What To Do With Your Holiday Cards (And, My Thoughts on Holiday Cards In General).

  Sweater  /  Jeans  /  Garland  (similar options)

Sweater / Jeans / Garland (similar options)

(Firstly, what kind of blogger would I be if I didn't tell you that the sweater I am wearing above is probably the best sweater I have bought in years. Can't. Stop. Wearing. It. With Rag & Bone leather leggings at night, and my beloved Madewell jeans every day.)

The whole THING of holiday cards is kind of baffling if you really think about it.

We stress out for months collecting and updating addresses. In many (most?) cases, these addresses belong to people we have not seen, spoken to, or maybe even thought about, in years.  Then, we have to figure out how to upload said addresses from the sloppy spreadsheet on our desktop to that of our online card retailer of choice in such a way that it is compatible with their specific envelope addressing service. Spoiler alert- that spreadsheet is NEVER compatible on the first try, so we re-format. And re-format again.

Even before the above annoyances, we have to find (or, in my case, have someone take) a photo that accurately-ish captures our family at this moment in time. I add the "-ish" because let's be honest here- what we really mean is a photo that captures our family exactly as we want other people to think we are at this moment in time.

Oh- and the clincher? WE SHARE PHOTOS OF OUR KIDS ON SOCIAL MEDIA ALL THE TIME. You have all seen my kids ad nauseam, and I yours. So- what is the point?!

Well, there isn't one. Unless you make it so. So, we did.

3 years ago, we decided to hang up every card we receive on a garland, front and center in the most high traffic area of our house, the pass-through between the family room and kitchen.  In our case, it is a purple glitter vine-like garland, and we use mini clothes pins as clips. Every afternoon, starting around December 10, the vine gets more and more full, until, come January 1st, every leaf has a card hanging from it. 

This is probably the thing our girls love most about decorating for the holidays- seeing the faces of friends, family, and, in many cases, people they don't even know, smiling at them every time they walk by. They ask questions about everyone- which is how we teach them which cousin is which and how they are related to so-and-so. They play games picking their favorite designs. They try and identify which ones are new additions that they haven't yet seen. Best of all, they tell me stories about the friends they see-  I learn so much the friends they make at school in the span of seconds this way. 

When the holidays are over, I take the cards down and punch holes in the upper right hand corner of each one. Next, I thread them onto a binder ring, and put an index card on top noting the year the cards were received. The ring of cards gets hung up on a hook along the wall inside our "random stuff goes here" closet. This way, minimal storage space is used, we always know where to find them, and I don't have to go to sleep at night with the guilt that comes along with looking down into a garbage can and seeing dozens of sweet, innocent smiles smeared with spaghetti sauce and shame.

So, okay, I get the holiday card thing. Yeah, the whole tradition doesn't technically make a ton of sense these days, but it is for that very reason that it makes total sense.

Plus, if it weren't for holiday cards, what excuse would I have had to force my family to take this photo?

 Photo cred to  Jen Goldberg Photography - she totally got my vision and captured us, but better. And, by better I mean she retouched my legs a teeny-tiny bit. Not because she thought I needed it- she isn't judge-y like that- but because she could tell I wanted it ;)). Oh, and I used  PaperCulture  for our cards this year. I am a rebel and do the address labels myself on my printer at home as a means to freedom from holiday card website monogamy. 

Photo cred to Jen Goldberg Photography- she totally got my vision and captured us, but better. And, by better I mean she retouched my legs a teeny-tiny bit. Not because she thought I needed it- she isn't judge-y like that- but because she could tell I wanted it ;)). Oh, and I used PaperCulture for our cards this year. I am a rebel and do the address labels myself on my printer at home as a means to freedom from holiday card website monogamy.