Til December...

Anyone else feeling particularly blue today? I'm not sad about the holidays being over - they all have to come to an end sometime and I've had a great year. But going back to the grind is just a bummer. Yesterday we put away the last of holiday decorations. Til next season my pretties.

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But before we shut that chapter, I wanted to mention something that I've been thinking about. I've noticed a few people saying how Christmas cards are a waste and they just get thrown away. And while they are not at all important in the scheme of things and I'm sure the vast majority of people do throw them away - I wanted to make mention that I am not one of those people.

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As you might have guessed from the effort I put into my own Christmas mail, I take holiday greetings pretty seriously. Christmas mail is one of my favorite parts of the season. It starts off with those few colorful envelopes mixed in with your junk and bills everyday. Who doesn't get a thrill seeing those? I tear through the envelopes with great excitement and admire the fun photos and sentiments in each one. I display them for a few weeks to remind me of those well wishes. So when the season is up I can't stand to throw them away! (At least not the good ones!) So I started the tradition of tying them in a ribbon and storing with my holiday decorations. They don't take up much room but I'm sure I'll enjoy looking at them in 10, 20, 30 years.

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I realize I'm making a big deal over something very small and unimportant but I like to think its the little things that make life special. So am I crazy? Anyone else feel extra sentimental about little scraps of paper?

66 comments:

  1. I love getting greeting cards in the mail! They are like little presents scattered in with your junk mail :)

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  2. I LOVE holiday cards... and i wrap them up in a bow every year as well. Also, living far away from family and friends it is a great way for our little baby to see his community.

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  3. My mom saves her Christmas cards every year like you do! It is really interesting to go back and look at the old ones. When I get mine in the mail, I hang them (decoratively, of course) on our study and laundry room doors, which face each other. I leave them up all year, and we look at them all year, and when we have visitors, they stop and spend 5 minutes reading the cards. It's great! Then, when I get the first Christmas card of the next holiday season, I take them all down and throw them away. That way, they've made their mark for a whole year, and I don't feel bad about it!

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  4. I did this last year after seeing it on a blog...but I couldn't remember which one. Now I know it was you, thanks! Planning on doing it again this year, once I get around to taking everything down. Thanks!!!

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  5. I save the good ones every year including the photo ones. I always think they will be fun to look back on. I too store them with the Christmas decor but I haven't tied them with ribbon - great idea and much neater!
    Karla

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  6. I keep mine as well! I wish we got mail like this all year and not just at Christmas time! It makes the trip to the mailbox more fun!

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  7. Anonymous12:36 PM

    Hi we have lived in this house 38 years and I save, not only Christmas but all greeting cards. As my husband is an artist of course those special cards are especially treasured. Some years I have taken the pics of children and at Valentines day cut out red hearts (using a cookie cutter for guide), glued a kids pic in the center and displayed on one of those photo things. We have a storage room in our basement and the cards are kept in plastic shoe box type storage containers. As a former antiques dealer I know that paper things do have a value down the years!

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  8. Anonymous12:39 PM

    I love to receive year end greetings from friends we don't really get to see. It's always great to catch up on what every one is doing, kids, etc.
    Unfortunatley, as our lives have become STUFFED with STUFF, the greetings have dwindled until they are for all practical purposed non existant.
    I miss sitting in the chair and sending notes off, or a funny family letter.
    I used to save the beautiful card fronts and reuse them at some point.
    Could it be, the time has come to once again contact all those I think about?? I seem to feel this way at every year's start-----hopefully 2010 will be my year of intentionality and I will be the one to start the greetings once again.
    By the way, even though we are MAJOR DECADES apart, I love your blog and check in on your progress frequently.
    Have a wonder filled New Year!
    annie g.

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  9. I save the ones where there was actually a message written, and all the photo ones stay on the fridge. For now. Not sure yet what to do with them, but I will say I've gotten less sentimental about holding onto every single card I get. Less is more.

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  10. I love holiday cards, and snail mail in general! However, I do not store every card I get. First, I always keep every card I get (birthday, holiday, etc). Every few months I go through my box with cards and throw away the ones I don't want to save. I always keep handmade cards, cards from people that matter most to me, personal inspiring messages, etc.

