand write a short note on all of them. I’ve picked up a pile of postcards (which I’ve been enjoying a lot lately) as well as some flat note cards with envelopes — I might have enough. =)

    The envelopes will probably get typed addresses, as they’ve proven moderately incompatible with fountain pen ink, and I was looking for an excuse to get some real use out of the Royal manual typewriter I picked up from eBay a couple of years ago (now that I’ve finally gotten a replacement ribbon for it).

    For me, the Yule season officially begins when Santa passes in front of Macy’s on Thanksgiving Day, so that’s when I’m going to start writing cards. Several a day, to make sure everything hits the postbox in time for it to arrive at least close to Christmas. But, then, I’ve got Eastern European in my ancestry, so I can push it out to Russian Christmas if I have to.

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