Posted by Ethne~
I still send out Christmas cards. Well, we send out a Christmas card picture (from Costco, tho there are super cute ones online) and a letter. I know I could send out a mass email with the letter contents and pictures, but somehow it’s just not the same as snail mail.
Sending out actual Christmas cards (I sent out 100!) means I get quite a few in return. I love it. Each day when I get home from work I can’t wait to sort through the mail and see what Christmas cards we received. Each card is like a little present in the mail.
It’s not as THRIFTY as the email version, but it sure brings me (and hopefully my recipients) a lot of holiday CHEER! I suppose I should share the breakdown: at Costco, the picture cards (I was able to use 4 pics) are $15.99 for the first 50 and $5.99 for each additional 25. Not too bad. Thrifty Nana picked up the cards for me and had a discount coupon, so I ended up paying $23.99 for them. Shaun printed up the letter from the home computer so that was free to us. 100 stamps cost $44.00, but the Jesus and Mary stamps are FOREVER stamps now (you can use them forever without the $.01 stamps when postage rates go up later this month) so if I had any leftover, I could use the rest for bills… So yeah, it’s not super cheap, but for the JOY I get out of it, Shaun agrees it’s worth it. I hang them up on a string with mini clothespins over my sliding glass doors in the living room and can look at them frequently.
NOTE: a lot of multi-picture cards out come out with your pictures being teeny-tiny. Re-think using these, please. If I can’t make out the faces in your pictures, is there really a point in you sending out pictures at all? I used the multi-photo picture from Costco because the pictures were each a nice size.
So the point of this is that I end up with a lot of beautiful cards at the end of the holidays. I find it a shame to just toss them – either they have my dear friends' and family’s pictures on them or they are beautiful cards (which are artwork in an of themselves). But it isn’t reasonable to keep them forever either.
I am always on the lookout for projects for the girls. Like I say, if you could harness their amazing energy, we wouldn’t need off-shore drilling. I have to be creative with it too, because buying art supplies constantly isn’t cheap, and they’d get bored doing the same project over and over again. If I can use materials from around the house, all the better, and if I can use up craft or paper scraps that are otherwise cluttering my house up, bonus.
This brainstorm was a re-purpose of those Christmas cards we received. The girls received art supplies, including scissors, for Christmas. I’m really cautious with them using scissors a) since they don’t have a 100% grasp on being careful with sharp things, no matter how many times I say it and b) since KD cut her hair off into a mullet on Christmas Eve 2010. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t learn how to use scissors with safe, parental supervision.
The project: give the girls their scissors, construction paper, glue, crayons and the Christmas cards and let them Edward Scissorhands some artwork. I didn’t set up any rules (like ‘don’t be messy’ since that would negate the point of cutting up paper) except that they had to be careful, couldn’t fight over materials and they had to clean up after themselves when we were done.
They made lovely new cards that will go up on the fridge and then I’ll let them pick their best and we’ll put them into their tubs of artwork.
NOTE: as to the tubs of artwork, I found that I had so much of their art that it was piling up all over the island and the dining room table. Only so much can be shown off on the fridge at a time. I want to get one of those wire hangers from IKEA that we can string up on the wall and clip their art to, but I haven’t made it down to IKEA yet. And I don’t have the heart to throw all of their art away either. Solution: a small clear storage tub that will fit their artwork once we take it down from the fridge. I’m sure I’ll have to sort through those tubs to pare it down at some point, but not yet.
What creative projects have you invented for your kids? We WOMS need to share these ideas to keep our kiddos busy.