One of the biggest stresses in the run up to Christmas is undoubtedly sorting out Christmas cards and Christmas presents…
It’s the task that takes the most time, brings up issues (budget / what to get / who to send to etc…), and basically takes over for a while until it’s sorted.
As such, I wanted to look today at some top tips to make this much easier. A little bit of planning up front can do wonders, trust me!
By the way – if you want your own copy of these tips – and 70+ more! – I’ve put together a totally FREE eBook as a gift from me to you – you can download it by clicking the image below.
But for now, let’s get started shall we!
CHRISTMAS CARD AND PRESENT TIPS & INSPIRATION
#1 – HAVE A BUDGET
Don’t forget to budget for both presents and cards. Write a list of everyone you want to send to this year and stick to it – don’t get tempted by little extras, and also remember postage charges.
The little things add up really quickly and before you know it you’ll be wondering where your cash went…
#2 – HOMEMADE GIVES THE PERSONAL TOUCH
If you have never considered homemade presents before, why not give them a go?
Do something based around a skill you have, and the recipient will be over the moon with the extra thought and care you went to. It also can cost a lot less than a present if you are on a budget.
Think about things like – cookies in a jar, a voucher for something you can help with (babysitting for new parents etc…), a plant you have grown etc….
#3 – TRY TO KEEP COSTS DOWN WHEN THERE ARE LOTS TO BUY FOR
Along the same lines as the first tip – if you have a large family then you may want to set a budget per person, to keep everyone at the same level of giving (no-one feels bad etc…).
In our family we spend £15 on each person which works really well – and let’s us be a little creative about what we actually get!
If you prefer, you could only gift to children in the family, or pick a secret santa so that everyone only buys one larger gift for one person.
All these ideas can keep costs down and still be fun!
#4 – WRITE WISH LISTS
Wish lists are simply a list of things that each person in your family would love to have as a gift. They may or may not receive them, but this can really help when you are asked what your children want, or if you are stuck for something to get your partner.
You can write these easily by hand, keep a copy on your phone so you can read it when you are out and about – or (my personal favourite) you can use Pinterest and create a board for each person.
#5 – BUY LIGHT THINGS!
If you’re posting presents, then try and ensure you keep postage costs to a minimum by buying less heavy things. Much better to spend more on a present than the posting costs!
Things that would work really well are vouchers, certain clothes, scarves, travel sized games, prints (ready to frame), DVDs and slippers.
Less good would be books, board games, home accessories and toiletries.
#6 – BUY THINGS AS YOU SEE THEM
Don’t wait until your designated Christmas shopping day, or until closer to Christmas to get things.
If you see things at any time of the year that would make the perfect gift for someone – get it there and then.
You may not remember what you saw at a later date, or there may be a delivery delay when you do get round to ordering it, or it may not be in stock at all any longer – so why run the risk?
You will also thank yourself when you get nearer the big day and you have less shopping to do!
#7 – WRAP AS YOU BUY
It’s a lot less overwhelming to wrap one or two presents at a time, and then store them away until you need them rather than wait until you have to wrap them all in one go!
You will also be able to hide things a little easier as there will be less chance of people finding out what they have got, should they go looking (unless you wrap something obvious of course!)
#8 – PUT TOYS TOGETHER
Don’t wait until Christmas day to start to put together the kids toys. If it will take a long time then the kids will get bored probably and I’m sure you would rather spend the time playing with them rather than doing chores!
It also gives you a chance to check all the pieces are there and all batteries etc… that are needed are to hand – much less stressful than finding out on the day that they can’t actually play with it at all…
#9 – BUY EXTRA PRESENTS
I know, I know – surely buying what’s already on your list is enough – but what happens when someone unexpected turns up, or you have inadvertently forgotten someone?
Having a small stash of presents can come in really useful!
Things like chocolates, gift vouchers, candles, wine etc… are pretty generic but will still be appreciated when wrapped up beautifully – and you can relax safe in the knowledge that every eventuality has been covered.
#10 – GET PRESENTS READY TO SAVE ON POSTAGE
Think about who you are seeing in the lead up to Christmas and get their presents ready by that time – it will save you on postage costs, and helps to get things out of the way and ticked off the list!
#11 – WRITE CARDS & WRAP PRESENTS IN ORDER
Start with any for people you are seeing earlier than Christmas, then tackle those that need posting, and then lastly anyone you are seeing over Christmas/New Year itself.
#12 – MAKE A NOTE OF WHAT YOU BOUGHT
It makes sense to keep a note of what you bought for people over the past years, because then you won’t double up or repeat a theme for them too many times (unless they always want a book, for example).
