Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday #11

So it's Backward Day again at Works-for-Me Wednesday headquarters. Instead of sharing a tip, you ask for advice.

And my question will make my family smile...

How do you remember extended family birthdays and get birthday cards in the mail on time? I write those birthdays on the calendar in January, but somehow when that week rolls around, I overlook it or just don't make that little task a priority.

Actually, it seems like a big task, to dig out the card, write a note, make sure 6 other people write something on it, look up the address one place, find a stamp somewhere else and get it out to the mailbox.

Any thoughts?

And if you're in the mood to help others tackle their sticky little problems, head over to Rocks in My Dryer and share your best advice!

12 comments:

justpassingby said...

Have an official "write the birthday cards" day every month or two... say, on the 15th of every month, sit everyone down, take out all the supplies (pens, envelopes, stamps etc etcc etc) and have a jolly time just passing cards round for everyone to write something in... and this is for birthdays coming up in the next month or two... then assign someone to post them out in batches... maybe every two weeks or something... doable???

Amy said...

Anyone who's in my Plaxo online address book gets remembered because Plaxo automatically sends me a free email reminder a week ahead of time. :)

Otherwise, I have to rely on my color-coded family calendar and me actually reading the dates ahead of time to get the card in the mail.

Amy said...

OH! Forgot to add a little tip I learned from my DH's grandma. Write, address and seal the cards ahead of time, but where the stamp goes write in the date it needs to be mailed. On mailing day, cover your date with a stamp and pop it in the mail.

bethany said...

I am no poster child for correspondence, in fact I am the poster child for lack of communication with my extended family members! But alas, perhaps this suggestion will prove valuable: The problem you describe sounds like frustration with the process it requires to get the card out the door. Therefore the best solution is to create a process by which you don't feel a burden! I suggest, when you write on your calendar in January the birthdays, why not also have one of your bantams or chicks help you pick out a card, write the address on it, stamp it and then get them all to put their signature on it. It could become a very enjoyable family task! Then you can put these cards in some kind of consecutive order in an organizer box (5x7 index card box might work.) Then when it comes time to send that card, you can add your sentiment, (it is already signed by your 6, stamped and addressed) and simply drop it in the mailbox! Voila!

Brea said...

We also have a birthday calender, but we write the names twice. Once on the birthday date, once the week before. My mom's birthday is November 8, so I wrote her name then, and also on Nov 1, so I could have time to pull out a card and get everyone to sign it and get it in the mail.

I also only buy cards a few times a year. But when I buy them, I buy about a bazillion, and keep them in an expandable file folder, so I know where they are.

Took me a while to get the whole system down, but now it works great for us!!

Oh, I also print the calender off my computer, so all the dates are saved for me.

~Brea, the tinymama

Jes said...

our extended family has a yahoo group. It's great because it sends you reminders about a week or so before a birthday or anniversary. It's enough time to get a card in the mail and it still get to them in time.

Kristin said...

I'm like you. I have it on the calendar but I can't seem to get the card out to the mailbox in time, even if I write it on the calendar a week earlier. So, how about making this a family night chore?

At the beginning of the month or even the beginning of the year how about getting all the cards out and signing them together as a group and addressing the envelope. Then just keep them in the glove box of your car or hanging in a file in the garage so when you walk out to the mailbox you can grab it and go!

You can even give the job of going out to the mailbox to one of the kids.

Summer in FL said...

Hi J: I am your extended family and my solution is "Hey, let you're extended family off the hook by telling them not to bother with the card :-) See, this way, I eliminate 4 names from your list -- how's that for efficiency :-) " Actually, we both know that I NEVER get cards out on time or sometimes even at all. So, wish I could help . . . but . . .

boysmum2 said...

Everyone seems to have given you all the suggestions that I have come up with to use in our family.
I took the time to place them all on my outlook calander with reminders, plus I also put them on the calander in the kitchen, yes it is not fool proof and i have been known to send a belated card or 2, but sometimes when I know I have a busy month ahead like May and June in this family, then I will sit down and get them all written ahead of time with the date where the stamp goes. Then post when card says, just make sure you have enough stamps in the house to post on errands because if you run out of stamps and then have to find the post office, this gets more hassle and then you definitely don't get them out on time!

Amy said...

This was actually my Wednesday tip last week. It has worked for me for quite awhile (and I have a large extended family so it has been great that it has worked).

Here is the link to the post:

http://byhisgrace-amy.blogspot.com/2007/10/new-wednesday-tip_31.html

Amy

queenoftheclick said...

I buy a bunch of cards at the beginning of each year. Birthday, Anniversary, Get well and ones that are empty so I can write what I want. At the end of the month, I look at whose events are on the next month and I write out all of the cards.

I set them downstairs to mail - that's sweeties job!

texastanya said...

I second the Plaxo comment. It's great because I get an email reminder a week before, and the day before.