I confess: I’m SO happy that the holidays are over.
Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE the holidays. I love how excited Carter gets when we talk about Santa, I love spending time with our families, and I love focusing on all the wonderful things we have to be thankful for. But once we’re into the new year, I gladly welcome the return of normalcy to our lives.
There’s just one more thing to do before the holidays are officially wrapped up.
Before we start taking down all of our Christmas decorations and putting away our tree, I always take some time to send thank you cards to everyone who made Christmas special this year.
For instance, my mother-in-law who always hosts Christmas and serves the most delicious dinner of the year; my Aunt & Uncle from Florida, who send each of us our own personalized ornament every year; and my grandma who still spoils us with more gifts than we deserve!
I know it can seem overwhelming at the end of the holiday season to have to send more cards, but trust me, it makes a big impact to those who receive them. It may be easier to just send a text or a quick email to say thank you, but sending a paper card is that little step that really goes above & beyond what people are expecting after the holidays.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
1. Keep your list small
Don’t let the number of people you encountered over the holidays overwhelm you – you don’t have to send thank you cards to everyone. Choose 3-5 people who really did something special for you this Christmas, and just focus on them.
2. Be specific
It’s awesome any time you can thank someone just for making your holiday special, but adding a few details can make the gesture even more meaningful. If your grandma really outdid herself with Christmas dinner this year, tell her what your favorite part was. Or, if your aunt bought you a shirt from her recent trip to Italy, it might make her day to know that not only is it just your style, but it fits just right, too.
3. Include a photo
When someone that you won’t see at Christmas sends you a gift, at the most basic level, they want to know that you got it and that you like it. BUT a photo showing you enjoying their gift can really emphasize how thankful you are. That perfectly-fitting new shirt from Italy? A photo thank you card that shows you wearing it would make your aunt even happier.
4. Make next year even easier
Part of what makes me feel overwhelmed by anything is having to start from scratch. (Seriously – I never make a recipe from scratch if it comes in a box!) So, I start a thank you checklist at the beginning of the season, and put it somewhere that I won’t forget to add to it. (I put mine on my fridge, but your phone or your purse are also good spots.) And to help you get started, download our free Thank You Checklist, courtesy of our etiquette expert The Gracious Girl.
It’s also a great idea to update your address book often, so you don’t have to worry about tracking addresses down when you need them. When I get Christmas cards or gifts in the mail from friends & family, I always double-check the return address before I pitch the envelope or box to make sure I have the right one in my address book. This makes things so much easier when thank you card time comes around.
I hope these tips help, and inspire you to keep the spirit going a little while longer with your own holiday thank you cards.
Happy New Year!