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How to Choose Christmas Letter Paper

Updated on December 5, 2011

Picking the Right Holiday Stationery

'Tis the season for writing the annual family update, and that means picking out the right Christmas letter paper. Many people pick their holiday paper based on artwork alone. But sometimes this means you overlook other important considerations. Selecting paper for your holiday letter doesn't require a college degree, but it helps to keep a few things in mind when making your choice. Here are some questions to ask yourself.

1. How much space do you have to write? Whether you're buying your paper online or in the store, take a look at the design to see how much space you'll actually have to write your holiday letter. Some paper may look great at first glance, but you may later discover it doesn't have enough space for you to write everything you want to put in your letter.

2. Will the background color make it difficult to read the letter? Most professionally designed stationery you'll find in the store will have a light color background that is fine for creating your annual Christmas letter. But if you're buying online from an individual artist or store, be sure the design you select will allow the people on your mailing list to easily read your text.

3. How heavy is the paper stock? Paper is categorized by its weight - the higher the number, the heavier the paper. Standard copy paper is #20. There's no "right" paper weight you must use, but if you purchase a package of stationery because you like the design and then discover it's a thin #20 paper and you were hoping for something heavier, like 70# resume paper, you'll be disappointed. Also, remember that paper over #80 might not feed well through your home printer.

4. Will the design require you to set up special text formatting? It's usually easy to set up your word processing software to fit your letter within the margins of Christmas letter paper with a simple border design. But if the paper design has an image only in one corner, or part of the design sticks out more than the rest, do you know how to format your text so it avoids these areas? Or is that part of the image light enough that you can type over it and your readers will still be able to see the words?

Keep these questions in mind when buying your Christmas letter paper, and you'll be much less likely to be disappointed by stationery that doesn't meet your needs or expectations.

Should You Use a Christmas Letter Template?

Another question you may want to ask when selecting Christmas letter paper is whether you want to buy printed stationery or a downloadable template.

A template is simply a document that's already set up, often in Microsoft Word, so you don't have to fuss with any formatting. Christmas letter templates will usually have sample text included with the holiday artwork, so all you have to do is start typing over the existing text. And, unlike using printed stationery from the store, with a template, you'll be able to see exactly what your holiday letter will look like when you print it.

In addition, templates are a good option if you're trying to be eco-conscisou. With a template, you'll never have to worry about having excess, wasted Christmas letter paper (or running out either) because you just print what you need. You can also choose to print your letters on receycled paper, too.

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