My HANDS DOWN favorite thing about The Holiday Season (I’m not dissin’ Christmas, y’all – I’m talking Thanksgiving through New Years aka “The Holiday Season”) are the cards that come in the mail.
To me, Christmas (and holiday and Hanukkah and New Year) cards are like baseball cards to some people. I LOVE them. I collect them, display them, save them from year to year – yes – I have stacks of cards bound with ribbon saved from so many years past.
Starting after Thanksgiving, checking the mail (already one of my favorite parts of the day) becomes a treasured ritual. Will there be a card in there today? Who thought of us?
I love the cards without pictures. I love the cards with pictures. I love the letters. I love the blurbs. I adore the handwritten notes. I even love the five page long brag books.
Who had a baby? Got married? Engaged? Who went off to what colleges and where did your family get away to this year?
I love the corner of a colored envelope peeking through the catalogs, bills and junk. It makes me so excited.
I appreciate when the sender has taken a moment to scrawl a little note.
I love seeing familiar handwriting on the envelopes and knowing that someone was thinking of us when they addressed it. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy.
And isn’t that one of the best parts of The Holiday Season? Feeling loved? Cherished? Valued?
With the absence of written letters – something I’ve not known in my lifetime (save the letters we’d get at camp and the notes and letters Jojo sent me at school and when we weren’t in the same city) – cards sent during The Holiday Season are a personal touch in a world that is all digital. I’m guilty, too. E-Mail, Facebook, etc has made it SO easy to communicate. But does it mean the same? Do you get the same value from it?
I ADORE Christmas cards. ADORE them. Send a card. Buy a package – don’t worry about the pictures or perfect return address stamp. Send a card and tell someone you’re thinking of them. Send a card and tell someone they are cherished. Just send a card.
On a related note, how should you display all of those cards? There are a million precious ideas all over the internet. Here’s what I did this year:
It might look daunting – but I promise it took all of 15 minutes to construct and another 10 to wrap all of the lights. My finished frame is about 2 feet 3 inches across and 4 feet tall. I have it leaning against the wall for support but it is light enough it could be easily hung by ribbon or with a hook.
I used primed 1 inch by 2 inch recycled “trim”. It comes in really long pieces in the same area where the moulding is sold in hardware stores. I had straight cuts made and attached each of the pieces together with 3/4 inch wood screws and a a 2 inch flat corner brace at each corner.
Seriously. It was THAT simple. You could have the cuts made at the hardware store and then make pilot holes with little nails if you didn’t have access to a saw and drill/power screwdriver.
Then it’s just wrap-wrap-wrap the lights. I used a strand of 350 and could totally have used less (but MORE IS BETTER!!!).
The card are attached to string by little clothespins . I found this tinsel string awesomeness in the yarn sale-bin at Michael’s. Its literally just tied super tight from side to side. I topped the frame with some ornaments strung on the same “yarn” and then tied onto the frame. It’s not perfect and will need some perfecting for next year.