I spent all day yesterday working on Christmas cards. First I picked a bunch of pictures, resized and cropped them, and tiled them into a big (page-size) mosaic. Then I spent an hour or so writing the big ol’ form letter. In one sense, I despise form letters because they’re terribly impersonal– and everyone knows it. In another sense, when I’m sending 200+ cards I don’t have a lot of choice.

In the Good Old Days ™ I would handwrite a couple paragraphs in every card I sent. People got their personalized messages, and everything was good. The years went by, and each year I find that my list of recipients has grown. At some point it just became impractical to write so much… sadly.

After finishing The Letter, I put my printer through its paces. It’s a color laser printer– very sweet– but I’m running dangerously low on my drum kit life (whatever that is). So I was just hoping the printer would make it through 200 front-and-back solid full-color pages. It did.

Then came the envelopes. Usually I print address labels (recipient and return address) and then we spend a bunch of time peeling them off and sticking them on each envelope. Instead, this year I printed directly on the envelope, which allowed me to put a cute picture of the kids in Santa hats right on the envelope.

The last step, of course, was the actual folding, stuffing, and stamping. Laralee and I worked together this morning and did all of them in about two hours. That included brief (one-line, mostly) handwritten messages to each person, and in the end we had a huge stack of stamped envelopes.

Now I’ve got to do another 40 or so for my clients…