To me, one of the worst things about taking down the Christmas decorations is throwing away the cards. As my Dad said in his wedding speech, ‘it turns out that Poppy is an absolute hoarder’. I would just love to keep every card! What with all those lovely messages from family and friends, the pretty patterns and sparkles, it always seems such a waste to chuck them in the bin.
And because my husband and I are both ordained and work in separate churches, we had a fair few cards this year. Yesterday, I went through them and reused them in three different ways rather than just dump them in the recycling bin, or keep them in a box for many years to come!
I’ve used them to make gift tags, journaling material and a prayer diary.
Firstly, I’ve made tags for next year’s Christmas gifts. Not every card can be turned into a tag, especially big ones with a single snowy scene or the like, but some of them can make really pretty labels.
The better you are with the scissors, the neater they will look but they don’t have to be perfect. Put them with the wrapping paper for safe keeping and come next year you will already have loads of tags that are something different from the usual plain shiny gold!
Secondly, I collected a load of images and words for journaling and scrapbooking. I love to fill diaries full of colour and pictures, but with no end of beautiful craft products and accessories available, doing that can be quite expensive! So I have collected a few pretty bits for my bullet journal in December 2019.
Then lastly, and most importantly, I made a prayer dairy for the year. Firstly, I cut out the ‘from Mr & Mrs Bloggs’ part of the card and then gathered them all up together.
I took an old notebook and numbered 30 pages, one for each day of the month (most months). I then distributed the names across the 30 pages and stuck them in. This means that on the same day of each month I will pray especially for the people whose name appears on that page. I also decorated them with washitape to make the pages look prettier. The prayer diary will live on my bedside table and I’ll try to pray for these people as their names come up throughout the month. That doesn’t mean to say that if someone didn’t send a Christmas card that I won’t pray for them, or that I can’t pray for other things, but hopefully it’s a good place to start!
Here is day 1 of my new prayer diary. I will pray for these people on the first of every month of 2019. Everyone we got a card off is in it; from the family & friends, to church people, to the milklady, the the charities we support.
I use this as a prayer method, but it could just as easily be use for keeping in touch with people, meditation or just to remind you who you got cards from last year!
These three things together make me feel like the cards weren’t simply an extravagance that ladted a couple of weeks, but that they have been reused and are longer term than the Christmas season!
From a slightly selfish point of view, it also helps me learn which church people are from the same family. I’m still learning names, and I’m much less likely to forget the name of Mr Smith, or whoever, when I see him if I’ve been praying for him regularly!
So there we are, three ways to reuse Christmas cards: tags, journaling and prayer!