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Sending Christmas cards is a traditional, joyful way to express your sentiments to far away friends and family during the holiday season. With electronic correspondence and social media being commonplace these days, receiving a customized Christmas card in the mail will leave your acquaintances delighted and intrigued. Not only that, but physical Christmas cards have long-lasting impressions – often set on a mantle or counter top through the duration of the holiday season for everyone to pick up and see, rather than being deleted during one’s weekly inbox clean-up. If you’re thinking of personalizing your own Christmas card with PurpleTrail this year, check out the following advice to ensure your Christmas cards are a pleasure to read, and that your friends and family receive your festive tidings on time.

Whether you’re sending all of your recipients personalized correspondence or everyone on your Christmas card list is getting the same typed-out letter, we have some tips for you!
1. Stick to a length of about one page, using a 12 or 14 point font, with the addition of 2 or 3 photos. A good gauge is to dedicate 3 or 4 sentences to each family member.
2. Be sure not to boast about vacations or promotions – if many, many good things happened to you throughout the year, just pick your favorite/most important to share in detail. Conversely, if you happened to have a rough year and feel the need to vent, the same etiquette applies – pick the one thing that is most cathartic to write about. Sharing too many tragic stories may paint you in a woeful light, whereas showing off all the ways in which you are fortunate can come across as pretentious.
3. Make sure to focus on your readers during the last paragraph. This is where you’ll write your well-wishes for their holiday season and New Year. If typing out a letter, be sure to leave some space for an intimate, hand-written note to share details that only certain friends or family members may be interested in. Always end your Christmas letters on a positive, cheery note!

Believe it or not, there is a certain etiquette to signing and folding holiday cards! Though it may seem unnecessary, following the steps below will add a touch of class and sophistication to your cards.
1. Sign your Christmas letter or card starting with dad’s name, then mom’s, followed by all children, listed from oldest to youngest.
Example: Paul, Patricia, Polly, and Paul Jr. Smith. If the recipients are well aware of your family’s last name, feel free to leave it off.
2. If your family includes a step-parent and step-children, sign the parents’ names on the top line, then the kids’ on the the following.
Example: Paul and Samantha Smith
Polly, Paul Jr., and Seth - - no last name is included on the kids’ line as Seth does not share the same last name as Polly and Paul Jr.
3. When stuffing your envelopes, be sure that the front of the card is facing the back of the envelope – that way, upon opening, the recipient sees the decorative side of the card first. When inserting, the fold of your card (if there is one) should be at the bottom of the envelope, with the opening of the card at the seal of the envelope. This way, removing and reading the card feels most natural and convenient!
One of the most important things to keep in mind when sending Christmas cards is timing. As we all know, the holidays are super busy for everyone, especially our hard-working mail couriers! And, although the sentiment of a late Christmas card is still appreciated, it’s much more fun to receive one while the tree is still fresh.
1. Christmas cards should ideally arrive between December 1st and December 24th. If most of your recipients are on the opposite side of the country, be sure to get a head start on writing your letters and addressing those envelopes! While printed envelopes are convenient and clean, a hand-written envelope is more personal and charming.
2. If you’re choosing to focus more on New Year’s, send those in time for an estimated arrival of December 26th to January 14th. Then get ready to start mailing out Valentines!

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