Forty years ago when I was growing up on our dairy farm in Wisconsin, my mother always saved the Christmas cards she had received in the mail. In those days, people sent many more Christmas cards than they do now.
Today, I still find myself saving the cards that I get each Christmas. When the holiday season is over, I take them down off the dining-room side of our kitchen cabinets. I look at each one and think about the person who sent it. Then I tuck the cards into Christmas canisters and store them with my Christmas decorations. The next year when I take the decorations out, I discover the cards and then I look through them again. They are still much too pretty to throw away, but unfortunately, I only have so much space available for keeping cards!
If you save your old Christmas cards, too, but don't know what to do with them, here are three ways that you can put them to good use:
• Make ornaments.
- Cut out the pictures and glue ribbon or lace around the edge. Craft shops and variety stores carry an amazing assortment of ribbon and lace.
- Punch a hole in the top and hang from the Christmas tree with yarn or ribbon.
• Make gift tags.
- Cut around the pictures, leaving enough room at the edge to write "To" and "From" if the pictures are arranged in such a way that there is a large open space around the perimeter. Glue ribbon or lace around the edge to add a bit of decoration.
- Cut out the pictures and glue onto pieces of colored paper folded in half (so you can write your message inside). Add ribbon or lace, if desired.
- Cut out the pictures, write your message on the back up-side-down and tape just the top edge to the package so that recipients only have to lift the tag to read your message. Once again, glue ribbon or lace around the edge for extra decoration
• Make collages.
- Purchase a 5x7 or an 8x10 picture frame with glass (or a larger frame, if desired).
- Cut out the pictures from the Christmas cards.
- Glue the pictures onto a piece of cardstock or other heavy paper cut to fit the frame. Cover the paper with pictures. Experiment with different arrangements before you glue them down.
- Display the collage on a coffee table or end table or hang it on the wall. Christmas card collages also could be given as gifts to family and friends.
LeAnn R. Ralph is the author of the book: Christmas In Dairyland (True Stories From a Wisconsin Farm) (August 2003). Share the view from Rural Route 2 and celebrate Christmas during a simpler time. Click here to read sample chapters and other Rural Route 2 stories — http://ruralroute2.com
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