Recycling Christmas Cheer throughout the Coming New Year

Of the left-over items from the holiday season, CHRISTMAS CARDS may present the most perplexing puzzlement of all.

leftovers2

Christmas cards have become somewhat of a societal anomaly, after all. Where letters have transitioned into e-mails and passing thoughts get texted without enough thought, Christmas cards are one of the few remaining print expressions that actually still (most often) travel through snail mail – frequently from those who we’ve not truly heard from in ages past, despite potential social networking opportunities that often reveal very little beyond “it’s complicated.”

Perhaps because they’re a little more festive or maybe because we try to imagine the people opening their postal boxes, then opening our cards, we take a little more time in their preparation. After choosing a card (or making one) that conveys our personalities (or maybe our children’s growth), sometimes we buy fancy colored pens that glitter, or make a trip to the post office to buy season-appropriate stamps, or tuck a special thought or a little gift inside. Whatever the case, the recipient is left to understand that he/she was “special enough” to have been gifted with this extra effort.

Therein lies the quandary – what to do with this special endowment once the holiday season has passed. When the halls are no longer dutifully decked – and the house is no longer a jolly wreck…when everything around you appears sterile once more…what do you do with the remaining evidence of others’ thoughtful Christmas spirits? Do you just throw them into the trash – to be carried off and tossed onto a garbage heap? How very un-green (and red) of you!

Christmas Left-overs for Fun Recycling at our Home

Christmas Left-overs for Fun Recycling at our Home

How about some GREEN Christmas Card Re-Cycling Ideas that will continue to spread Christmas Cheer instead?

  1. Okay, here’s the most obvious “re-cycling” idea. Choose some of your favorite cards and cut out pieces to make your own homemade Christmas cards next year. Don’t do it on your own though – how does that spread any Christmas cheer? Have a little card-making party. If you want to wear silly sweaters and do it with your BFF’s, fine. But instead of setting yourself up to say, “I thought we’d never come back from that one” (yes, that was an eye roll)…What if you included some young, glue-sticky hands in your fun? Invite the creative energy of kids to join you (e.g., youth group, boy or girl scouts, children’s church, foster kids, mission trip kids – wherever you might be able to get involved). You may have to hold onto these cards for several months, but by fall, these children could be making cards to give to special people and brighten their days. Up the ante by having the kids send (or deliver) the cards to folks in an elderly residential home or to soldiers. Look beyond yourself and share the spirit from beginning to end.
  2. Re-cycle the blessing back to the individual(s) who originally blessed you. Place your pile of Christmas cards into a basket. Each night (or once a week – you can set your own reasonable time schedule), pull a card from the basket and resolve to pray for the name(s) on the card. Not only will you be blessing the sender of the card, you’ll be sneaking in another blessing for yourself once again. The card that keeps on giving…
  3. Take your re-cycling efforts a step further. Mail that card back to the original sender, letting that person know you prayed for him/her. (Or if you are not comfortable with that, then just follow my lead from here.) Enclose a special note to the person(s) whose name(s) is/are in that card, letting that person feel the special touch of Christmas at an unexpected moment. You may not even know what’s going on in that person’s life; but I’ll bet he/she could use a blessing. How’s that for spreading cheer throughout the year?
  4. Combine any of the above ideas for a whole new dimension of bless-ed fun! Help some kids cut out cards to make new seasonal cards. Can you imagine Santa saying “Hoppy Easter”? Or sending a partial card with a note to your friend, explaining the other parts of it were prayed over &  sent out with a special note to someone in the armed forces or in an elderly living facility?
  5. Create a collage of the fronts of Christmas card clip-outs onto a board and shellac it for a family member who either can’t be with you for the holidays or can’t be with you throughout the rest of the year. Send it to them as a writing/laptop board to remind them of your cheery love throughout the time you all are apart.

Come up with some new ideas of your own – and share them here for the rest of us to enjoy!

And may your year be full of Christmas blessings!

-just jody

Ho-ho-Hold up that present for a better view!

regional partay

Holiday exchanges – all in vogue

or à la rogue?

Flashy presents for narcissists?

Naughty Santas cannot resist.

What to all wondering eyes should appear?

More calories spread tabletop than we’ve eaten all year!

***

This was our lunch-time office party from last week. Hopefully, you’ll get some laughter from identifying some of the presents – maybe more laughter from the fact that you won’t be able to identify others. That’s a homemade mirror made from recycled coke & beer cans & bottle tops I’m holding in the center for your viewing pleasure!

***

Offered up in response to this week’s Trifextra writing prompt:

Charles Dickens, in A Christmas Carol, wrote “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour.” We are giving you exactly 33 words to make us laugh out loud and spread some festive cheer.

– See more at: http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/#sthash.fN0o2dUa.dpuf

 

Adding a Little Sweetness to Life

 

Just a little note to my blogging friends to say how very much I admire your work, as well as your thoughtful comments.

Please excuse any perceived absences in my own comments or visits as of late, as I’m currently re-mixing a batch of research methodology – and it’s taking quite a bit of taste-testing (as it’s still a little sour on my brain!).

 

Beyond that, it looks as if my son’s baseball team is headed to the State! (whoop whoop! But what a busy time that is!)

Meanwhile, I hope you’ll keep periodically stopping by the lemonade stand for a swig or two. 🙂

xo – j

A Mom’s Versatility

In Honor of any “MOM” who:

-Can deal with a bouncing baby, an about-to-bounce check, bounce her work schedule, and don her sports bra so she doesn’t bounce too much while running around.

-Could solve our country’s deficit by teaching our House & Senate how to stretch a George Washington further across the Delaware.

-Reminds us all how she told us so while multi-tasking to resolve the issue with the so-and-so.

-Paints her toe nails while responding to mounds of e-mails and selecting her favorite pinterest thumbnails.

-Is positive she has the right to take you out of this world if you get too sassy because she wasn’t feeling so sassy the day she brought you into it – but she did it anyway.

-Is certain that no one is ever good enough for you – and you are better than anyone out there actually deserves (but this probably won’t stop her from trying to get in your business and/or set you up) – remember, we love her anyway!

-Stands in harm’s way when the microwave is running or if anyone dare consider putting damaging preservatives inside your body.

-Never disowns you, regardless of the number of stray animals, body piercings, tattoos, or bad choices you came home sporting.

-Never, ever, ever leaves you. Long after her physical presence has grown weary of being caged in this temporal realm, her legacy lives on and spreads in all those hearts she’s captured.

-Is always out of this world wonderful – BECAUSE WE SAID SO!!!!!

HAPPY MOM’S DAY!!!

Sometimes “moms” never have children. They are the special women (and sometimes even men!) in our lives who extend themselves to us and love us even when we’re undeserving. They may even be close in age to us. They have lived, loved, and lost. But when we’re near them, we know we have gained.