Getting the mail during those weeks leading up to Christmas became one of my kids’ favorite things to do. They loved to look through the pile and yell out either “junk!” for anything that resembled a bill or “Christmas card!” whenever they spotted an envelope that might be a picture of their friends or family. It became so exciting for them to open up the mail and see who might’ve sent the latest card. I have to admit that I even did a little extra skip on my way to the mailbox because it really was fun to see new pictures of the people we love. But… now that the holidays are over, what do we do with all of the cards?
In the past I’ve always kept them for a while and then eventually thrown them away during one of my new year’s cleaning sprees, but I always feel a little guilty about it. As a photographer, I KNOW just how much work went into getting that picture for the perfect holiday card. It’s totally possible that hundreds of dollars went into booking a photo session, that mom probably made at least four trips to Old Navy for the perfect outfits, and a whole lot of work went into making sure that the entire family looked good at the same exact moment. That’s exactly why we proudly display all of our cards on the side of our kitchen cabinet for everyone to see, and they become such a fun conversation piece too. But, after a while it’s time to take them down. Instead of throwing them away, this year I did something a little different.
I did some research and looked up ways that other people repurpose or keep their holiday cards. I decided that I loved the thought of being able to look at them all again next year so that we can see how much everyone changed. So, I opted for making my first annual Christmas Card Book. That’s totally an unofficial name, but that’s what I’ll call it. Here’s what I did:
- Gather up all of your holiday cards and throw out ones that aren’t “photo” cards.
- Use a hole punch to make a hole in the corner of each card that you’d like to keep.
- Put your own holiday card on top of the stack to serve as the cover.
- Use a binder ring to keep everything together.
- Viola! Now you have a compact, less cluttered way to keep your holiday photos of friends and family! You can leave your creation out on the coffee table for a while, or just throw it in the storage bin with your holiday decorations and then you can be excited when you pull it out next Christmas!
There are also a few other fun ways to do some justice to these cards. Here’s a quick list of alternatives just in case you’re looking for more ideas:
- Take a photo of each card and use them to create pictures for contacts in your phone.
- Cut out parts of the cards and use them for next year’s gift tags.
- Crop each card to either a 4X6 or 5X7 size and them put the pictures in an album.
- Let your kids cut out pictures and turn them into ornaments for next year’s tree decorating.
Happy post-holiday decluttering!