I finally feel I've got a good system going for my holiday cards.
A few years ago I set up my mailing list using Avery labels and downloadable software at www.avery.com. This lets you just type in the number of the Avery label, which then preformats so you enter the addresses and voila they are ready to be easily printed out. If you send to the same group of folks annually, doing this one time means your task of addressing is now eliminated, save for printing (and annual changes of course but at least the majority is set up).
I also regularly buy my holiday cards at the post-holiday sales, and I keep them in one place. For me (hi Talley :) it is a drawer in my coffee table. No, it isn't where I keep the rest of the holiday supplies but it's convenient, out of sight and air conditioned. Found storage.
Anyway, I have all the blank cards in one spot. I keep blank holiday label sheets in there too, along with the one I've already printed out. I buy my holiday stamps early and store them in the same drawer. I even pre-print a sheet of return address labels and stick that in there.
So...on an evening when I have some time to sit down everything I need for cards is in one place ready to go.
This year it took me about 1 1/2 hours, mostly spent doing my cards while half-watching Desperate Housewives :). I have a card list conveniently set at 30 names/families-the size of one Avery label set. But of course you can do as many or as few as you need.
I really do feel like I've finally got the system down. Although at first I had a twinge at having preprinted mailing and return labels, it gives me some extra time so I write something personal in each card. The preprinted labels plus having everything in one set place has made this a task I don't mind doing at all.