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  11. I used to save them all, but a few years ago I started throwing them out. I love how you have bundled them with ribbon and put them in the frame - I may do that next year, it looks so pretty! I do keep quite a few cards, but not all of them. Happy New Year! :)

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  12. Mrs. L, I think that's a terrific idea! I usually weed through and salvage (spelling?) what I can -- photos for framing or keepsakes; designs cut down for gift tags; and some even end up as postcards by tearing off the top half of a folded card, assuming the back is still blank. But I think I like your idea even better -- what a wonderful way to reflect on friends, family, and neighbors years later.

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  13. Good to hear Im not the only person who holds them dear. And for the record - I don't save every card - just the ones that have something personal written in, include photos or are especially pretty.

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  14. I'm right there with you - holiday cards, birthday cards, thank you cards, wedding invitations...in this digital world, I feel like anything that was special enough for a stamp is special enough to hang onto - I think I'll be stealing your ribbon packet idea!

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  15. It is a tough call. I have a hard time throwing them away, at the same time, I am really trying hard to clear the clutter. I do enjoy them when they arrive, then hang them from a little Christmas card clothesline to enjoy during the holidays. Then I read them again before pitching them. If some of them are appropriate, I cut them up to make gift tags from them. I remember my grandmother, the ultimate repurposer, doing that years ago.

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  16. So sweet and sentimental. Says alot about how much you love those who love you!

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  17. I love Christmas cards too and keep them all each love. I especially love to look back and see how family and friends children have grown from one year to the next. Always brings me joy! We are having our first child this year and it makes me smile to think about the fun cards we will be able to send in the future, and save in the future!

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  18. Love them! Love getting in the mail, love sending them, love displaying them, love showing them to friends and family members so they can see what others are up to. This year, my mom found old ones somewhere, and used them as gift tags. It was fun to open them up see who they were fun and read the message. Some were over 15 years old!

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  19. Christmas cards are a tradition I love so much! Each one is like a countdown to the holiday and a present in and of itself.

    This year, after moving from NYC to DC, many friends didn't have my address and the lack of cards was something I definitely noticed. Let's just say I am already planning my cards for next year in the hopes of getting out my new address and sharing all the excitement that I'm sure will come in 2010!

    With that being said, I will be certain to add you to my list next year!

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  20. I agree wholeheartedly about loving the mail during the holidays and it sure ain't because of the catalogs or the bills.

    We started saving our cards last year for the same reasons noted above. Also, it helps me keep track of who I need to send to in the coming year proactively.

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  21. I've kept my birthday and Christmas cards since I was old enough to start receiving them. When I'm old and gray (well, maybe not too old, nor too gray), I can look back at all the people who loved me enough to send me a card. I hope it will make me feel like my life was a good one.

    I get so little personal mail (almost none these days), that seeing envelopes with my address handwritten on them around, Christmas and my birthday, is very exciting.

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  22. i really love the idea of keeping cards nicely tied in a pretty bow. wish i hadn't already thrown away most of my xmas cards, but i'm keeping this in mind for next year. thanks so much for sharing! sending some beachy weather your way from sunny san diego:)

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  23. I am not one of those people, either. I love Christmas cards...we were out of the city for Christmas and returned home to a new pile of twenty or so cards yesterday. I stashed them all under my pillow so I could be the one to savor opening them at the end of the day.

    My cards look just like yours -- little bundles tied with silk ribbons. I know one day I'll love looking at them all.

    Kris C.

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  24. I feel exactly the same way! When I was packing up the last of our Christmas decorations on Saturday, I put all of our Christmas cards together and managed to sneak them into our bin of decorations without my boyfriend seeing. I was thinking I'd like to find something I can do with them, so that I can hold onto some of the more meaningful ones in the future! Afterall - Christmas cards are one of my favorite things about the holidays :)

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  25. I save mine each year, too!

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  26. I LOVE getting what I classify as happy mail- but my OCD doesn't allow me to hold on to them longer than their display time. :)

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  27. My secret santa partner this year reuses hers from the previous year by making gift tags out of them. I thought it was such a clever idea.

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  28. I save mine too. But I'm not smart enough to tie them with a ribbon and note the year. Next time.

    I also have every birthday and miscellaneous card I've received since I was 7. If the gifter didn't note the year, I write it on the back. Love when I stumble across them in a move or organization spree.