#13 – USE LAST YEARS CHRISTMAS CARDS AS TAGS
Cutting out the picture on the front of last years cards will enable you to recycle them to use as lovely gift tags this year – easy and inexpensive!
#14 – BUY DIFFERENT WRAPPING PAPER
You may be buying for kids and adults, and also wrapping on behalf of someone else (!), so it makes sense to have a few different wrapping papers so that it doesn’t all look the same….
(I like to use brown parcel paper for my wrapping paper, as I can add stamps / ribbons / tags etc… to make them look great, but the paper itself is pretty inexpensive and looks stylish.)
#15 – WRITE A FEW CARDS A DAY
Writing cards can be very time consuming, and unless you love this job it can feel really overwhelming.
Instead of procrastinating over it, and possibly leaving it until the last minute when you just HAVE to get them done, why not write just a few a day instead.
I suggest putting a few in your bag each day and then you can grab them and write them when you are in a queue or sitting having a coffee etc….
Do them all in November as well, so you can relax come December in the knowledge that they are already done and ready to post.
#16 – PERSONALISE SPECIAL CARDS MORE
Grandparents and relatives love to get hand drawn cards from the kids, or a note from them inside.
Make your cards really special so they feel like a present in themselves.
#17 – DON’T SEND CARDS JUST BECAUSE YOU’VE ALWAYS DONE IT
If you think cards are a waste of time and money – then consider sending out a Christmas email to your friends and family explaining that you are going to donate some money to charity instead.
Alternatively, you could send online cards to save postage costs and time as well….
#18 – USE YOUR COMPUTER TO HELP
Have your address list on your computer and print each one out onto labels. This means you don’t have to hand write all the addresses as well which makes life so much easier!
Yes – it takes a little bit of effort to set up – but then it’s just seconds to update and print off each year after that.
Which leads me nicely on to….
#19 – UPDATE YOUR ADDRESS BOOK
People often send new addresses on their cards – or a letter inside with family updates – ensure your address book is updated accordingly. This is where a HOME FILE comes in really handy – as it’s the one place to update so that you stay on track.
#20 – SEND CARDS WITH PRESENTS
Don’t send cards earlier than presents if both need posting to the same people.
Save on postage costs by putting the card in with the present. Doing it this way saves a few pennies – and this adds up!
#21 – SEND EVERYTHING BY DECEMBER 1st
Try and send everything by Dec 1st – ahead of queues and postal deadlines (and leaving you to enjoy December!) – also send things 2nd class to save money as you are early enough!
#22 – UPDATE YOUR CARD LIST AS YOU GO…
If you get a card from someone, ensure that they’re on your card list. If they’re not – add them to your Christmas card list for next year (and if you have time, send them one for this year as well)
#23 – WRITE A THANK YOU LIST AS YOU UNWRAP GIFTS
Write a thank you list as you open presents – so you don’t forget who sent you what.
It makes it much easier to write your thank you cards afterwards as you can simply tick them off as you go.
#24 – WRITE THANK YOU CARDS ASAP
Write thank you cards between Christmas and New Year.
It’s lovely to send them as soon as possible after Christmas so that the gift giver gets their thank you quickly, and it also means you can utilise the time between Christmas and New Year for this before you go back to school/work and routine and daily life kicks in again….
#25 – COPY KIDS THANK YOU’S
Do your children hate writing thank you’s?
It can be difficult to get smaller children to sit down and focus on thank you notes – but instilling in them the need to thank people is really important – so I have a quick trick for you (actually from my best mate who has done this with her girls every year).
Get each child to draw a lovely picture of their Christmas, with some words to say
“Dear , I hope you had a lovely Christmas – we had a great time because we ……………… Thank you for my present – I absolutely loved it! Lots of love from ……”
Then photocopy that letter and fill in the blanks for each person.
That way, everyone gets a lovely thank you note, but it hasn’t been too difficult to achieve – perfect!
(By the way, there is a printable in my Christmas Planner that is a thank you letter that you can simply print off as often as you need and get your children to fill in the blanks – they can add to it if you like as well, but it saves a LOT of time!)
WOW – 25 tips – who knew there was so much you could do to get your cards and presents planned so well!
I hope you found a few tips to help you this year, and if you have any of your own to add to the list, please leave a comment below as I’d love to hear from you – thanks in advance, and Happy Christmas (when it comes around!)
In the meantime – if you’d like to read a few more Christmas tips, and have a copy of them all in one place – grab your FREE eBook now: –