Light­ing up the star

The Covington News - - TIS THE SEASON -

Mil­lions of greet­ing cards are sent out each hol­i­day sea­son. Es­ti­mates sug­gest that 85 per­cent of the United States pop­u­la­tion, or roughly 250 mil­lion peo­ple, mails out greet­ing cards. That adds up to bil­lions of cards go­ing through the postal sys­tem – and all in a rel­a­tively short pe­riod of time.

Men and women who hope to send hol­i­day greet­ing cards must pur­chase, pre­pare and mail the cards early enough so they are re­ceived prior to the hol­i­day. It is never too early to be­gin greet­ing card prepa­ra­tion and as­sem­bly.

The ma­jor­ity of cards are bought in boxed pack­ages or group­ings of photo cards. Gone are the days of hand-pick­ing in­di­vid­ual greet­ing cards for ev­ery re­cip­i­ent. This trend to­ward gen­eral-theme cards has stream­lined the process and can help senders start their tasks ear­lier than ever be­fore. Some peo­ple like to take ad­van­tage of post-hol­i­day sales to stock up on greet­ing cards for the fol­low­ing year at a deep dis­count. This means they can write the cards out at their leisure and then sim­ply toss them into the mailbox at the ap­pro­pri­ate time.

Much in the way peo­ple be­gin their hol­i­day shop­ping or dec­o­rat­ing right af­ter the Thanks­giv­ing turkey leftovers have been stored away, a good ma­jor­ity of peo­ple also be­gin their greet­ing card writ­ing af­ter Thanks­giv­ing as well.

When sent do­mes­ti­cally, it is safe to as­sume that cards mailed out up to 2 weeks be­fore Christ­mas will ar­rive on time. Af­ter that point, you may be risk­ing late­ness, par­tic­u­larly for ru­ral de­liv­ery ad­dresses un­less cards are sent pri­or­ity. For those who need to mail cards in­ter­na­tion­ally, stick­ing close to the end of Novem­ber will en­sure they ar­rive in a timely man­ner.

Peo­ple who want to make a state­ment and not have their greet­ing cards get lost in the crowd may in­ten­tion­ally mail them late and lean to­ward wish­ing health and pros­per­ity for the new year, rather than send­ing a card tied to a spe­cific hol­i­day. This gives ex­tra time for mail­ing and will set cards apart from the many oth­ers.

Photo cards have grown in pop­u­lar­ity, and peo­ple in­ter­ested in hav­ing a pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­pher shoot their hol­i­day card pho­tos would be wise to make an ap­point­ment as early as pos­si­ble. Pop­u­lar pho­tog­ra­phers of­ten start hol­i­day photo shoots as early as Oc­to­ber. Keep in mind that the pho­to­graphs can take a while to be pro­cessed and ar­rive. For those who are on bor­rowed time, tak­ing a photo with a per­sonal cam­era and hav­ing prints made up at a phar­macy or re­tail store can save time. It is un­likely that pro­fes­sional pho­tos taken in De­cem­ber can be printed and mailed and still ar­rive on time. Also, be sure to heed copy­right laws con­cern­ing pho­to­graphs. It may be il­le­gal to scan an im­age from a pho­tog­ra­pher or photo stu­dio and have prints made with­out writ­ten per­mis­sion.

Postage is an­other thing that will have to be con­sid­ered when mail­ing out cards. While many cards fall un­der the weight and size lim­its of a reg­u­lar first class postage stamp, un­usu­ally shaped en­velopes or heavy greet­ing cards may cost more. Rather than have them re­turned, it is a good idea to have at least one card weighed at the post of­fice to en­sure the right amount of postage is af­fixed. Some cards will be pack­aged with en­velopes that state “Ad­di­tional postage may be re­quired” right on the box.

Lo­cal Fred Franklin gets the Christ­mas star on the water tank above the Por­terdale Po­lice De­part­ment ready for ac­tion in prepa­ra­tion for the city’s Christ­mas pa­rade. The star would be miss­ing bulbs with­out Fred’s do­nated time.

Submitted photo /The Cov­ing­ton News

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