30 December 2010

DIY Recycled Christmas Gift Tags!

STOP!  REUSE!  RECYCLE!  GO GREEN AND blah, blah, blah...

Seriously though, don't throw your Christmas cards out yet.  I'm going to share with you, a simple little something I do with the Christmas cards I receive.  I think it's a brilliant idea if I do say so myself, (and I do).  I can't remember if it was an original idea of mine or if I learned it from Martha or Erma or on HGTV somewhere.  I've been doing it for years though and I think you're gonna love it too.

This is the simple way I label my gifts each year. I recycle the Christmas cards I receive the previous year.  I cut them in half so it's just the front of the card, write To: (so and so) From: Santa or (so and so) and bam; I'm done!

One of my very favorite parts of the holidays is receiving Christmas cards.  I literally tackle the postman when he arrives at 3:10 pm each day from Thanksgiving through the New Year.  He doesn't seem to mind, however, the tip I give to repair any damage I inflict never hurts. My unbridled excitement is reminiscent of waiting for a long lost love letter.  By the way, just an aside, you youngen's who are all eletronicified really missed the boat on the old fashioned communication known as a love letter.  Not the same when it comes in email form or through Facebook or chat.  It has to be on that ethereal thin pale blue paper, have a real air mail stamp and be SWAK.  (Sealed with a kiss.)

I'm a sentimental sap, in case you hadn't already noted.  I love greetings at Christmas from friends old and new, even the ones I haven't seen in 20 years!  Doesn't matter to me, I'm just happy to stay in touch.  I especially love the personal photos so I can catch up and love-on all those smiling faces.  I adore the photos of kids, families together, and even pets or vacation photos. They are all a treasure to me.  I fawn over each and every one.  Some make me laugh, some make me cry over how quickly things change and they all get a place of honor in my home during the holiday season.

After the new year when I'm cleaning up,  and stuffing all my crap back lovingly placing each decoration back into their storage box, I keep the best for last.  First I roll up the garland and shimmy the angels and mangers and wreaths out the door.  I'm ready and can't wait to lighten my house up by taking out all the extra things.  The tree which looked and smelled so heavenly at the beginning of Advent is now just a trunk with dead needles and drooping ornaments.  I'd prefer to eradicate all decorations the day after Christmas and move right along into the new year but, my family seems to think that Ephinay is a better choice to remove the tree.  Ephinay usually falls 12 days after Christmas but, I hear one can celebrate on 2 January this year so, I'm aiming for that.  Then the DIY happens.

The Christmas cards, they're the last thing to go.  I have a hard time parting with the cards.  So here's how I solve that dilemma.  After I enjoy and share all the beautiful cards and photos with my friends and family by displaying them from the first one to the last all during the holiday season,  I lovingly place the photos in their rightful place in my scrapbook album.  I murmur a simple prayer for all my friends and their families to keep safe and healthy and happy in the new year.  I keep pages of each individual family's photos from the first one they ever send me, to the present.  That way I have watched them all grow up right before my very eyes.

Holy heck, I even enjoy Christmas letters.  The closest I've ever come to writing one myself though is this blog because, who the heck wants to hear how my brand new cottage has leaks in the ceiling AND in the floor, and how if it doesn't stop raining in this supposed to be sunny all the time place I live called Southern California I'm gonna lay right down and die?  That was a rhetorical question by the way.

After saving all the photographs,  if a card was involved, I cut it in half, only keeping the front.  I use my trusty little hole punch and punch a hole which will serve to tie the card onto a gift I will give someone next year.

 There's the hole, right in the corner.  As you can plainly see, my hole puncher is heart shaped.

An ordinary round shape won't do, 'cause I love you more than that.

So there you go.  Do this before you put everything away this year, store them somewhere you can find them next Christmas, and when you go to wrap your packages you'll have a cute, recycled,  To/From label to put on the gifts you give.  And it's one extra thing you won't have to worry about when you're over flustered and trying to get things done last minute next year.  Nope.  Because you've REUSED,  RECYCLED, AND  GONE GREEN, using your old cards in a new fashion and saved some dough too.  Now don't you feel better about yourself already and it's not even New Year's Day yet?

No more buying the same ol, same ol,  gift tags from Target.  (No offense Target, you know I 'll always love ya.)  

Your new cards might just look something like the one below!

Blessings for a new year full of good health, abundant wealth and all the love your heart can hold!



GoldenValley50 said...

What a wonderful idea Tia. Is it mandatory to have a heart shaped punch LOL)?
I have really enjoyed following the shenanigans of you and your family this year and look forward to more of the same in 2011. Wishing you a year full of love and happiness! ;)Sharyne

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Good Call Martha...err Tia.

have you built an ark yet?

NanaDiana said...

Darling idea, Tia. I once had a friend that owned a second hand shop. Every year she would stamp Second Hand On George St. on the cards she got the previous year and mail them out! lol Wonder where she found all the envelopes?

I have really loved finding you and your blog (and okay-your family) here this year. That has been a Good Thing (being as you are a bit Martha-ish and all).

Happy Holidays to you- Hugs- Diana

GoldenValley50 said...

Hi Tia - me again! I just wanted to thank you for all your lovely comments. It’s been an absolute joy getting to know you and your family over the past 12 months. Every time I read one of your posts – well, it is just like reading about my own family (and pets!). I just identify so much with you. Please keep the marathons coming! When I read your posts it is as if you are in the room having a conversation with me. (Funny, I think I can almost imagine what your voice sounds like??!!) Have a Wonderful New Year. Hugs - Sharyne

La Petite Gallery said...

HELLO Happy New Year, I have done that but pasted it in top if a plain wrapped package. I am here for the first time and I like it. come visit and be a follower and so will I


jenna ♥ a little blue said...

i love this idea! :)

Pam said...

I did this for years, but finally gave up because Christmas just felt so overwhelming. But now that you've reminded me of it, I feel inspired. Unfortunately, I've already recycled all my Christmas cards this year. Have you noticed that you receive fewer actual Christmas cards now than in the past? I certainly have. Most people now send photo cards rather than including a photo inside a card. Something about that makes me sad. To me Christmas cards are little works of art that reflect the personality of the person sending them.

bichonpawz said...

Hi there Tia! I've been doing this very same thing for years! My mother in law turned me on to the idea a really long time ago...and I've embellished it over the years...but I never, ever throw away a card! Guess I'm a bit sentimental too!!!

"Cottage By The Sea" said...

We're sentimental saps. That we are.

Vikki said...

oh my word! my Mama does this too! I was actually going to do a blog redesign for the holidays/winter (funny how time gets away from us...), and my header was gonna be a remake of one of my mom's greeting card-turned-gift tags! So cool! I usually don't comment a million times on one blog in one day, but we've got lots in common girl! :)