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  29. You are not crazy! Christmas cards (sending & receiving) are one of my favorite traditions in December. I love planning the picture, designing the card and watching a holiday movie with my husband while we hand address them after the kids are in bed. And getting the mail in December is so fun! I keep mine up on the side of the fridge until February. Then I put them in with the Christmas decorations and the next year, I love looking at the picture ones and use the nonpicture ones for gift tags.

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  30. I LOVE getting the cards with pictures...and save them forever. In fact, last year I didn't get my own picture card mailed out and was afraid some people would cross me off their list. So this year I made SURE that we sent out cards. They ARE little gifts. I haven't tied them together with ribbon...yet...but that is such a special touch.

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  31. I love getting cards in the mail. I didn't hardly get any this year because we moved and people don't have our new address. I do keep the ones with photos.

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  32. I throw away most of the holiday mail we receive- only keeping pictures or beautiful cards and designs that might be of inspiration at another time. I really like your idea of tying them up- and I think it will be fun to look at those down the line!

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  33. I am right there with you! We always enjoy looking at past Christmas cards each year. Mine are currently in a rubber band, but I am switching to a ribbon because it is much more festive.

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  34. I completely agree. I'm not a pack rat in general, but I keep most Christmas cards or other greeting cards that have hand written messages or are special in some other way. I love re-reading the messages, especially from my loved ones that have passed away. There is something very comforting in seeing their familiar handwriting. I may also be overcompensating for the fact that almost all of my wedding cards were ruined by water damage (of course the roof had to leak above one of the few things that couldn't be replaced!).

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  35. I also keep mine (well the good ones)! My mother-in-law and now my sister-in-law too reuse the cards as gift tags which I think is such a great idea! They cut the front of the card punch a whole at the top attach with ribbon and whala! Last year's card reborn and shared

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  36. I love them just the same!! Great idea with the riboon. So far my have fit into a beautiful box I got a few years back filled with lotions from BB&B. I love your idea of the frame around the photos. This year I clipped them to long velvet ribbons that I put up on our windows.

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  37. I'm with you on this. I don't keep every single one of 'em, but I hold onto the photocards and the especially pretty ones. I love looking at them as years go by. It's definitely a fun tradition.

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  38. I love that you do this! I'm totally going to start saving cards this year. I just love getting Christmas cards!

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  39. I have a basket of cards that goes back 20 years! Love looking at them every year!! xoxo

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  40. I cut out all the family photos/kids photos from the holiday cards and keep them on display on a wine cork board in our guest bedroom. Then replace them each year. A friend's mom when we were growing up saved her cards each year and cut them up to use as gift tags the following year for her family's gifts (they had a lot of gifts per child so they were used up.) I thought that was a good way to reuse them.

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  41. Anonymous6:11 PM

    i love christmas cards as well.. and i loved the fact that you had a picture with a ribbon tied around them.. i too store my cards the same way..

    thanks for the post.. i haven't taken my holiday decorations down, it took me too long to get them up and i think i'm entitled to look at them a bit longer..

    happy holidays!

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  42. I agree - holiday cards are one of the best parts of the season! There's just something so super-awesome about getting a greeting (especially if it's hand-written) in the mail from a loved one.

    I save all of mine, too!

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  43. Great Idea! I feel bad throwing away the ones with pictures of the family, or kids or dogs! Thanks for the great idea!

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  44. I have pretty much every Christmas and Birthday card I've ever received and every other type of letter, note, or card. Every once and awhile I sort through them, thinking I'll throw something out, but reading over them brings back so many good memories (and sometimes even tears) that I always put them all right back in their boxes and drawers. In a world with so much bad news to read everday, a box of sweet words and love has a lot of power!

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  45. I send cards every year..and I especially love receiving them. And, I do not throw them away. I use some in my scrapbooking or I just save them

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  46. I know you will love to look through your cards in the future. My dear aunt passed away and I came across a big bag full of cards she got over the years. She never threw any of them away. I spent hours looking at them and reading what people wrote.

    Plus Christmas cards are starting to dwindle away. Seems a lot of people don't even send them any more. How sad.

    Hugs,
    Joanne

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  47. The greeting cards that I really like, I take the covers and cut them to size of a small or tiny gift box and use that as gift wrap. I even place small ribbons on them. It's a great way to recycle. But I do get excited when I see Christmas cards in the mail.

