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Christmas planning now?!?! I know you think I am crazy. Yes, I know it is May. By starting some of the holiday planning now, it makes life a little less stressful during the last few months of the year. I find that May is a great month to start creating and updating the annual Christmas card list.
Google Docs is a great place to store your list. Not too tech savvy? Use index cards and a recipe style box. Either method is perfect for allowing updates that occur throughout each year. Start your list with all the names and addresses of your family, friends, coworkers, etc. By starting now, it will give you plenty of time to assure you have names spelled correctly, addresses in their proper context (include apt numbers, directional suffix like NW, etc), and address are current.
Through the coming months, jot down anyone you may have forgotten, created a new relationship with, or someone who did you an extra special favor/project. Christmas cards are a great way to show those you care about appreciation and goodwill for the upcoming year. By using a Google Doc or index card, you can add or remove names quickly and easily. They provide flexibility to add names that you may only wish to send a card to for that year.
Don't forget to make notations for those that you wish to send a card to due to their role in your daily life. For people like the kids' teachers, your mailman, garage man, etc, you may not have a specific name that you will be giving to yet If you know you will have 2 teachers in the upcoming year, just make a note of this on your list with a generic title, like "4th Grade Teacher".
By starting your list this early, you will already have an idea of the number of cards and stamps you will need. Perfect if you want to buy a few extra stamps each trip to the post office. By the time November rolls around, you'll be ready to get those cards in the mail early!