Tips for Preparing Your Holiday Mail
With the holiday season quickly approaching it’s time to start thinking about your holiday mailings! Whether it’s sending party invitations to a Christmas gift exchange or holiday greeting cards to your friends and family there are several things to keep in mind for this special mail.
– Accessorize your mail with holiday specific stamps
Each year the USPS releases several different stamps that are specifically designed to help event specific mail stand out and feel more personalized. There are many options available and can help add some character to your mail. Below are the stamps available for the 2012 holiday season from the USPS:
– If you’re mailing an invitation to a holiday party and are including an RSVP that needs to be mailed back, apply a stamp to encourage recipient response. You’re more likely to get responses faster and in larger number if you make it easier for guests to respond. Not only that I’m certain they’ll be appreciative of your forethought in paying the postage!
– To make your mail feel more personalized try using a font that resembles hand writing either to address the envelope or compose the message in the card or invitation. Using handwritten fonts is a great way to trick recipients into thinking their mail piece was written and addressed by hand. Below are a few examples of some commonly used handwriting fonts available in Microsoft Word:
– Postage rates will vary depending on the size and weight of your mail piece. There are some unusual holiday cards sold in stores anymore – with pop ups, irregular sizes, and protruding pieces such as bows and decals. These irregular cards may require additional postage or even worse be damaged during high speed sorting due to non-uniformed thickness. If you are in doubt and think your mail may need extra postage or is not uniformly thick check with your local post office first! If incorrect postage has been applied then your mail will be returned to you and your cards may not reach the recipients in time for the holiday – now that’s a real Bah Humbugh!
– If you’re looking for an extra special touch to your holiday card or invitation try using a postmark from a special location! There are several post offices in cities across the United States that frequently apply their postmark to mail – cities such as Christmas, FL, Noel, MO, and Santa Claus, IN just to name a few. A postmark will be applied to the outside of the envelope and will include the city from which it was sent. One of the most common postmarks requested during the holiday season is for the North Pole, AK. All you need to do is package and send your completed (including stamps) mail to the following address:
North Pole Christmas Cancellation
5400 Main Trail
Fairbanks, AK 99709-9998
The postmark request mail MUST arrive in Fairbanks before December 15 to meet the Christmas deadline and empty envelopes will not be processed as they are typically damaged during high speed sorting. Think of the possibilities – maybe you could even have Santa send your child a letter this Christmas with an authentic North Pole postmark! Here is a sample of last year’s North Pole postmark complete with Santa Claus crescent:
The holidays are a great time to send a special message to friends and family. Take advantage of all the special offerings the USPS has to add that special touch to your mail this holiday season!