Mailing Packages and Cards

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Mailing Packages and Cards

Mailing Packages and Cards


Mail your packages now, early and in plenty of time. This will you save a bunch of money. This may seem obvious but you might be surprised at how many people wait until even the day before Christmas Eve to send things.  Don’t pay for express or priority mail. The cost of express or priority mail will eat you alive. Besides saving money, it is so nice to have that done early. Then that will be one less thing to worry about when you get closer to Christmas.

When you send gifts through the mail, think about what are buying. Are they fragile, heavy or very large? None of these are good candidates. Some great things to send through the mail are DVDs, CDs or books (Dining on a Dime hint, hint). These are especially good because they can be shipped media mail which costs quite a bit less.


Shorten your lists. In the same way you reduced your gift list, you don’t have to send a card to every Tom, Dick and Harry.

Don’t send holiday cards to these people:

  • Anyone who never sends you a card anymore.
  • Someone you knew 50 years ago for a few months and with whom the only contact you have had since then is a Christmas card with just their signature.
  • Anyone who you are buying a gift for. Don’t send a gift and a greeting card. The whole object of giving a gift or a card is to let the person know you care, so you don’t need to do it twice. I do that for birthdays, too. I don’t give a card and a gift– just one or the other.


Finding time to write and mail your greeting cards can be tricky. Keep some with you all of the time. Work on them as you are waiting for the kids after school, when you’re waiting at the doctors office or make it a point to write one or two on your lunch break at work.

Think about sending post cards instead of regular cards. There are lots of cute Christmas post cards available now and it costs less to send them than to send regular letters or greeting cards. You can also use the fronts of old Christmas cards as post cards. You might want to check with your post office on the regulation size of them so you get the correct postage.



  1. says

    I do not send cards.
    With all the phone plans where you pay a bit and call unlimited to anywhere in Canada and the States a phone call is much nicer.
    My mother lives in Florida over the winter and doesn’t really do Christmas so a phone call that lasts up to an hour if she isn’t headed out with her friends makes a wonderful present and card all in one.
    Web cams on computers make even better ones since grandma can see and talk to her grandchildren while they open gifts from her and grampa.
    Skype works great to talk computer to computer and it is free so you can be online talking all day if you want.
    I send email letters to the few people I keep in touch with but don’t send out cards.
    If anyone asks you can say you are saving the environment.

  2. Bea says

    Thanks for the tips. I only send cards to people I really care about, and know appreciate them. Some people like to hang their cards up on a doorway in the house to decorate it. It does look lovely.

  3. says

    A lot of people won’t open them due to virus’. I know they have improved their security but people are still nervous about them.
    better to send a nice chatty letter with a picture you have taken as an attachment.

  4. Frenchy says

    I’d like to add that the websites who send personalised Christmas cards to your chosen recipients with the message you have chosen will add that friend’s email address to their database and flood the friend with spam. Ho ho ho.

  5. says

    What a helpful post of information. I am sitting here saying “duh!” to myself because you have pointed out the obvious that I have been overlooking. Why do I make such an effort to get my packages out close to December 1st when I am sending them Priority Mail???? That means the pkgs arrive in PLENTY of time and I’ve paid a high price for it when it’s unnecessary! I have really fallen for the TV ads about the convenience of the Priority boxes. Thank you for pointing out what I should have figured out for myself. You have done me (and others, I’m sure!) a great service. Keep up the good work! Merry Christmas!

    • says

      Had to laugh at your “duh” moment mama bear. I have a few of those myself (ahhh maybe a lot of those). You would think after so many years I would have most of it figured out but just goes to show I’m never to old to learn.

  6. Kallie says

    A very cheap way to get Christmas postcards is to tear off the front cover of Christmas cards you receive and save them for a year. The next year, you have losts of pretty Christmas postcards to send!

  7. Jan C says

    Well, this is the one area of this website that I disagree with. If I have to cut other things all year, I will have enough money to buy my stamps for my Christmas Cards. I make my own cards, for all of the holidays, and the only ones that I don’t mail cards to are the ones who never send me any cards back.
    Before I was making my own cards, I would shop the weeks after Christmas and get 50 cards for less than 1 cent apiece.

  8. Brenda says

    My husband and I run a mailbox store in Rhode Island. The best way to ship or mail Christmas presents is to go to an independant store like ours. We can weigh and measure your packages and tell you the most economical way to send them. So many times our customers think shipping one way or another that they always do is best. Boy are they surprised when we tell them another way. Generally the independants will ship through the usps also. We also offer packing material for sale and packing services. It can be very overwhelming trying to figure out how to send things. God Bless and Merry Christmas everyone.

    • Char says

      I’m glad you and your husband have integrity and are honest. We have an independent in our neighborhood and they always try to get you to ship the highest rate. You have to ask if that if the best rate or they will automatically give you something higher priced.

  9. Mitzi says

    I use priority mail simply because boxes provided by the post office at no charge and there is a 75lb weight limit. When I use that service the window attendant will tell me how much money I saved by shipping priority rather than first class, which is usually no less than half the cost. The contents should dictate which service to use. Ask next time you ship and decide for yourself. This also works very well when shipping overseas military boxes. Unless you ship Christmas boxes before Thanksgiving there is no guarantee first class will arrive in time. Unfortunately, there is no independent shipper in our area without driving nearly an hour, which defeats the purpose of trying to save money with the price of gas these days.

