what I do

what I do

Monday, December 6, 2010

What do you do with all those cards?

We received our first Christmas card last week ... It is the cutest card from our nephew and his brand new wife. It is their first Christmas card as Mr. & Mrs. and it is from the photo booth at their wedding - I love it!

I really enjoy getting Christmas cards, especially the photo cards. I love looking at them when they first come in the mail and later, after Christmas I love going through them again. But the problem with the cards is that they add more 'stuff' that comes into your home and more opportunity for clutter. And that brings up the question, "What do you do with all those cards?"

Martha Stewart Living December 1998 
I started to do a post on creative ways to display the cards when they come in, but I decided not to for a couple of reasons. One, it has been done and there are already wonderful ideas out there. And two, I think that for a lot of people they need something simple to save them time, not add to it.

Martha Stewart Living December 1998
So, here is my condensed post on displaying your Christmas cards. If you are a creative type and have the time, there are many lovely blogs that have wonderful ideas ... check out this post from Centsational Girl for one! But if you are not all that creative or just don't have time for a lot of extra projects this time of year, here are a couple of easy solutions:

1. Put them in a decorative container or bowl, a letter holder or even a tray where they can be easily viewed. Done. Easy.

2. Use a ready-made card holder. Last year I bought this clip on display tree by Umbra (Holiday Fotofalls). It comes apart for easy storage and I love the way the cards look on it.  You can purchase the one I bought from The Container Store or you could create your own version by using a simple wire topiary form and clothespins!

But the bigger question is, "What do you do with the cards after Christmas?"

1. As the cards come in, separate the cards from the envelopes and recycle the envelopes. If you have an envelope with a return address that needs to be added to your address book, do it immediately! If you have a separate Christmas card list add the address to that list as well. Remember, if you do these as they come in it will take a few minutes. If you wait ... it will be too overwhelming.

2. After Christmas, tie all the cards together with a ribbon or put them in a left over gift bag and store them with your Christmas decorations. When you unpack your decorations the following year, you will have the cards all together to look at one more time and to use for your card list (to make sure you don't forget anyone who may have sent you a card that is not on your regular list). 

3. After your new cards are sent out, take the old photo cards that you want to keep and put them in an inexpensive photo album that you designate just for Christmas photo cards. It is fun to look back at the same families year after year. 

4. The cards that are not photo cards can be cut up and used for gift tags, scrap-booking or art projects, or they can be donated. If you do not have a local senior citizen's center or shelter that accepts old cards, you can donate them to St. Jude's Ranch for Children. For information on where to send them and what they can accept click here.

The bottom line is, do something with the cards. Don't just let them accumulate. I can't tell you how many client's houses I have been in that have piles of cards and envelopes all waiting to have addresses written down and no idea what to do with those cards! 

Tip of the day: While you are doing something with your old Christmas cards, go through and pull out all those old birthday and other greeting cards that you are holding on to and use them or donate them as well!


Robbie said...

Bravo! I was so hoping you would do a post on this subject. Thank You

Willow Decor said...

Such great ideas!!

Unknown said...


Simone @ Doberman's by the Sea said...

Good ideas!

Noelle at Gray Paint Decor said...

What fun ideas! I like the second pic with the red board.