Sending Holiday Cards or e-cards? Here's My 7 Step Process to Make it a Whole Lot Easier!

I know it's still November but in a few days it will be December - and the holiday whirlwind (if it hasn't already) will soon begin. However, we don't need to get caught up in the holiday madness - we just need to prepare ahead a little. And remember, sending holiday cards is not compulsory!

So, the first thing you need to do is decide IF you're going to send cards and gifts - and then commit to that decision. The world speeds up year on year and we're all busier than ever. On the one hand we worry about the environment, wasted paper and trees. On the other hand, without connection what's the point to our existence?

As a small business owner - which is what most of us coaches are - there is no doubt that the holidays can be a great time to thank and reconnect with people, both personally and professionally. Personally, I value connection - so I'd like to encourage you in sending holiday cards to current clients, past clients you had a special connection with and to the few people who help your business run smoothly (your accountant, your VA if you have one, perhaps even your partner!)

And yet, if sending holiday cards feels like another burden - guaranteed to throw you over the edge - then let go! Either severely limit the number of cards you send - or send none at all! I usually send about 120 cards to friends, colleagues, clients and family. Last year I was super busy and only sent 35. It felt really good to give myself permission NOT to try so hard. Some of my friends have actually stopped sending holiday cards altogether - it's all about knowing what's IMPORTANT to YOU.

So, if you decide you DO want to send cards, below are some steps to help you get organized. And yes, I'm a big fan of lists - not as a way of tyrannizing ourselves - but to focus ourselves on what is important and let go of the rest.

Here's My 7 Step Process for Sending Holiday Cards below:

  1. In Excel or a similar spreadsheet, make a list of the people you:
    a) Want to Thank, Reconnect with or Recognize (put a 1 in the column to the right of these)
    b) Should Thank, Reconnect with or Recognize (put a 2 in the column to the right of these)
  2. Then, for each person decide whether you'll send a Card or E-card (put a C or an E in the next column along against each name)
  3. Then finally add a date column and write by when it needs to be done (take into account posting dates/when you'll see them etc.)
  4. Now sort the list - sorting first on the Want to/Should Column and then by the Date. This list is now prioritized both by importance to you and urgency (date).
    Tip: You can add other helpful information eg. a column for a gift or break down your 'Shoulds' into 2s (important) and 3s (less important). You could also identify which items could be delegated (eg. to a spouse, friend or VA).
  5. Count how many cards and gifts you need - and add this to your 'To Do' List.
  6. Block out time in your diary NOW to write the Cards and Ecards. Evenings are good for this.
    Tip: I recommend doing this late November/early December to reduce stress and avoid post office line-ups.
  7. Then next year, use this list again - and simply add/remove people as necessary!

Hope this helps.

PS. Remember, handwritten cards can be simple or include a printed update/poem, an e-card can be personal and include an inspiring quote, a gift can be non-material (eg. a charitable donation on their behalf or the gift of your time and attention). Do what works for you - there are no rules!

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Contributing Author:

Emma-Louise Elsey has been coaching since 2003 and is the Founder of The Coaching Tools Company and Fierce She's passionate about coaching and personal development. Originally a project and relationship manager for Fortune 500 companies she combined her love of coaching, creativity and systems to create over 100 brandable coaching tools, forms and exercises including 30+ completely free coaching tools. She now serves coaches and the coaching world through her exclusive newsletter for coaches, Coaches Helping Coaches Facebook Group and many other great tools for coaches, plus resources and ideas for your coaching toolbox. The Coaching Tools Company is an official ICF Business Solutions Partner.

Learn more about Emma-Louise & see all their articles here >>

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