Why do we send holiday cards anyway?

Christmas card, ca. 1880 Featured on the Minne...

Christmas card, ca. 1880 Featured on the Minnesota Historical Society’s Collections Up Close blog. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Everyone knows that as soon as the calendar gets flipped to the month of November, and even more so to December, life becomes just a little bit busier. People get caught up in the flurry of excitement that the holidays bring, and that includes extra baking, parties, a lot more shopping, decorating everything in sight and then crashing as soon as it’s all over, ready to go again the following year. In the midst of all of this happy chaos, there is also one more task that must be completed, and that is writing your family holiday cards to be sent to all of your relations and friends. Have you ever wondered though why we take the time to write up these cheerful greetings? Here are a few good reasons to keep you motivated, just in case this year you were considering letting this tradition go.

-The holidays happen at the end of the year, so it’s a wonderful time to wrap everything up by looking at your families accomplishments and putting them down to paper. You might consider it almost like a yearly diary entry – which everybody reads. So be a little selfish and do it for you just as much as for those who will receive it.

-Purchasing a gift for every member of your immediate family can be challenging enough without adding to that list every single person you have a relationship with (from your mailman to your best friend since elementary school). Sending out a holiday card is like sending a small gift to everyone. It’s a way to pass along merry greetings and let people know that you care about them and are thinking of them.

– Have you ever thought about all of the people you come in contact with each day? Of course many of them only touch our lives for a brief moment, but there are those who will stick with us for many years to come. With so many people in our lives it can be tough to keep in touch with everybody. Use a holiday card as a way to reconnect with old friends and keep them informed on the big news in your life.

-Many of us take Christmas cards for granted because of all of the various forms of social media we use. We don’t really value a friend’s family photo quite as much because we’ve been watching their kids grow through shutterfly and facebook. However, one simple reason to send a card is because it’s a tradition and traditions make us feel like some things will never change. In a world that is constantly reshaping itself around us, having something solid to hold on to gives a sense of peace.

Scrapbooking With Old Christmas Cards 2

Do you ever feel reluctant to throw out all of those touching photo holiday cards and Christmas cards that your friends and family send each year?  Some Christmas greeting cards can be really personal and beautiful, and it seems like such a shame to send them to the waste bin after your loved one put so much effort into designing and making it.  At the same time, all of those holiday cards quickly build up into an unmanageable pile if something is not done with them.  They go to waste just sitting in a box, and the refrigerator only has so much space to pin new cards on.  This is why many people have turned to scrabooking their old Christmas cards as a way to preserve these cherished memories in a way they can be enjoyed rather than just stored.

There are many different ways that people like to scrapbook their old Christmas and photo holiday cards to preserve them after the seasons is over.  Some of these ideas are functional, such as putting them in a 3 ring binder, and others are highly artistic and take a great deal of effort, like laminating them into a coffee table.  However there are two great ideas that you can use to store your old Christmas cards.  They are practical, affordable and easy to do, making them wise options for anyone looking to save the most precious cards they receive each year.

First, the most common tactic is to take the best Christmas cards from each year and preserve them in a handmade scrapbook.  Photo holiday cards, touching messages written in a store bought card, and very personal handmade creations make great entries into the holiday card scrapbook.  Start off with a well made book filled with blank pages and a bottle of good glue.  Take your favorite cards and then decide how you want to arrange them in the book.  Some people like to cut out selections from each card, others are more fond of collecting the entire front covers of the cards to get a sense of the whole design.  The cards can be stored any way you choose.  Then simply glue the card to the pages of the scrapbook and add some notes or a title to complete the picture.  Remember that holiday cards are printed on sturdy card stock, so putting too many cards on one page may make it hard to turn the pages of the book.

That thick card stock is enough of an issue that some people have actually gone in an entirely different direction and decided to make digital scrapbooks with their favorite holiday cards.  These scrapbooks are made by scanning the holiday card into a computer or flash drive.  The digital image of the card is then uploaded to scrapbooking software or the design tool of a website like invitations.michaels.com, where the images are arranged and the scrapbook designed.  Digital scrapbooks allow the original card to be preserved, and also provide greater creative flexibility to the designer.  The card can be digitally cut up to use only certain sections in the scrapbook without damaging the original, and even resized to be smaller or larger to emphasize some cards and fit more into the overall book.  Once the book is complete it can be printed out to be kept on a shelf along with other family memories.

Scrapbooking with old Christmas cards

Scrapbooking can be an expensive hobby, especially if you’re the kind of person who likes to go all out; purchasing all of the new gadgets and having a collection of ink pens with every color in the rainbow, as well as all of the ones in between. However, while it’s nice to be up on all of the most recent scrapbooking trends, there are many ways to indulge in your hobby while still saving money for more important things – like bills. One way to do so is to use old photo holiday cards for scrapbooking paper, rather than purchasing a book of paper. Here are a few clever ways to put some old cards to good use.

-Many colorful holiday cards have decorative covers that contain a variety of objects and picturesque scenes. Get out a pair of scissors and start cutting these out. It’s best to clip out only those items that are shown in their entirety and that aren’t altered to appear faded or fuzzy. Once you have a collection, use them in place of stickers, attaching them to your pages with flat tape, or raised adhesive pieces.

-Use many of your larger cards as frames to put around pictures or add some decoration to the corners of your sheets. You can disguise many Christmas cards this way, as only a fraction of the actual picture is being used.

-Use stencils to cut out letters from old cards and keep them for later uses. This is also another good way to disguise Christmas cards and use them for your scrapbooking all year round.

-Save your favorite handwritten letters by including them in your scrapbook albums. Attach the top corners of the letter on your page and spread the paper out so it can be read in its entirety. Remember not to paste the entire sheet down in case there is additional writing on the other side of the letter. If you still have the envelope, consider leaving the letter inside and pasting the envelope to your page.

-Many of the holiday cards you have received over the year

Scrapbooking Projects to Work On Drawer

Scrapbooking Projects to Work On Drawer (Photo credit: Shopping Diva)

s have a holiday quote or greeting inside them. While this page is often discarded, a great way to use it is to cut out the printed text with styled scissors and arrange it on your scrapbook page.

-Find instructions for how to make paper flowers and, using pieces from many different cards, make a few small bouquets to use for homemade cards and albums.