Within the next few days most of us will be packing away all evidence of the recent holiday. The decorations will go back into their respective containers to be returned to storage until they are called into duty again next year. But what about all of those beautiful Christmas cards received from family, friends, and co-workers? Now that so many are photo cards it makes it harder to just toss them out with the wadded up wrapping paper and uneaten fruit cake.
For the past 10 years I’ve put all the cards together, labeled them with the year and filed them in a storage container in my office labeled “Christmas Cards.” While this is certainly an organized approach, it fails to do what I am always encouraging my clients to do – honor the items they choose to keep.
This year I have been inspired by several ideas that do just that.
1) Create homemade placemats with them. Cut out poster board the size of a standard placemat and arrange the photos from the cards on the front and back. Be sure to include your family’s card as well. Glue them down and then laminate or cover with clear contact paper. Every year bring out the placemats with your holiday decorations to enjoy during the season. This is a simple project that can easily involve kids of all ages – cutting, arranging, gluing.
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2) Keep a card scrapbook. Select a photo album or scrapbook that suits you and simply add the cards and photos you receive each year. Put the album out for family and guests to enjoy during the holiday. It makes it easy to flip through and reminisce. Once you have your album started it will only take a few minutes to update it with the current cards before packing it away.
3) Christmas Card Shower Curtain. For just $19.99 you can purchase a clear shower curtain that holds up to 40 pictures. This is a great place to display the current years Christmas Card pictures so they can be enjoyed the entire season!
4) Pray for the families they represent. Keep the cards together in a decorative basket. Every week select one card and spend time praying specifically for that family. At the end of the week, send them a short note letting them know you have been praying for them. It is a tangible way to share the spirit of the holiday year round. At the end of the year you could still create placemats or a scrapbook with them.
Once you have a plan in place, you won’t be faced with the annual indecision regarding what to do with your Christmas cards. It may even become a new family tradition that you look forward to each year.
Happy Holidays from Simplicity!
Reprinted with permission from The Simplicity Blog, produced by Simplicity Certified Professional Organizers of Charlotte.