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Bring Back the Christmas Cards!

The ultimate handmade craft: easy to create, easy to customize, and really quite inexpensive.
Nothing tugs on the heartstrings quite as much as personalized gifts do. In an age where everything can be bought in stores or from online market places, handmade gifts are becoming increasingly rare. But handmade presents don’t have to cost you a great deal of time, energy and money (those materials can be pretty costly!) — no one said that you had to learn to sculpt or mold so be able to give out handmade presents. Instead, you can go back to the long lost art of Christmas card making.

There was a time when people gave out personalize Christmas cards made from family photos. Pleated-Jeans.com has put together a collection of hilarious family portraits turned into Christmas cards that show exactly how wrong family portrait Christmas cards can go. These can be pretty expensive too (not to mention generic!), so you may want to design your own card — one that hopefully doesn’t require a family portrait.

If you think that nobody really gives out Christmas cards anymore, you’d be surprised. The Greeting Card Association claims that greeting cards are still a thriving market, with over 6.5 billion greeting cards being purchased every year, with Christmas cards being the biggest sellers at 1.6 billion. All these billions of Christmas cards are also helping the environment (surprisingly). A program being run by the Woodland Trust and Marks & Spencer recycles old Christmas cards and plants a tree for every 1000 cards recycled.

A nice, well-thought-out Christmas card is always welcome, but some might have a little bit of trouble coming up with ideas for their personalized cards. Here are some ideas you may want to use to give your cards a bit more personality:
1. Include an interesting puzzle in the card. Flickr user seier+seier has come up with an excellent little plywood chair that can fit in a generic-sized Christmas card. Jigsaw puzzle pieces can also serve for a bit of entertainment.
2. Include a short narrative. Nothing says “personal” like a short recollection of a shared memory with the person you’re giving the card to. This also gives you a chance to add a bit of emotion to your card.
3. Move out of the conventional. Now’s the time to explore your creative side. Don’t worry about making unconventional shapes and using traditional Christmas symbols — create something that your friends and family will instantly recognize as yours.


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