Last year – pre COVID – I went to several 4-day crops and used that time to work on my Christmas cards. It was fun and relaxing and I mailed about 100 cards. That dedicated crafting time allowed me to make multiple styles of cards, some more detailed (and time consuming) than others. It was so comforting to me to reminisce and recall fun memories as I addressed envelopes to family and friends. As I went through my Christmas card list, it was also a reminder of those no longer with me which brought tears at times. It brought a sense of gratitude as well that they were IN my life for a time.
Here are some of the cards I sent last year. Many of them were designs from Stampin’ Up!’s Paper Pumpkin monthly subscription.
This year I haven’t made the first Christmas card! It’s November and I’m starting to stress. However, stressing about the cards negates the joy and that’s just not the purpose of sending them. A few years ago when I was sad because I wasn’t sending Christmas cards I came across a story and I saved it for a time like this when I knew I would need the reminder. I’d like to share some of it with you.
WHAT about a Christmas card list makes us think it’s a good idea to complain or post negatively about the Christmas card process? Think about the message we’re sending, as professional cardmakers, when we do this.
YES, it’s an effort. YES, it costs money, sometimes quite a bit. YES, it takes a lot of time to hunt down addresses and print out labels. And YES, it is worth it. All of those things result in a piece of tangible love, and you never know how badly someone needs that simple reminder that someone out there cares and at least occasionally remembers them with affection. I would not want a card begrudgingly sent by someone who felt they “owed” me. If it’s causing you the kind of angst I’ve been seeing you claim, then PLEASE, don’t send me one. I’m sure your great-aunt or your old kindergarten teacher wouldn’t want to cause you problems either just by hoping you’d recall them fondly once a year.
Christmas cards are fraught with emotion. I say, let the entire process be about JOY and GRATITUDE and leave the behind-the-scenes angst off FaceBook. What would be the outcome if we cheered each other on to the finish line with funny hashtags on Facebook? Shared tips and mass-production tricks to help it go more easily on Pinterest? Invited friends over to work on them together and captured the fun on Instagram? Or (gasp!) made less-complicated cards, to free up time for the rest of the project?
So my Christmas cards may be more simple this year. But isn’t simple with joy and gratitude better than complicated with stress? Please leave me a comment and let me know if you plan to mail Christmas cards this year – whether they are handmade or purchased. Let me know, too, how you feel when you receive a card.
Last year my then 7 year old granddaughter used a Paper Pumpkin kit to make tags for her Christmas presents! She had definite ideas on their design and who would get what tag. It brought this grandmother so much happiness sharing an activity that I love with another generation! Here are the tags she made.
Share the power of paper this Christmas!