Even though sending out Christmas cards may not be the most frugal activity, I love to receive cards from my friends and family (so I assume they like to receive them from me...and see how our boys have grown over the last year). Plus, I have many friends that I may only communicate with through our Christmas card (although that's changing more and more with Facebook).
Although I would love to hand write every address for my Christmas cards (and include a handwritten note), I just don't have time to do that for the 60+ cards that I send to friends and family each year. So several years ago, I developed a Christmas card database that I use to keep track of my Christmas card list and to print out address labels.
I thought I would share the procedure for creating your own "database" and mail merge label document.
Christmas Card Database Tutorial
- Open the Christmas Card spreadsheet and make a copy for your own use. It contains all the fields that I use for my Christmas cards.
- Once you have entered all your data, save the file.
- Open a Word document
- In Word, choose Tools, Letters & Mailings, Mail Merge Wizard
- The wizard is on the right-hand column. Choose Labels for document type and click Next
- Choose Change Document Layout and then click on Label Options.
- Choose the labels you plan to print to (the number should be on the box) and click OK
- Click Next - Select Recipients
- Click Use an Existing List and browse for your Christmas Card spreadsheet you saved from the earlier steps
- Click Next - Arrange Your Labels
- Choose More Items and add the fields that you want to print on your label such as First Name, Last Name, etc. As you add the items, you will see them in the first label. You can add the line breaks when you've added all the fields.
- Once the first label is formatted like you want, click Update all Labels and your fields will show up on all labels.
- Click Next Preview Your Labels and your recipients information should show up
- Click Next Complete the Merge. You can choose to send the labels directly to the printer or to a new document. I usually choose a new document since I keep it as a record of who I actually mailed to already.
- Save your document to use next year.
That's it. Please leave a comment if you have any questions, and I'll reply to your comment. You should only have to set up the database and mail merge document once and then be able to edit as needed and use each following year. Although it creates some up-front work with entering the information, it saves lots of time in the years to follow.
Do you still send out Christmas cards? If you do, how do you address the cards...handwritten, labels?