Holiday Cards! 2023 Edition

pine cone and ornaments on Christmas tree, courtesy PicJumbo

🎶It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas….🎶

Well, not really. We still have Halloween and American Thanksgiving to go. But in terms of planning ahead… It’s time again!

Every year, I offer to send Christmas cards to anyone who wants one. It’s been so much fun to send cards all over the world! But we’re doing the holiday cards a little differently this year, so please read about the new options.

Last year the number of people who requested a Christmas card quadrupled from the previous year. Quadrupled. I was honestly thrilled and delighted! But on the grinch-y pragmatic side, that was hundreds of dollars in postage, not to mention printing costs or the hours of signing cards. I regret nothing! but I should consider future costs.

That said, I don’t want to stop sending Christmas cards. I’ve heard from some of you how this might be one of only a few cards or even the only card to come in, making this one important, so we’re keeping the cards.

So how could I continue offering unlimited holiday cards, and maybe also offer something else special? After consideration, I came up with this idea, and I hope you like it. This year, you have three choices:

Option #1: Exactly the same as in previous years. You sign up, you get a holiday card. No purchase required, just Christmas spirit!

Option #2: You sign up for a card and buy an exclusive seasonal story that will be delivered in December. Not only will you get a special ebook for a timely read, this also covers the cost of sending holiday cards to you and to 3 other recipients. Thanks for helping to spread the Christmas cheer!

Option #3: You buy an ornament custom-designed for us, and you’ll also receive a special custom handmade card as well as the ebook. Your purchase also covers 7 additional regular cards for others. You’re a regular North Pole elf!

Note that shipping charges will apply for the ornament, specific to your location. Thanks for understanding.

Ready to sign up? Let’s go!

Orange star, white background.

Update: The 4th Option

I have the very best readers.

The first order of the first signup wave (released to Patreon supporters for first chance at limited options) was duplicated. Concerned that something had gone wrong, I contacted the purchaser to see if she wanted one to be a gift and maybe the second delivery address had gone missing, or if there had been an unintentional duplicate order, or something else.

No. She wanted to fund more holiday cards for others, so she made a second purchase. My readers are the best.

So I’m adding a fourth option: If you want to fund any extra cards beyond your personal signup, you can use the appropriate button. Any extra funds beyond the card costs will be donated to a food bank charity, and I will report when we’re finished. Thank you so much, you amazing people!

Got Questions?

What if I just want a card like every year before, for free?

Sign up for the regular Christmas card option. No purchase required! The other options are for those who want something extra or who want to help defray the costs of cards for everyone. (Thank you!)

Can I order a card and ornament for someone else?

Absolutely! ‘Tis the season for giving, after all. Just enter your name and address for billing and their name, mailing address as shipping recipient, and make sure you have chosen the appropriate (domestic or international) shipping option. The email you enter with their shipping address will be the email where they receive the ebook, too.

When do orders close?

I need time to sign and ship, so orders will close on November 8, 2023 November 15, 2023 (extended due to conference schedule and a question a few experienced in ordering with credit card).

Are these limited availability?

The whole point of this project was to avoid limiting the availability of Christmas cards, so option #1 and option #2 are unlimited. Order all you want, and we’ll print more if necessary!

Option #3 requires physical handcrafting by students with disabilities and direct supervision of machine production, so they are limited to a number that can be produced in time. Order promptly if you want to be sure to get one.

This looks like you’re monetizing Christmas. Are you making money off this?

No. Yes, I’m normally a for-profit author (and thanks for buying my books)! But that’s not the purpose here.

The two paid options are priced to cover their own physical costs and then those of a few additional cards. Even if we value the ebook at absolutely zero, my profit margin on the card and ebook combo is roughly one-third of one penny. The top tier is a tiny bit more generous, but still nets less than a dime, which will go into the remaining card slush fund. This is clearly not a moneymaking venture.

spreadsheet showing costs and profit

I have no idea what the ratios for the tiers will be in this experimental year, but even with the new paid options, I’m not expecting profit at the end of this, just less personal expenditure. If the new tiers don’t balance the costs, I’ll just fund the cards myself, as I have in previous years.

Where do the physical products come from?

I’m glad you asked!

The regular cards are designed by me and printed at a commercial printer.

The tier 3 handmade cards are commissioned from a local group of special needs young adults who sell cards to fund their educational supplies and activities. This is their first commercial order, and they were thrilled to be given the project. (I mean, not that they were excited or anything, but I got the first design proposal shortly after I asked if they’d be interested—back in January of 2023.) They are so enthused, showing off their individual steps in the production process.

The ornaments are custom-made by a local small business who does design and production work. Full disclosure, it’s my sister, whom I can trust to deliver quality and on time or she’ll never hear the end of it. She also does custom small-run commercial production for others, and she will make pretty things for us.

What if I’ve signed up in a previous year?

You’ll need to sign up again. For privacy reasons, I do not retain recipient addresses after printing and mailing. You’ve always needed to sign up annually; the change is that this year you can choose more specifically what to sign up for. 

Have any other questions? Ask below. Thanks!

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3 Comments

  1. I love this so much. I would love the #3 option, but I’m on a very limited income and would need to roughly know the cost to budget. Is it possible to have the additional 7 cards gifted to 7 individuals of your choice or to save the cost of the 7 extra for this amazing idea of yours?

    • If you click through the #3 option, you can see the exact cost, including shipping if you put it into the shopping cart and let it calculate. (Just don’t check out until you’re ready!)

      I don’t have a good way to link ornament sales to specific free card recipients — but if you order an ornament and also enter recipients on the free card form, they will all be processed together and it’s functionally identical to linking a specific ornament sale to a specific stamp.

      And if the cost isn’t a good fit for you, then that’s fine. You can request a free card and I’ll be glad you’re here! Or you can get the ebook and still be contributing. All welcome, and thanks!

  2. Cheryl and Dennis West

    Option one please. Nobody sends us cards, it means the world to us. Bless you

    [address redacted]

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