Sending Holiday Cards

‘Tis the season for Christmas music, holiday decorations, and…holiday cards? Each holiday season, you might give your friends little gifts and cards, and your family might send out cards to family around the globe. In addition to sending holiday cards to just family and friends, you may want to consider sending cards to previous internship supervisors, family friends who gave you advice, and mentors who sat down with you for coffee and informational interviews. Holiday cards can be short and sweet, and they are a nice gesture to show your network that you are thinking of them and to keep you in their minds. Before jumping into just sending off random holiday cards, we have compiled tips that we have learned over the years…

  1. Gather information: If you collected business cards from those you worked for or worked with, there is usually an address listed on the front. If you only have an email, you can simply send a message to the person who you want to send a card to asking for his or her mailing address. It is more convenient to have all of the necessary information before you start writing cards so that you can easily seal them up in the envelopes and send them off all at once.
  2. Send cards to your network: Send holiday notes to your old bosses, mentors, and people you have met before and admire. Just as you would email them every now and then with a ‘hello’ and update, holiday cards are a great way to stay in touch.
  3. What to write: You don’t need to write a novel. Simply (hand write!) a brief note wishing them a happy holiday season, a great new year, and perhaps one sentence about what you have been up to or a couple of sentences about a memory or important lesson learned from your experience together.
  4. Keep it ambiguous: If you aren’t sure whether your previous internship supervisor celebrates Christmas or Hanukkah, keep the message a little ambiguous by sticking to: “Happy holidays!” This way, you won’t offend anyone or make any assumptions. You can’t go wrong with wishing someone a ‘Happy holidays!’ or a “Happy New Year!’
  5. When to send: Since the holidays can be a crazy time to send letters and packages, it’s better to send your holiday cards earlier rather than later. Get your cards written, sealed, and stamped by the end of November or early December, and try to get them out by the end of the first week of December. This gives the cards plenty of time to make their way to their destination.
  6. Types of cards: The cards you send don’t need to be expensive. If you want to hand-make your holiday cards, that would be great! If you are looking to purchase nice cards, here are some good options: Papyrus / Tiny Prints / Shutterfly /Paper Source / Target / Barnes and Noble. If you get your cards in early/mid-November or at the end of Christmas from the year before, you can score some pretty sweet deals and save a couple of extra dollars.
  7. Plan ahead: For next Christmas, buy holiday cards from this year that are on-sale. That way you can save money and be prepared for next year’s round of holiday cards! Also, maintain a list of contacts with their addresses to make next year’s information gathering super easy.

Will you be writing holiday cards this holiday season?