Monday, December 29, 2014

Use Up Those Christmas Cards!

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Every year I struggle to find a way to display the Christmas cards we receive.  We used to use magnets to put them on the refrigerator.  When we ran out of magnets, we used tape.  Then we had kids and anything put on the fridge wouldn't stay, of course!  Then we moved and the fridge in our new home wasn't magnetic, so we put cards on the mantel...again, running out of room in that spot.  So, this year, I took to Pinterest and set up the cards this way:

I wrapped long lengths of ribbon partly around some doors that lead into our kitchen, securing in the back with masking tape (which ended up not being strong enough, so I used duct tape over it).  Then I stapled the cards to the ribbons as they arrived, placing ones with pictures of people we know really well more near the eye-level of my three-year-old twin sons.

Near the top of the door I tied ribbons in contrasting color for a present effect.   It worked out well enough, and I saved the ribbons in case we do it again next year.

But what to do with all the Christmas cards?

Many months ago, I made "prayer sticks" for my sons to use at bedtime.  Our prayer routine had gotten a little stale, so, once again inspired by ideas on Pinterest, I cut out pictures of friends and family, and glued them to jumbo-sized craft sticks.


I just used Elmer's Glue, but I'm considering going over the photo portions with Modge Podge or shellac later on to make them last longer.  I wrote the names with a Sharpie.  When our sons pray for someone at night, they can hold the stick, look at the picture, and it generally makes the experience more tangible and less abstract for them.  

We bunch all the sticks into an unused plastic cup, and at bedtime each boy gets to pick one stick, and they pray for that person (with our help).  You actually end up going through sticks quite quickly this way, so we were in need of more.  Enter Christmas cards!  While the boys had their allotted "TV time" this morning, I dismantled the card display, and in the afternoon while they took a quick nap, I cut up the cards, glued and labeled.  Cards without pictures, with pictures that don't fit, or for people the boys don't really know, were recycled.  (Though I did keep a few that had encouraging, hand-written sentiments for myself.) 

Another idea for your Christmas cards is to put them in photo albums for your babies, young toddlers, and even preschoolers to look at.  Even older children and adults might enjoy perusing through old cards in album form!  See an older post of mine on Photo Books for Babies and Toddlers.

What do you do with your old Christmas cards?