Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Works For Me Wednesday #15 - Holiday card address list

Back when I was young(er) and single, sending out Christmas cards was an easy task. I don't have a huge family, and have never had a ton of friends. No problem.

Things became more difficult when I got married. My husband's family is much larger than mine and includes a lot of extended family who are still close and exchange cards. Suddenly this easy once-a-year job started getting a lot more complicated. Then we had kids, and I started an annual family update letter that only goes out to people we don't see or talk to often. And add in the fact that my dad's family is Jewish, but I still want to include them, so they all get Hanukah cards instead of Christmas ones - and you can see why sending 70+ holiday cards each year became pretty much a nightmare for me.

This is one area of my life where I felt capable of coming up with a workable solution. After all, I am pretty good with keeping information (if not toys, books, clothes, etc.) organized. So I sat down a few years ago and created a simple database in Microsoft Access. I have fields for everyone's name and address - and also their spouse's name and kids' names if applicable. And I have a couple of true/false fields for whether or not I send them an update letter with their card, and whether they get a Hanukah or Christmas card. Last year I also added a field to keep track of whether or not we received a card from them - I'm not sure why I want to know that, but it'll be interesting to look at in a few years.

Yes, I am a geek. But my database has made keeping track of my holiday card sending much easier and I can mail merge it with Word to create fun address labels as well.

It works for me!

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2 wonderful people said...:

Karen (Pediascribe) said...

This year, I did the ultimate in easy. I got preprinted cards from CardMyChristmas.com that included pictures of the kids. I printed labels from my computer address book. I just need to stuff, stick, stick, stick and I'm done.
No personal messages this year. No family update. No separate pictures.

Eva said...

I totally have a database for this. I try to write something personal, but it does help to have all the information in one place, and especially for keeping track of spouses' and children's names. I also track whether I receive one, and also am not sure why!

My same excel file has 3 other tabs -- gifts received for writing thank yous; gifts purchased by person (color coded as to whether purchased yet, or just the idea); and packages to track of things I've bought on line.

Yay geeks!