Oh Christmas cards, oh Christmas cards….. so beautiful to receive them! (But not so much to create them!)
In spite of my best intentions…… once again, it was a challenge to capture our holiday photo this year. For the last two years, our kids wore these really cute red shirts that had numbers on them- that represented each of their ages…… but this year, when I asked my oldest son if he wanted to continue this tradition- he said he really didn't want to wear a #10 shirt. Okay- that's cool….. I figured he would be done with the “cute thing” by now anyway. So on Black Friday, I found a great deal on sweaters for the kids that worked together nicely, but weren't too “matchy-matchy.” I had hoped to receive them the following week, in plenty of time to take our holiday pictures.
Unfortunately, the sweaters took much longer to receive than I had planned….and they just arrived last Wednesday. So when the kids got home from school, I begged them to just give me a half an hour to try to take our holiday picture. While they grumbled, I tried to “set the scene” by lighting a fire in the fireplace, so we could use that in our background, and then proceeded to help kids change clothes, wash faces, and comb hair. And then my four year old came running into the bathroom to tell me that the family room was full of smoke! Yes, in my haste-I forgot to open up the flue! Undeterred, I quickly opened the flue, turned on fans in the kitchen, and opened windows. While the kids complained that they were choking on the smoke, I calmly arranged them in front of the tree- and cajoled them through the taking of 20 minutes of photos. (At one point during this little photo shoot- my oldest son asked me why we were wearing these sweaters and not the number shirts. I reminded him that he didn't want to wear the number shirts, and I bought the new sweaters to make him happy… and he denied all knowledge of such a conversation). Wrapping up, I thanked them profusely for their time- and released them to the joys of TV Land after removing their new sweaters, and carefully folding them to put them away until Christmas. Afterwards I sat down to upload the pictures to my computer so I could quickly hop onto Shutterfly and order my cards….. and that was when I realized that none of the shots came out because I forgot to check the setting on the camera, it must have been set to night mode or something- because there was literally no light let into the camera lens. After a few moments of sobbing into my hands…. I went and begged all of the kids to dress up yet again and take some more pictures. The complaints were endless….. but they did it. And so I ended up getting the final- but not-quite-perfect shot….
Oh, the Christmas joy…….
But the real point of this post was to ask you what you do with all of the holiday cards that you receive in the mail? Do you save them to use in crafts later? Do you have a really great way to display them?
Each day when we get the mail, I open the holiday cards and then pass them around to share them with the kids and talk about who sent each card. But when you stop to think about it, each of these holiday cards are really messages from the people that love us, and I wanted to display them in a way that we could see all of them, and watch our house fill up with that love.
So a few years ago, I found a big spool of wide white satin ribbon that we already owned, and looked for places in our kitchen to string long lengths of it as a decorative garland. I hung it across the top of our sliding glass doors (actually two strings one higher and one slightly lower), I also strung a length across the top of the stove and across the top of the china cabinet, and over each of our doorways into the kitchen. Now, after we have passed around the cards to enjoy them up close, we hang them from one of the ribbons (using red and green paper clips when needed), so that we can continue to enjoy the cards throughout the holiday season. And it really does feel like our house just fills up with love over the entire month of December!