"small pleasures" - christmas cards

Confession: I am a Christmas card fanatic. I love to give them and I especially love to get them.

I believe in Christmas cards in the same way that a four-year old believes in Santa Claus. I think they're magical, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I do a little dance in my kitchen when the envelopes start to appear in the mailbox.

Earlier this year, I had earmarked a gorgeous (and, unfortunately, expensive) set of letterpress cards that I wanted to buy to send as our first official family Christmas card. But our dual unemployment and diminished budget made me rethink.

I decided to go the handmade route, coming up with something very simple and revolving it around the theme of "small pleasures" -- which is sort of appropriate for us this year, anyway.

I hand-embroidered small cotton bags...

joy

Handwrote a quote on cardstock + embellished with a little lace...

card

Tied the card + a family photo together with baker's twine...

tied

And put it all together to make a cute little package!

package

I made 65 total (yes, it was a long project!) and was so happy with the way they turned out. I also did a version with green embroidery and green baker's twine.

Someone asked me why I would take all the time to do something so time-intensive when most people just throw away their Christmas cards. And while I suppose that's true, it wasn't about sending them something tangible to keep. It was about sending them a feeling...I hope that when my friends and family opened their small package, they felt a bit of the magic and excitement that I felt while making them. If so, then the time it took was totally worth it.

[Dear husband, thanks for taking all the pretty pictures! I appreciate you!]

19 comments:

  1. I love these, that's such a lovely idea. I don't really like sending Christmas cards because I think most people do just throw them away. But these look like something that would be treasured and kept for years to come. Very nice!

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  2. i made my first handmade batch this year too - and i must say - i feel the same way every time i open a christmas card - i still have them sitting in a bowl on my counter - can't bare to part with them yet, although if i had gotten one that was a sweet as yours, i don't think it could ever go into the garbage. well done, and beautiful photos too!

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  3. Oh, I don't throw away Christmas cards! My mom always found creative ways of re-using them, so I got in the habit of keeping them (they're SO pretty, and I LOVE getting them, after all). I have one problem, though. I haven't made anything with them yet, and I have a huge stack in my Christmas boxes!

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  4. Btw, I forgot to say that your cards are adorable. I love them.

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  5. They are gorgeous, great job.

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  6. sooo pretty, i love them!!!

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  7. thanks for stumbling on my blog and commenting. it's so fun to hear from new people.

    the pictures on your blog are beautiful!

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  8. These are better than any store bought Christmas card. If I got one of these I would keep it forever. Very adorable!

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  9. hi! thanks for the comment you left on my blog! Just poked around yours a bit, I am amazed at your creativity ~ these cards look great! :)

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  10. these are amazing - great job!

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  11. Hi! I keep all of my Christmas cards in a box, my kids and I love to look through older ones on a slow day. These cards that you made are exquisite, what a pleasure it must have been for the recipient to open such a treasure in the mail. In this email age I am sure that you went a long way towards sending each of them that "feeling" that you speak of...a feeling of knowing that someone cares enough about them to take the time and relish the pleasure of creating a thing of beauty for them to enjoy.

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  12. i know i would have been excited to open a package like that! simply adorable!!!

    i received creative "boarding pass" invites to my friends destination wedding and couldn't help but squeal with delight. its not everyday someone delivers beauty to my doorstep!

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  13. Lovely!! I wouldn't be able to toss something so special...

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  14. i am excited to hear that so many of you keep your christmas cards! :D thanks for all the kind comments.

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  15. your note on my blog led me to yours and i'm in love. your blog is delightful and beautiful. keep it coming!

    p.s. i don't save too many cards in general unless they're particularly beautiful in some way--sentimentality, handwriting, design of card--but if i received a card like any of yours i'd save it forever and probably even stick it in a frame.

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  16. I wouldn't throw away something like that. Wow! How do I get on your Christmas card list?

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  17. Hi Marisa! I just saw the comment you left on my blog and I had to come over and visit your blog. It is wonderful. I love the photos, the writing, and these lovely, lovely Christmas cards. I can't wait to come back for more.
    See you soon,
    Greta

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  18. So perfect. IF I was one of those people who threw away their cards (and I'm not), I would keep this one, I'm sure of it.

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  19. What a beautiful project!

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