Friday, December 2, 2011

Recycled Holiday Postcards

Do you save the Christmas cards people send you? I do. They're usually so pretty, I never feel right throwing them out, not even into the recycling bin. So I've been hoarding saving-up cards these past few years. I just tuck them into the boxes of decorations and down into the basement storage they go. But then each year as we set-up the tree my husband asks me, What are we doing with all these old cards? I've always told him I'm working on a project; he's humored me so far, even though he knows my "projects" might take a year or two (or four) to percolate. But I've always been certain  I'd figure out some way of reusing those cards someday. And this year, I did!

My family is cutting back on household expenses, and holiday cards, especially the ones I like to buy on recycled paper (have you noticed the stores seem to charge a dollar or so extra for them? Opportunists), seemed a natural item to trim from the budget. (Nice to send and awesome to recieve, but necessary on a tight budget? Not exactly, what with e-mails and FaceBook.)

But I was sad, thinking about not sending any cards to my friends and family. I love receiving them and figure my loved-ones do too. But how to make it happen this year...  I had some cards left over from previous years' mailings that I decided to send to new friends not on our previous mailing lists, but how to share holiday wishes with the rest of my family and friends?

Enter:  stroke of brilliance!

You take the lovely cards people mailed to you in years past.

Cut them in half, seperating the pretty card front from the well-wishing and family/friend signatures inside.

Write your own well-wishing and holiday greetings on the back of the cards' fronts, just like you would on a postcard. Address as you would a postcard.

Voila! Holiday postcards for those you love, upcycled by you from past years' cherished cards.

Is there a risk you'll send the card Aunt Kathy sent to you last year back to Aunt Kathy this year as a postcard? Possibly. I recommend checking the signatures before cutting off the cards' backs and addressing them. I had a few cards that I'd already cut-up, so it's a possibilty I'll be mailing back someones card to them. But would that really be a tragedy? They chose to send them in a past year because they liked them, right? However, for those cards I had saved intact, I did take steps to ensure I wasn't re-mailing them back to their original sender. I even went so far as to seperate the cards we'd received from my husband's family from those from my own family, and then also from my friends, and then attempted to mix-up the postcards enough so that my family's former cards were sent to my husband's family and vice versa, so no one would notice repeats from last year. But if I messed some up? I'm not worried. I think everyone who knows us will be okay with my thrifiness and will--it is my sincere hope--understand that it isn't because we don't love them that we didn't buy new cardstock this year.

How about you? Have any cards saved from years past and wondering what to do with them? I wholeheartedly recommend the postcard recycling method. It not only saved us money, but it was fun to go back through all the cards and try to pick out the best card for each recipient on our list. It helped me get into the holiday spirit for sure!


Colby's December 5, 2011 at 3:38 PM  

What a great idea! And we loved our Holiday "Post Card"! It was our first card of the season too. so you are on tops of things :)

TwinMama January 10, 2012 at 1:23 PM  

I am using this idea next Christmas! We used last year's seasonal cards as gift tags this year, but the postcard idea is better. Wonderful :)

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