  10. grizzly bear mom says

    When ordering something on line, have it shipped to the recipient so you don’t have to pay for it. Address it to your name plus theirs such as Grizzly Bear Mom Jones-Zebra Schmidt. Either they know they didn’t order anything from Jumboshop, or seeing your name on it let’s them know its from you. I do this even though I normally drive to my family’s home for Christmas so I don’t have to bother transporting gifts and know that the package is for Zebra and not Hyena. Remember that you have to use the family at the mailing address’ last name regardless if the gift is for a visitor. But Hyena Johnson knows he’s not a Schmit.

  11. Alisa says

    If you know someone only in an aquaintence capacity and the only contact you’ have is exchanging holiday cards you could also save on a card by posting a nice holiday message on their wall at FaceBook if they have an account there. A lot of people do stuff online nowadays and don’t send actual correspondence in reality but do message or emails online.

  12. Alisa says

    On shipping: I’ve been buying/selling on eBay over a decade. The new “flat rate” Priority mail is only worth it for shipping heavy items but then of course they’d have to fit in that small box (twelve inches in length)! Sometimes it costs less to send something by Parcel Post or First Class (or Media Mail if it qualifies). You can always get free boxes from most stores (usually the local liquor stores have them most often) and try to find the box that best fits the item without a lot of extra space. The post office charges sometimes by the size of the box too and larger boxes add extra weight to a package. If you shop online a lot (like I do) and you have room then save the boxes and packing materials to reuse them for your own shipping. Also paper mailing tape (I buy Staples brand tape from their store) goes a lot further and costs less than plastic sticky packing tape does. I wet mine with a damp sponge. That tape is strong and sticks to cardboard better than the plastic tape does anyway. If you’re mailing heavy items, wrap the tape around the box on each side so that it crosses in a plus sign at the top and bottom of the box. It gives added strength to the box (My sister is a manager at UPS and gave me packing tips). Crumpled shopping bags make a good cushion/box filler if you don’t have packing peanuts. I save up the bags when I go shopping and re-use them this way, as well as for free trash bags.

  13. Terrye says

    I like your web site and have learned many valuable things from using your tips but your rules about Christmas cards really made me sad. I don’t send Christmas cards to people that I remember with love so that I will get one back. I send them to tell them that I hope they have a wonderful Christmas. Same goes for my family and close friends. You never know what that card could mean to someone. Maybe the person is sick or has no family left or who knows? I always hated the fact that so many people believe that giving a gift has to mean that you get one back. If you care about someone buy them a gift if you can or at the very least send them a greeting. You can get a box of cards or make them yourself for under $5 and remember that the joy of giving should always be enough.

    • says

      I always find it interesting how people interpret what they read. You can have 3 people read the same thing and come away with totally different views on what they read. Which there is nothing wrong with that because it helps us to look at things differently and see something we would have maybe missed. I agree with you completely but the point I was trying to make was not to send a card or give a gift because you expect something in return but not to send cards to those who really don’t care whether or not you send one to them. What I mean is someone like your college dorm roommate who you keep in touch with but after a couple of years you or they don’t care enough to ever call, text, write,e mail or what ever all year long but each year you send a “token” card with just your signature on it because that is what you have always done. It is sent out of duty and not because they care. When I receive a card like that it reads to me – I don’t have time or interest in you enough to bother with anything more then my signature. I get those same type of cards from my bank, insurance agent etc. and I know they really don’t care they just want my business. These are the ones you need to take off of your list.
      If there is someone I send a card to who is sick or with no family I would hope I would do more then send a “token” card with just my signature on it. I know what you are trying to say because I enjoy getting cards too and I don’t have to be sick or alone in order too but I am talking about something totally different here of doing something because you feel it is your duty and they do too.

  14. Terrye says

    Thank you, Jill, for your response to my E-mail, and I want to tell you that I understand completely that you would never send a card to a person you only know through business. I wouldn’t do that either. I was talking about the people of whom you have happy, loving memories…maybe you haven’t talked to them or written them in years for a variety of reasons but who come to mind more than they probably would ever believe. In my case, I have moved all over the country, had friends for two or three years and then had to pull up stakes. I’m not the greatest correspondent and until a few years ago, for me, long distance was too expensive for phone calls, so keeping the various friendships fresh was often my fault. Nevertheless, the people I met along the way brought joy into my life and at least once a year I like to let them know that I remember. I just scribble something like “I’m thinking about you. Merry Christmas.” I’m fully aware that the person receiving my card may say “sheesh, why doesn’t she move on?” but maybe that card will be just the thing my long lost friend needs at that moment.

    Thank you, Jill, for all the help you have given to me this year through your site.
    Merry Christmas.

  15. Mary Jane says

    In Canada, the post office rates have sky rocketed, and they charge by weight and size of package. Consider checking out whether or not things would be cheaper and faster to send parcels by bus (Greyhound in Canada) or courier. I sent four smaller parcels in the mail last week, (two in province, two across Canada) and it cost me $90.00 for basic, uninsured, regular delivery. Three large, heavier apple boxes, sent to a city 4 hours away by bus cost us $50.00 and arrived the next day. In the past, we have found that courier service is often comparable in price to the post office, with quicker delivery, and/or a better tracking system. Of course, living in northern Canada, you must make sure that a courier service has a depot in your community.

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