You've Got...Holiday Cards
I know the wave of holiday cards spitting through my mail slot is about to start. It's one of my favorite parts of the holidays -- especially getting pictures of friends and family I haven't seen in a while or reading a few lines about what people have been doing all year. Every year is a crazy scramble for me to get my cards out so this time I tapped the expertise of Sarah Stefany, the holiday card guru for VistaPrint. Here's what she had to say:
What are the trends in holiday cards this year?
The traditional greens and reds are much lighter than they have been, sometimes being pink and light green. You're seeing purples, a lot of metallics, browns and golds. I've seen damask patterns and jacquards, as well. The whole baroque thing is very "in" and designs within designs. You see a lot of silhouetted designs like the silhouette embellished with swirls and different patterns. Speaking of swirls, reindeer this year are big. Their antlers are really swirly and filled with bobbles and ornaments.
So no more Santas and Christmas trees in the cards?
Santa is still around but he's thinner. The elements for the holiday are still there but we're just updating our look as a nation.
When should you plan on having your holiday cards arrive at their destination?
People start to send them at the beginning of December. People like to get them between the 15th and Christmas and then New Year's cards sprinkle in the first week of the new year.
It seems every year I get more and more New Year's cards. Is that a new trend?
People are so busy and if they don't get their Christmas or Hanukkah cards out, they're able to send a New Year's card. In Europe, New Year's cards are much hotter than they are in the U.S.
How do you update your friends and family without overwhelming them with a long letter?
A really great way is with photo collage cards. They let you use up to nine different photos from throughout the year in your holiday greeting. That's a subtle way to show people what's going on without having to talk and talk. On the reverse, manufacturers are including an area in the card where you're able to upload a little letter. You have a 6x9 or 5x7 area where you update them briefly, but you don't have to tell such a long story.
How should you handle the wording if some people celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah or some other holiday?
As long as the sentiment comes from your heart, I think people really identify with that. It can be only two or three words but it's sensitive to the people you're sending it to. You can take care of that issue on a case-by-case basis.
How much should people expect to spend?
You can spend anywhere from 50 cents or $1 per card to $5 and $6 with the high-end paper lines. If you're doing the high-end photo cards, you're spending money on photography, processing and then you're also spending time applying the photos to the cards. With this huge wave of digital photography, there's a cost effective and quick way to put together a great-looking holiday card.
Are you sending holiday cards this year? What will they look like?
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