Addressing Christmas card envelopes

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Kay Nein's picture
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I have copies of all our internet reservations, but they all have just one person's name on them - the person who filled out the forms.  I'm not sure how to best address the envelopes.  

  • Can't do Mr & Mrs Smith - not always the case
  • It would be rude to put Tim Smith and not include the other person who stayed (usually the wife) 
  • Would you choose one of these other options:
    • The Smith's
    • The Smith Residence
    • The Smith Family
  • or do you have a better idea?

 

Thank you!

 

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Here is an email my Mom and Dad got today, Mom thought this was so super nice she sent it to me (since I have stayed there before).  This is an outdated old motel across from the beach at OBX, run by a nice family, and we stay there when we go fishing in the Gulf Stream. a simple email, which spoke volumes to my mother. (They have a nice new website too!)

 

Gary,
We wish you a very Merry Christmas from the Tar Heel Motel!
A blessing of peace and happiness for you and your family. We
look forward to seeing you again in the coming year.

Tar Heel Motel
Nags Head, NC
www.tarheelmotelobx.com
252-441-6150

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I vote for Seashanty's idea of "From Our Home to Yours" or something like that.  That way if the card is received by someone who actually did NOT stay with you, it could be construed as a marketing mailout.

I agree with many others, this would not be something that I would do for obvious reasons about guests and their privacy, etc.

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Kay Nein's picture
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Great ideas!  Thank you for your feedback wink

Arks's picture
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seashanty wrote:

' not all those who wander are lost ... ' jrr tolkien

Along that line, I ran across these this week and have ordered some to put in the guest rooms for folks to write their room diary thoughts. I'm an admitted nerd, and seek to spread my joy in that.

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Arks, they also have "Lego" journals like that.  My dil snagged one for my son before I could get one!  Dang! 

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Arkansawyer wrote:

seashanty wrote:

' not all those who wander are lost ... ' jrr tolkien

Along that line, I ran across these this week and have ordered some to put in the guest rooms for folks to write their room diary thoughts. I'm an admitted nerd, and seek to spread my joy in that.

I love those!

You know I have found some of the hidden gems by those same type books.

Another thing in the books I have mentioned at the cabins is wildlife spotted. After I found others spotted so and so wildlife I was eager to find them myself (mentioning for your cabins/cottages).

They also ask the guest if they found any surprises (these books are preprinted so they can ask specifics), and many found surprises. Little things they had not anticipated.  For me, pressed crisp linens were a nice surprise. Other found a water filter inside the fridge (which is great for those with compromised immune systems - so they wrote). etc.I didn't know it was there.

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Another thing in the books I have mentioned at the cabins is wildlife spotted. After I found others spotted so and so wildlife I was eager to find them myself (mentioning for your cabins/cottages).

Excellent idea and I'll get on that immediately. The river draws lots of wildlife, and having a log book of what folks have seen will be great. Of course, the first entry might be the one-eyed cow that looks "funny" at people.

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Arkansawyer wrote:

seashanty wrote:

' not all those who wander are lost ... ' jrr tolkien

Along that line, I ran across these this week and have ordered some to put in the guest rooms for folks to write their room diary thoughts. I'm an admitted nerd, and seek to spread my joy in that.

heart  i NEED one! 

  " Dear Santa ....... "

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seashanty's picture
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How about addressing them

From our household to yours

I get so few Christmas cards in the mail, I would love it.  I understand when a business sends me a card and they are not clear on how to address it. 

I sent some out to family this year and I'm happy I did. 

 

Hillbilly's picture
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I like that!

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Arks's picture
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seashanty wrote:

How about addressing them

From our household to yours

Oooo, seashanty, that's good! And I agree that any Christmas card is welcome. I think people will appreciate it, or at least see it in a better light than a mailing arriving at a different time of year.

Christmas is special!

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We have several former guests we exchange cards with. Got one in today's mail. They were here with horses and got to talking to DH about his paintings. This was years ago. DH brought out a Harley Boardtracker he was working on and the man said, "When that is done, it is mine." When it was finished, I e-mailed, IF you are still interested, the painting is done. He e-mailed back, that is my painting. When they moved from Delaware to Kentucky, they stayed with us for the third time (first was a round trip stay) as they moved their horses to their new home. We also exchange cards with the fastest man on two wheels (he reclained the title on the Bonneville Flats).

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gillumhouse wrote:

They were here with horses and got to talking to DH about his paintings. This was years ago. DH brought out a Harley Boardtracker he was working on and the man said, "When that is done, it is mine."

Maybe DH should start painting horses, too!

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He is considering it, but mechanical things is where he excels. He currently has 2 commissions to do dogs.  As he waits for the oils to dry on that project (Stearman racing a Harley KR on the beach a la Daytona), he is working on the 2 dog drawings. He works on one and studies it while he works on the second one. That is how he finds things he feels need to be changed. Horses are harder than one would think to draw.

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In other news I am getting hammered by anyone and everyone I have known, emailed or conducted business with this entire year.  Many of them I get in two or more email addresses. Very personal indeed.

But...I got a Christmas card today from lovely Canadian guests from Campbell River, Vancouver Island BC. They were shocked to see a whole article about a place I recommended they visit when they were here (and they did) in the Vancouver Sun (and mailed it to me with the card):

South met its Waterloo - and so can you
Visitors transported back to the moment Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant

 

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Old school here.

I believe respect, and titles should be used, if you don't have them, then you are up a creek. Smiling So to speak...but keep paddling! 

 

Arks's picture
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I think as long as you hand-address the envelopes, people will open them, and appreciate you thinking of them.

