There’s no doubt that electronic communication is fast and convenient, but there’s one time of year when we seem to prefer a more conventional approach. Americans send 1.6 billion holiday cards by postal mail annually, proving that we still favor tradition when the days get shorter and the year draws to a close.

A Little History
Sir Henry Cole of London commissioned the first Christmas card in 1843 by having an artist create an image for a holiday greeting. He then had two batches of cards printed—2,050 in total—and sold them for a shilling each. Over the years, holiday cards gained momentum. Today, even the White House gets in on it. Since Calvin Coolidge issued the first official Christmas message to the American people in 1927, it’s been traditional for the president and first lady to send White House Christmas cards each year.

A Little Help
Despite tradition, the holidays are a busy time and you might be tempted to cross holiday cards off your to-do list. Before you do, we have a few tips on how to wrap up this annual task faster than you can say “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”!

Remember that not everyone you’ve ever met needs to get a card this year. If you’re still sending yuletide cheer to distant relatives and old friends whom you haven’t actually spoken to in decades, it may be time to cross them off the list. If you don’t want to feel like a total Grinch, consider sending an environmentally friendly ecard instead. Our tongue-in-cheek flowchart will help you decide who to ditch!

When it comes to getting your holiday cards sent out, organization is key. You know how Santa’s elves manage to make all those toys? No, it’s not magic; it’s efficient production. If you’re using snail mail, prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and embarrassing spelling errors by printing out address labels. Draft a message on your computer (and check it for grammar mistakes; may we suggest Grammarly?), then copy it by hand onto your cards or cut and paste into your ecard. It’s a lot easier to work in batches, completing each step for all your cards.

Sending holiday cards can be a delightful way to let people know you’re thinking of them. Put on some seasonal music, pour a glass of eggnog, and carry on this time-honored tradition.

Holiday Card Flowchart for Pro Adults

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