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4 tips on writing the perfect holiday card during COVID-19

Cards are a great way to check in with friends and loved ones, says designer Erin Leroux

Sadly, many holiday traditions just can’t happen during COVID-19: Big parties, crowded dinners and kissing under the mistletoe are all recipes for potential disaster amid the second wave of the pandemic.

But one activity that is still allowed is the simple act of sending a card through the mail.

It’s a long-standing tradition that artist Erin Leroux said is particularly well-suited to our current moment.

“It’s a really easy way to send a simple message to your friends and family,” said Leroux, founder of the Kitchener-based card and stationery company Merrily Designs.

“It’s so important this year, when you can’t visit with friends and family, to feel connected.”

Leroux says writing the perfect card doesn’t have to be complicated and shared her top tips for getting started.

Start with the easy ones

If you plan to send out a big batch of cards this year, Leroux recommended starting out by writing cards to those to whom you’re closest.

She typically warms up by writing cards to her immediate family before moving on to her wider circle.

“I get a little handle on it before you get into the groove of writing some of the lengthier ones or the ones that are going to people that maybe you only write once a year,” said Leroux.

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Write something personal

In addition to writing “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays,” Leroux said to give a quick update on your life if you can.

“Even just something simple in the in the message of, ‘Still working from home, but the dogs are loving it,’ or something cute like that,” she said.

“It really just personalizes it a little bit more and makes it that much more memorable.”

Signing your name, and having each member of your household do the same, is another small touch that can make a card special, she said.

Don’t overthink it

Personal messages are important but they don’t have to be complicated. Simply telling the recipient you miss them or can’t wait to see them again can go a long way, said Leroux.

“I would draw on the memories that you have with them of past, something that you really love doing, whether it’s hiking or going to the cottage or going on vacation, and just bringing up some of those memories [is] really nice,” she said.

The message doesn’t have to be long — even just a few sentences will do the trick.

A late card is better than no card

It’s a good idea to get your cards in the mail as early as possible. But, Leroux said, don’t worry too much if they don’t arrive in time.

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“If it gets there a week or two after, I’m sure everyone would welcome that little gift after Christmas, or that little message of encouragement or that someone’s thinking of you,” she said.

“People love to receive some happy mail in the mail.”

By Paula Duhatschek · CBC News · First published https://www.cbc.ca/ Dec 12, 2020