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  48. What a great idea for saving your Christmas cards - I think I will start to do the same. I usually throw my cards out (and feel REALLY guilty about it) but I never know what to do with them. Wrapping them with a ribbon is a perfect idea!

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  49. I do the exact same thing...except you pack it much prettier than I do. Ziploc bags are not as pretty as ribbon.

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  50. Seeing that I have two photo boxes FULL of greeting cards I think I agree with you on this one! I love Christmas cards, but have kept some of the wonderful notes my parents have sent me over the years (my dad gave me 7 cards, one for everyday leading up to my college graduation) and my mom has sent a few tear jerkers over the years as well!

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  51. I save mine too! I use a tin that we get each year filled with yummies from our Aunt. I think it is fun to go back and look through them! hugs from conroe, tx!

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  52. totally. I save them too, just like that.
    I did make a book, but it got to be a job. but I love looking back.
    pve

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  53. My sis-in-law has reused them into gift cards since the 1960's. I toss them in the recycle bin. I always feel guilty about the ones that sent pictures but otherwise it would be added clutter. I have enough problem keeping outdated decorations as it is.

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  54. ditto. i absolutely love receiving and sending holiday cards. i start thinking about mine in the fall and love taking the time to write, address, and mail. i started saving the ones i receive and hope in the future i'll have a great project to use them for. my mom saves and cuts portions to use as gift tags the following year.

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  55. Good for you!! In the digital age we've become so impersonal, sending Xmas greetings via text as opposed to a card (this really annoys me). This year I pledged to have more human contact with my friends, so I deactivated my Facebook account and will make it an effort to send more cards, even if I have to write them way in advance!! I aplaud you!

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  56. i'm the same way. i can't bring myself to throw out christmas cards or wedding invitations...anything anyone put so much time and effort into, i really feel i should save.

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  57. I keep all my cards and I love displaying them during the holidays. I'm with you, I spend so much time on my cards that I hope someone loves it just as much as I love theirs!

    I keep them year to year just like you and I love looking at them when I pull out all my Christmas decor.

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  58. great idea with the ribbon-tied card stack! Brilliant!

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  59. Anonymous12:41 PM

    I actually never throw away Xmas cards, especially the ones with photos of people and their kids. They are special and it's nice to watch the kids grow year after year.

    I love your blog and admire your creativity.

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  60. I would love to have the space to store Christmas cards, unfortunately my apartment is so small it makes it impossible! I've decided instead to re-use the best cards, from birthday, christmas etc. and just glue a fresh sheet of paper inside- voila a new card! Saves money and is good for the environment too!

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  61. That's a really good idea! I do not keep as much stuff anymore than I used to, but I do have a big box of old high school notes that I enjoy reading every now and then. Oh, the drama! Sometimes it's easy to forget what was important to us back then and how silly we were.

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  62. Anonymous10:07 AM

    I love this idea so much, I gathered mine up last night and tied them tight with a bow. Now, I'll have plenty to look at when I'm 90.

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  63. Susan3:15 PM

    I feel exactly the same way about Christmas/Holiday cards - I love getting them, I love sending them (it seems so nostalgic and forces me to slow down and think about the meaning of the season) AND I have been saving mine for several years as well. This year, sadly, I did not receive as many as I have in the past. I hope it is just a one time glich.

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  64. I save mine in a manilla enevelope with the date on the outside...I put them in a photo box and on my book shelf. It is fun to go back and look at the photo cards and see how families have grown and changed. I think that I will eventually reuse the non-photo cards, but for now, I just save them all.

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  65. oh my GOSH...i adore the huge frame and cards/pics idea! i might just have to borrow that! we just bought a home and i LOVE supporting other creative bloggers...your blog ROCKS!!!

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  66. Callista2:29 AM

    I too love receiving and saving cards (and letters too!). I have been saving every card (and letter) I have gotten for the last 6 years. When my lovely aunt died of breast cancer a year ago, I went back through my cards --what I call my "feel-good box." I had not only a series of birthday cards from her, but also pictures she had sent me, along with letters, and even birthday poems. Even though she's no longer with us, I can still treasure her words and her pictures. To have such a tangible and tactile memory of our relationship is invaluable.

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