It's the mass mailed computer-generated stuff that goes straight to the trash. People still pay attention to mail that obviously came from a real person. But don't do a mail merge that prints addresses on labels. Write it by hand if you want them to appreciate it.

Kay Nein's picture
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I agree that handwriting is better... but... the other Innkeeper has HORRIBLE handwriting and I have carpal tunnel which makes it impossible to write more than a few at a time.

I have been printing the addresses directly on the envelopes - no labels - with a nice font.  I guess I have enough time that I can go ahead and start handwriting what I can.  

Joey Camb's picture
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my DH writes like a doctor and sometimes can't read his own hand writing! do not get me started! Ive just finished all my corporate xmas card so I know how it is.

Also would not be too personal in case the partner they are with now isn't the one they are with now! doesn't do to put ones foot in it!

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Madeleine's picture
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Yeah, I am the person here who does all the hand-written stuff.

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Arkansawyer wrote:

I think as long as you hand-address the envelopes, people will open them, and appreciate you thinking of them.

It's the mass mailed computer-generated stuff that goes straight to the trash. People still pay attention to mail that obviously came from a real person. But don't do a mail merge that prints addresses on labels. Write it by hand if you want them to appreciate it.

I agree that the envelopes MUST be hand-addressed. No labels. Labels imply that you had a list and just slapped the label on. NEXT! Hand-written means you really took the time and effort to make it special.

Hillbilly's picture
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I agree! This is something new people have to learn on their own. Mail outs are a waste of money. I'm not sure where I read it, but I believe they said. Out of 200 mail outs you might get 1 or 2 people that will look at it. Stamps are not cheap and advertisement money could be used better. If you must send something, email them a nice email. This is free and because they have stayed with you already, most likely they will open it. I receive tons of junk paper mail in the mail. I never look at it. But that's just me.

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I would never used Mr. and Mrs.... but legally speaking around here, Married couples don't share a last name. In fact all of that is probably one of the best reasons for why I don't send out cards.

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We were thinking of doing that to, but didn't have the time.

If you know they are 'mr & mrs' you can use their names.

If not, or unclear, could you say 'The Residents at'.... We get a lot of generic mail addressed that way.

I know its not personal, but that way if your previous guests have moved, the new residents will be introduced to your b&b....

Since we didn't do that this year, I didn't think about how we'd address the cards.

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Arks's picture
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Sunshine wrote:

If not, or unclear, could you say 'The Residents at'.... We get a lot of generic mail addressed that way.

I might use "The Folks at..." or "Our Friends at..." to make it a little friendlier, less formal sounding.

Kay Nein's picture
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Thank you for your opinion, but we are doing this.

We don't have addresses for ALL our guests and we already had the cards printed.  Basically it's just a simple, postcard-type card that's 3.5x8.5.  It's being sent with our new brochure as a way to reach out to our existing clientele.  It's our first year and we want to do this to encourage them to return.  We've had very little return business from previous owners (maybe 10 in all), so this is important to us. 

So, did you have a suggestion on how to address the envelope?

 

 

Madeleine's picture
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We were going to do this as well. I loved the idea and we had a box of 250 Christmas cards left from the original owners that were just going to waste. The addressing part is tough. Because you do not have anyone's name except the person who made the rez (and WHY do they always do that???) address it to that person. And next year? ASK for the other person's name at check-in. ('And you are...?')

Why we didn't do it...not all of our guests are Christian and I didn't always know who that might be after the fact. We didn't like all of our guests. It was not a practice we felt we could keep up with over the years. We could not be sure that the person who showed up with the guest was the person who should have been there.

Kay Nein's picture
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Our say "Happy Holidays" because I know that some of our guests were of other religions.  

There were a few guests that we didn't care for, but none that we would not want to come back - we'll take their money again.  There was only one family that we discussed how we could get away with not taking them back and I won't be sending them a card.  

I'm not sure about doing it again in the future.  These guests won't be expecting this from us, so they probably won't be heartbroken if we don't send them one next year.  We'll probably just send cards to the people that stayed with us that particular year, not add new people to an existing (and ever-growing) database.  That will keep it more manageable.

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K9 wrote:

Our say "Happy Holidays" because I know that some of our guests were of other religions.  

There were a few guests that we didn't care for, but none that we would not want to come back - we'll take their money again.  There was only one family that we discussed how we could get away with not taking them back and I won't be sending them a card.  

I'm not sure about doing it again in the future.  These guests won't be expecting this from us, so they probably won't be heartbroken if we don't send them one next year.  We'll probably just send cards to the people that stayed with us that particular year, not add new people to an existing (and ever-growing) database.  That will keep it more manageable.

I know you have already begun or finished doing this, but IF IT WERE ME I would send a thank you for making your first year spectacular, blah blah blah (or if it isn't the first year, something about being the new innkeepers at the inn), new can be up to a couple years, in my estimation. 

As for happy holy-days, that is entirely up to the sender. The dentist's clerk yesterday said to to me and I replied with a merry CHRISTmas. Or Happy Chanukah if that were the case. Smiling 

The most difficult thing, and here it goes, is it is a hard time of year for some people, loss of family members, memories flooding back. Whenever we have bookings this time of year, that is what they are "We just can't bear to be at home this time of year..." I want to focus on my family, so we don't allow bookings OVER Christmas. Or I would be drawn into that, I find it hard not to, I would cry myself to sleep if they stayed here feeling so bad for them.

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I guess I would just address it to the person who made the reservation and not try and second guess about partnerships.

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You are sending cards to all your guests???  Are they your friends? Honestly I would not send cards to guests. Save your money and do something else to market the inn.

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