Even when I was too young to receive any mail other than an annual birthday card from my grandma, I was always running to the mailbox to see what the mailman had delivered.
These days, I have a lot more mail coming in but I still keep that childhood joy alive by sending a lot of mail. I think receiving cards and letters is a wonderful surprise and I’m a regular face at my neighbourhood post office. While fewer people send holiday cards every year, it’s something that I adore doing. If you start early and keep organized, it’s easy to do, no matter how large your list of family and friends is!
The first step I take is to create a list of all of the people I would like to send cards to. I create a spreadsheet with columns for friends, relatives, work and other and start listing all of the people I want to send a card to. Figure out the total number of cards you’ll need and then budget for extras – mistakes happen! I also like to take a look at who I’m sending cards to and make sure the design I’ve picked is appropriate for each. I sometimes like to pick a second design with a neutral season’s greetings message. This list will also come in handy when you want to make sure you haven’t missed anyone!
Once you have your list and your cards, start writing them! I find it’s easiest to start early and do a few each day while watching Netflix and then put all of them in the mail in the beginning of December. The key is to leave a nice message in the card or write a short letter inside and make sure you write neatly.
I love taking some extra time to add artwork and fancy lettering or calligraphy to the front of the envelope. An easy way to add a festive touch is with faux calligraphy; it’s whimsical look hides any imperfections and inexperience. If you start with a soft pencil outline, you can fix mistakes as you go before committing with ink.
One way to create basic faux calligraphy is to write the text you want in oversized cursive. I like to write the recipient’s name really large, exaggerating some of the loops and using an uneven script. When you’re happy with your lettering, take a fine tip pen and trace over the letters lightly. Let it set for a second and study your letters. On the parts of the letter where your pen moved towards you (the downstroke) add some width to the letter, this will give the calligraphy effect by mimicking the motion of the nib. Add some holiday cheer with a simple holly design. I used acrylic paint and gold ink but you can create the same effect with felt markers.
Finally, remember that you probably shouldn’t send a card to your ex’s mom, your pharmacist or your last failed Tinder Photo by Danielle S. Fuechtmann date.
Danielle S. Fuechtmann