My cards are on the table
On Sunday night, after several weeks of procrastination and much hand-wringing and cursing, I was finally done. I finally designed and ordered our family Christmas cards. I still can’t believe it took me so long to do it, and what’s worse, I’m not even sure if they’re going to be delivered in time for me to send them to friends and family.
I suffer from major Christmas Card-related Anxiety. There are no self-help groups for this affliction, and no twelve step programs. And it is entirely self-inflicted.
My name is Andrea, and my Christmas cards have to be JUST SO.
Every year I swear that I’m going to change, but I never do. I know I can take the easy route and buy pre-made holiday cards, or heaven forbid, NOT SEND ANY AT ALL, but that actually hurts my heart to think about it.
I look at it this way: I love getting really nice Christmas cards, and in order to RECEIVE, I must give. And there’s no way around it.
For Christmas Card 2009 I threw a bedsheet over the hedge in my backyard and snapped a few digital photos of my kids. Here’s the one I used:
I uploaded it to moo.com and had photo postcards printed instead of traditional folded cards. I was pretty happy with the result. The postcards were better than I expected in terms of the print job and paper quality, and by choosing to go the postcard route I had eliminated envelopes from the equation. Ha! One less thing to fuss about!
This year, upon the recommendation of a friend, I tried Vistaprint.ca. The verdict is still out as I have yet to see the goods.
Getting photo cards printed is not for the faint-hearted. First, the photos. It was too cold to do anything outdoors so I rigged up something at home. Taking a useable photo of two squirmy kids took a couple of hours. Then, the designing of the card. There are so many decisions that have to be made. Which design? How many do I need? What should we have printed on the front: Happy Holidays? Season’s Greetings? Merry Christmas? After some soul searching I went with the latter, and I’d been tinkering with the wording when I suddenly lost all my work and had to start all over again (hence the cussing and hand-wringing).
Making the actual purchase took another 15 minutes. Paying for merchandise online is normally a pretty simple task. The order is summarized, I punch in my credit card number, and the deed is done. But this checkout was a hard sell. There were links and prompts throughout the process: “Are you sure you don’t need matching envelopes? It’s your final chance to get a self-inking stamp! How about a matching mousepad? CLICK HERE.” Fortunately I was able to avoid most of offers that came my way (except the one for the self-inking stamp, and two kinds of return address labels) but in the end I think I got a pretty good deal. Vistaprint has promised seven day delivery. We’ll see.
I figure that if I can (a) write and address the cards really fast and (b) Canada Post puts in some overtime, my Christmas cards might just make it to their destinations on time.
Oh, who am I kidding.
You know what I should have done? I should have had them printed with “Happy New Year” instead of “Merry Christmas,” and then I could have taken my time and sent them in January!