Monday, December 5, 2011

Card upcycling: It's the Message that Counts

Christmas cards are a great tradition and way to tell someone how much you care about them. The year I graduated from College and could afford to buy them, I began sending them to family. Maybe I'm sentimental and old fashion, but who doesn't like getting personal mail?  When I married Paul's family the number of cards to send out more than doubled. This was getting expensive and required a creative solution. That is when I reached the conclusion that a brand new card wasn't the point. It was the personal message to each person of how much you appreciate and depend on them.  For the last five years I've been sending out mostly recycled cards (two blank card tops taped together) in order to give me more writing space and save on growing costs. There is never enough room to say how much you care, but the extra space also allows for kids to write in a message. I don't stop at Christmas cards either. Most of my birthday, wedding, graduation, and shower cards are done in similar fashion.  If writing dozens of individual Christmas Cards seems like a daunting task, I have outline an example of one below to help motivate you:

Mom & Dad - A little over a year ago my friend Naomi and her mother were visiting us at Klinger Lake. One night over dinner we had a particularly heated discussion about America being the land of opportunity. I walked away from the conversation with a very different perspective, something I appreciate about good friends who challenge you to think.  I was always of the frame of mind that anyone can get ahead in America, it's citizens are given more opportunities to succeed than any other nation. I took pride in putting Paul's family on a pedestal as a prime example of this.   
What Naomi so gently pointed out to me was how invaluable a loving set of Christian parents were in determining that success.  Her mother painted a picture of children she met in her life's missions of abusive parents and broken families.  Every day I am realizing how having positive role models that set a resounding moral standard are such a critical part of character development and personal success   
Hardly a day goes by that I don't think about that conversation and how shallow my train of thought was. Growing up in your loving family wasn't the only advantage I had, it was THE advantage and I'm so grateful for that. This Christmas, as we are thousands of miles apart, I want you to both remember how fortunate I am to have you as parents and continued role models for my children. Here is to health, wealth, and new adventures in 2012! 

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