linkedin image
Do You Know When To Start Your Holiday Cards?


Creating and mailing holiday cards can be quite the process, especially with current paper shortages and challenges with the United States Postal Service. That’s why it’s important to get started on your holiday cheer early. Here’s our timeline for creating your cards, including when to schedule photo shoots, recommended print dates, and ideal mail dates, so that your holiday cards arrive before the holidays.
Family Pictures


Because of wedding season and end-of-the-year holiday photo shoots, the last few months of the year are typically the busiest for photographers. That’s why it’s important to get in touch with a photographer and schedule your photo shoot sooner rather than later. 

Depending on your photographer, images are usually ready within one or two weeks of your photo shoot. You’ll then want to schedule time to choose the best photo, prepare the contents for your holiday card, and create the design. If you want to order the cards in the first or second week of November, you need to have your photo shoot sometime in October. 

Even though it seems early to talk about taking family photos for your holiday card, scheduling the  photo shoot for October, or even September, isn’t that far-fetched. And again, the sooner you talk to a photographer to get on their schedule the better. Start contacting your favorite photographers now. 
All the cards


If you’re ordering your holiday cards online, the printing and shipping times will vary depending on the website you use. For example, Shutterfly's standard production and delivery time is five to seven business days, and Zazzle’s standard shipping averages four to seven business days. Premium or expedited shipping can usually happen within one to three business days. 

AAA Members save 15% on products and services at retail The UPS Store locations. Plus, they save 5% on UPS Shipping and up to 30% discount on online printing services. Learn More


That said, you won’t want to feel rushed or stressed waiting for your cards to be delivered. To avoid rush shipping costs and possible delays, give yourself two to four weeks to design and order your cards and have them delivered. Aim for the first or second week of November. 

If you’re printing the cards yourself, or printing them at a local pharmacy or Walmart, have them designed by the second week of November and try to print them the third week of November.
Writing a christmas card


To ensure your friends and family are able to enjoy your holiday card before the year-end craziness begins, you should aim for mailing your cards no later than two weeks prior to Christmas. However, mailing your cards three to four weeks beforehand may be a better option, in case of any delays with the post office. Set a goal to mail your cards during the last week of November or the first week of December. 

Reduce some of the stress of mailing the cards by preparing the mailing list early. For example, maintain a spreadsheet of all recipients and their addresses, and update information as needed throughout the year.