I Never Throw Out Holiday Card Envelopes Right Away, and Neither Should You

published Dec 11, 2022
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Holiday card
Credit: Lauren Lee/ Stocksy

It truly feels like I blinked and went from participating in Santacon (please, no judgment) to being at the age where my friends have kids, pets, new homes, and new marriages. With all those exciting life changes come lots of holiday cards, which are maybe my favorite December decoration. Is there anything better than catching a glimpse of your adorable niblings while opening the fridge for your morning yogurt? I think not!

But as much as I love the cards, the envelopes they come in are almost just as valuable to me. In fact, I make a point of never throwing out the envelopes until I’ve taken an important step: I write down the return address in a spreadsheet so I have it for future use.

For a couple of years now, I’ve maintained a Google Sheet with the addresses of all of my friends and loved ones so that I can send them cards and surprises without having to bug them (or ruin the surprise by asking for their address). It came especially in handy during the depths of my 2020 lockdown, when I became a big fan of sending missives and gifts while I felt especially isolated in my childhood bedroom.

Now that I’m back in my own apartment, I can still send a thank-you note, birthday card, or a just because gift to anyone I please, thanks to my handy dandy sheet. I’m guessing you’re still receiving holiday cards, so it’s not too late to start one of your own. And if you’re getting married soon or are planning a big event or have lots of presents to send out, I promise you’ll be glad you started keeping your own address log this time of year. If you really want to amp up the spreadsheet’s utility, you can also add a column for birthdays so you truly become the most thoughtful friend or family member.

Just don’t make the same mistake I did and rummage around in your trash can after realizing, “Hey! They moved and I don’t have their new address!” And if you do, be sure to recycle that envelope after fishing it out.