When should I send Christmas cards?
The holiday season is coming up and you may be wondering, when should I send Christmas cards? Now is the time to start the process of planning which Christmas cards to purchase, how many to send and gathering up your supplies for the season. Here are some helpful tips on when you should send Christmas cards, and a handy timeline.
**This blog post has been updated for 2020 to account for unpredictable shipping times due to COVID-19 delays and recent USPS changes.** 
Ideally, your Christmas cards should arrive at the recipient's home in early to mid-December. This will ensure that they won't miss the postal deadlines with the busy shipping season. Any time after Thanksgiving is an appropriate time to mail out your Christmas cards, but I recommend sending them at the earliest during the first week of December. If you plan to mail your Christmas cards on December 3rd, then you should have all of your supplies ready to go by Thanksgiving in order to write personal messages in the cards.

Supplies needed:

Holiday cards
A good writing pen
A list of the people you plan to send cards
Any other supplies to decorate your message or the envelopes, such as stickers or fancy pens and markers

Here's your timeline:

Order cards by November 6th.

You can purchase Yardia holiday cards as single cards or in packs of eight. This year, I've even created a holiday card and new year card specifically intended for the socially distanced pandemic lives we find ourselves in. 
In 2020, due to unpredictable shipping times, I'm recommending placing orders at least three weeks in advance of wanting to receive the shipment, so that's what we're going with in this timeline. The longest I've personally seen a shipment take to arrive at its destination has been four weeks, so it also doesn't hurt to order even earlier.
Optional: November 6th is also a great day to order family photos and/or write and print holiday letters if these are traditions you enjoy.

Order postage stamps: November 6th-16th.

If ordered online, the stamps should ship to you in around 5-7 business days, or visit your local post office to receive them immediately. Just know that this time of year can mean long lines at the post office. My personal favorite holiday stamps are The Snowy Day. You can find more seasonal stamps at the USPS online store.

Cards arrive around November 27th.

Hopefully you'll have received your cards even sooner than this, but in 2020, shipping times are pretty wild. 

Write, address, stamp and seal cards: November 27th-December 2nd.

Spend your post-Thanksgiving weekend at home writing cards to your loved ones you might not be able to see in person this year. This is a great opportunity to be heartfelt and share your memories, love and gratitude. And don't forget to write a card for your hard-working mail carrier and the other essential workers in your daily life.

Use a wet cloth to seal the envelope and finish it off with a fun sticker or decorative washi tape.

Mail cards: December 3rd

Get your cards into the mailbox, or mask up and drop them off at the post office by December 3rd to best ensure timely delivery. 

Cards arrive at the homes of the recipients: sometime around December 8-24. 

And look at that! You're all finished with your holiday mailing. Enjoy a mug of hot chocolate, cozy up by the tree and relax.