As someone who loves everything about sending out snail mail (writing letters, finding stamps, addressing envelopes,going to the post office or mailbox…), Christmas is like… well, Christmas.
I’ve been getting myself mentally prepared for this marathon of snail mailing excitement. I’ve loaded up on Santa Claus washi tape, and this is it! Show time 🙂
Whether you’ve got custom cards with a family photo, or you’re picking up a few cards designed by local artists, or if you’re crafty enough to make your own, this is the time of year to be sending out good wishes through the post. We’ve got a few festive cards from Gotamago in our shop (Note: I added these to the website with my very own tapping fingers, which is why they’re formatted a bit funny, but I’m assuming Jon is going to fix that lickety-split).
As I’m getting ready to send our season’s greetings, I thought I would share a few tips and tricks on getting everything safely and on time through the post, and with good cheer.
Ahead of time, make a list of everyone you’re sending a card to, and ensure you have all of their addresses. This will really speed things up, and prevent any frustration so some cards won’t be put ‘on hold’ and possibly lost until you can find the address. It also makes the whole card writing and preparing for mailing process a lot faster.
Clear off the table, get some eggnog, and gather all of your supplies together – your cards, pens, stamps, envelopes, and anything else you’re using to make your cards beautiful. Play some Christmas jingles. If your kids are involved, let them select a few fun markers or colours to use as they sign the cards themselves, or draw a small picture.
Typically you want to send your cards out to family, friends or close work colleagues around the second week of December. You don’t want to leave it too late, both because you want your recipient to have enough time enjoy the cards, and also because they might want to send one back. If you’re sending cards to businesses, consider sending them even a bit earlier, as some businesses close early, and you’ll want them to receive the card before they leave for the holidays.
Christmas stamps are out at Canada Post! I’m sure your local post office will also have some. While I don’t know that I can say no to a Christmas moose, I’m really liking the “Adoration of the Magi” stamps. If you have the inclination, you can also consider using vintage Christmas stamps – these can be a bit of a hunt, but you can look on places like eBay or at stamp fairs for a good deal on them.
Sometimes I like to do a bit of extra in addressing envelopes – it doesn’t always have to be super fancy, but I like to break out my flex pens and doodle for fun, so I might as well put it to good use 😉
Remember to use a permanent or semi-permanent ink if you’re addressing envelopes with fountain pen ink. I myself don’t always use permanent fountain pen ink because even if a few drops of rain get on, there’s usually just a bit of ink that loosens from the envelope. However, it’s Canada and it’s winter and there might be snow and wet hands shuffling envelopes around.
You can also rub a bit of candle wax or clear nail polish over the address to make sure it gets there safely.
Remember to put a return address! Especially if you may have moved recently, this is a good way for the recipient to make sure they have the correct address, and they may even want to send you a card or a letter back!
If there’s one time of year for an added touch, it’s Christmas. I love wax seals, so if I have time I put them on envelopes year round, but at Christmas a little extra formality and expense is just perfect.
Most important of all: take the time to write something special! Christmas is the time of year that gives us an opportunity to connect and re-connect with people in our lives, and there is nothing more heart-warming than receiving a card from someone that includes a handwritten message inside. Warm wishes for a happy holiday of course, but isn’t it kind of something else to read something personal and meaningful in a card?
And lastly, in case you forgot, this is my absolute favourite thing about Canada Post: your kids can send a letter to Santa, at the North Pole, and he’ll write back!
NORTH POLE H0H 0H0
Letters need to be sent by December 16th, and remember to include your full return address 🙂
I’m a bit heart-broken to say that our Letter Writing Club is canceled for December, possibly the worst month for it, other than February (Valentine’s Day). It’s because we’ve extended our shop hours, but we’re also preparing ourselves to make sure all of your holiday orders get out the door as fast as possible.
By the second Sunday, it may be a touch on the late side to get your cards out in the mail, but it would have been delicious to celebrate the season with you all, and some egg tarts. I’ll be thinking of all of you as I write my Christmas cards late into the night!
…Who knew I wasn’t thinking about you all the time 😉