Christmas Cards When You're Single

Who says you need a family to send out cards!

December 25, 2018
JMatt Christmas Card
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Season's Greetings and Happy Holidays! ...is the most politically correct way to say Merry Christmas these days. This is the time of the year where you get texts from friends and family for your address and a few weeks later you have a holiday card in your mailbox. These cards are one-sided or two with pictures of the whole family - look at what little Tina or Jack have been up to this year!

Whenever you visit your parent's house you see a section on the refrigerator or even a whole wall dedicated to the many cards they have received. If you're lucky, your parents still include you in their family card that they send out. You're on their card, counts.

But what if you're single and no one has you on their card? Well, if you're me - you make a Bachelor's Christmas Card! I had a general idea that I've been sitting on for a while but I had never actually put in the effort to pull it off (official/final product towards the bottom).

It was more involved than I expected from the cost to printing, to delivery but I think it turned out well, so here's the rundown in case you want to recreate a single's Christmas card too. First, figure out your concept - I wanted to be in a robe and slippers by the fireplace with a glass of wine. Problem was, I don't own a home with a fireplace (nor do my parents) and I also don't own a robe (or slippers). So, I asked around and found a friend with a fireplace that would let me borrow there's for a few photos.

Then, I booked my friend (Kellie McGinnis) to shoot the actual photo, who awesomely did it for free - yay friendship! Now I had to get the outfit and at this point, we're already into December so I know my time is running low for execution. Robes are hard to find! You've probably scrolled up or down at this point and are thinking 'JMatt, you're not wearing a robe in your photo.' YOU are correct!

I stopped at Goodwill first, couldn't find slippers or a robe. Went over to Off/Aisle (discount Kohl's clothes), found slippers for $10 (SOLD!). Still couldn't find a robe - where do people buy robes?! I did, however, find a Flannel PJ set that matched (which was the only matching PJ set for someone as tall as me), so I figured this would be equally as awesome to a robe and got it for... $30. We're up to $40.

The photo shoot itself was a blast, I already had a nice bottle of wine and poured out glasses for all. Chad was laughing and sending occasional set shots to his wife (who regrettably was out of town!). Time admittedly got away from us, which can only be a good thing, right?

Kellie sent me the photos and it was on to me to design the actual cards, the trick on saving money is to create postcards instead of a physical card that needs envelopes, at least that's my assumption. I designed my side with Photoshop, added the flannel border and the text of "Season's Greetings from JMatt ...just JMatt". Then I went to Canva, I uploaded my design on one side and on the other (postage side) I purchased a one-time use license of a design they had for $1.

Everything lined up well, I had Canva print 50 copies and mail it to me for just $16 ($15 copies + $1 for their design + $0 for shipping/handling). Ordered on Saturday, December 15 and they arrived Thursday, December 20. I then hand-delivered all but 12 cards ($0.50 postage stamps x 12 cards = $6). *Apparently postcard stamps are just $0.35 cents (darn it, I only had full price stamps - rookie mistake).

All said and done, my Christmas Card 2018 project cost me $62, the look on my friends and family's faces was priceless!

Seasons Greetings from JMatt ...just JMatt

Here's what I learned: whether you're a single girl or a single guy, it is still very worthwhile to make holiday cards - especially if you or someone you know has a creative idea mixed in with a little sense of humor!

I also learned that 50 cards weren't enough (though, for this year, it'll have to do); if I'm single this time next year, I'll definitely do it again but order 75-100 cards. What I didn't really factor in was co-workers, once you sling out a few you get into this weird "should I have given a card to literally every co-worker or just the ones I work with directly day in and day out?" Same goes for family, do you send one just to the Aunts and Uncles or separate ones for the adult cousins too? Then finally, when you're almost out of cards, which friends get a card?

The last thing is delivery, is it tacky to hand-deliver a holiday card or is expected that all of the cards are sent through the mail? As a single guy, I wanted to save as much money on this project as I could and hand-delivery saved 50 cents per card that I could give out in person. That would be $25 in postage alone if I mailed all 50 cards.

For trying something like this for the first time ever and keeping it under $75, I'm counting it as a win especially since I bought an outfit and set up a quick photo shoot. Though, now I'm curious what a family typically spends for their holiday cards if they got matching outfits and hired a photographer, $62 has to be a great deal, right?

Let me know what you think of my single guy card on social media at @JMattMke (same handle on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and Snapchat) or hit me up if you want to weigh in on some of the questions I posed throughout this blog!