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The Christmas Cards

January 21, 2014
by Cecilia Durham-Moen , Emmetsburg News

The holidays are over, leaving good cheer in our hearts. The decor has been taken down, dusted and stored for future Christmases, including the few new items we seem to add each year. The cookies and candy that were so good on our lips are now on the way to our hips...or other regions. The music has returned to that of a fast-paced secular nature whose words I often can't make out anymore. The Thank-You notes for our many lovely gifts are now in the hands of postal workers who are braving the winter weather to set them in the hands of thoughtful loved ones.

And all that remains are... the Christmas Cards! Each year I seem to send less cards and in return I receive even less. Still, I love Christmas cards! I love the thought that goes into them. I love remembering those we may have lost touch with during the year. I love the letters that update us on the lives of busy families. I love the pictures that arrive showing the way life is changing us. The cards are lovely, works of art, comedic, glitzy and beautiful!

But the question always becomes what to do with all of them when the holidays end. I've had a few ideas of my own in the past but this year I need more ideas and something new! I took to the internet and found LOTS of ideas of things to do to repurpose those gorgeous cards!

My stand-by has always been to use the cards in my scrapbooking. They look great next to the pictures I've taken throughout this photogenic season.

I've known you can use them to create cards for the next year by removing the back half of the card, cleverly cutting the front of the card to save the design and then adhering it to a new, folded piece of card-stock. I've thought about using them as gift tags, much like the process above but on a smaller scale.

But I needed... More!

A sweet idea was to keep them until one-by-one each evening as your family gathers for supper you read who that particular card is from and you offer a prayer for them. It helps your children feel connected to those far-off relatives and special friends.

Besides the gift tags the cards can also be cut into embellishments for wrapping. For instance, if you wrapped a gift and put a ribbon around it you can then use the cut-out from last year's card to tape over the ribbon to create an embellishment.

Christmas cards can be formed into napkin rings or place setting cards at the table.

Cards can be repurposed into beautiful bookmarks by cutting them into a vertical strip and adding a ribbon or piece of yarn at the top.

You could just let the young ones in the family cut them up and use them for kiddie crafts during the year.

Perhaps you'd like to use them to create placemats for next Christmas.

The cards can be cut into strips to create a paper chain for next year's countdown to Christmas.

Or you could cut the cards into strips to create a paper chain just for fun or a garland for decoration. In fact, the garland could be strung with clear lights and used to decorate a mantle.

You could cut the main part of the front of the card and place it in a frame on a colored background. This could be for decor in your own home or a gift for someone else.

The special focal point of the card could be adhered to a candle for an extra touch...just don't let the candle burn down to the paper - maybe just allow this candle be for decoration purposes only!

One I'd certainly never thought of was to use matching elements from the card and create a pair of earrings.

Another fun project would be to use the cards to create ornaments for next year. They could be cut and placed on cardboard backing with a small hole at the top to attach ribbon.

I found an awesome tutorial online for creating a beautiful Advent Calendar at craftynest.com.

And there are still a few other crafting ideas for using those cards!

They can be used to cover a tissue box to make it festive.

With a toothpick small parts of the card can be cut and created to be cupcake toppers or cookie picks.

Using a circular method those cards can be cut to use on top of canning jar lids to decorate those precious goodies you concoct.

One of the most clever ideas is to use pieces of the cards to glue onto match boxes. These covered match boxes will be great small gifts for anyone with a fireplace, fire-pit, candles, grill, etc.

Fortunately you don't have to be an artist to create beautiful treasures because the art work IS the card. You need scissors, colored paper/card-stock, glue, maybe some ribbon. It's easy and I hope these ideas will inspire you to repurpose things that would otherwise just be thrown in a landfill.

However, if this still isn't your kind of thing, then please donate your old cards (all cards are accepted, not just Christmas) to Saint Jude's Ranch where abused and at-risk people will re-purpose the cards. Cards also can be sent to CardsDirect Recycle Program at 200 Chisolm Place, Suite 220, Plano, Texas 75075.

And now, until next year, it's the end of Merry Christmas!

 
 
 

 

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