Christmas Cards – have you sent yours?

 

card-candy card-cat card-girl card-ornaments

Behind Day #5: Christmas cards

A little questionnaire for you including my answers because I suppose I should play along:

Do you hand-make your cards?

I used to because I wanted to include photos of our family and the cool design online options weren’t around yet. (The following examples are not my creations, totally off Google. I’d have to find one of my own and photograph it! Mine always had at least one photograph, but dang these are adorable.)

card-handmade-snowman card-handmade-stache card-handmade-trees

Do you order online with those companies that let you design your own layout and use your own photos?

I have done this – and it makes the process so much easier.

card-photo-cute card-photo-dog card-photo-dogs card-photo-online-awkward

Do you buy ready-made cards?

Yes. This year’s cards are store-bought – from last year that never made it out. **smirk**

card-peacecard-dogs card-funny

Do you write sentiments in each one or do you have a standard signature for cards?

My husband and I have a process. We start by pouring wine. We pull out our list and split according by his friends and family and mine. Then we write personalized sentiments in each card. It’s time-consuming but that’s how we roll.

wine-by-the-lights

Do you address by hand, have address stickers or send through printer?

We pretty much address by hand. When return address labels are available we use them. I’ve never gotten around to entering the Christmas list into the computer but I’ve received cards from people who print and they look great. Since we hand-write within each card, we just press forward and hand-write on the envelopes too.

envelope-addressing

Would you say your cards get there “on time”?

Define “on time”.

countdown

Some people think they should arrive as soon as Thanksgiving is over for early December delivery. I did that the year  I had some beautiful cards made along with family photos we had done professionally. There was no place to hand-write a sentiment. So I stuffed envelopes, got some help addressing, and sent them out. The gorgeous cards spoke for themselves, but it was a bit of an assembly line and wasn’t fulfilling.

Our whole family has winter birthdays. When our kids were young things got pretty nutty once Halloween hit.  Since I was into making cards at that time of our life I decided they’d be “New Year cards” and I’d work on them during the week between Christmas and New Year. I loved it. Most people loved it and didn’t care. Some people never understood why the “Christmas card” showed up after Christmas even though it said Happy New Year. **sigh**

Do you think cards are still important even though we have so many ways to wish each other Happy Holidays?

carrier-pigeon

I’ve had my moments of feeling they aren’t as essential. Christmas cards were often a special treat to get from those people you didn’t get to hear from any other time of year. Although there are a lot of online ways to communicate, there are still people who don’t engage electronically.  There’s something to getting a special card in the mail and placing it somewhere to see. So this year, my answer is “Yes”.

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Day 4 – Vintage-like and Retro Christmas Decorating

Here’s what’s catching my eye today:

vintage-decs-1 vintage-decs-2

vintage-decs-4 vintage-decs-5 vintage-decs-6 vintage-decs-7 vintage-decs-8 vintage-decs-9 vintage-decs-10 vintage-decs

**All photos are directly from a public domain Google search and can be found by searching “vintage decorating ideas” and or describing items within photo; i.e., “vintage ice skate decoration”**

Breathe (day #3)

Woke up this morning well-rested but with a mind full of to-dos. I started ticking off the list wondering if I’d have time to stop in to a local craft fair and friend’s open house. So naturally, I got on Facebook. Okay, some info I wanted was there, but you know how it is.

One thing lead to another —  watching a tiny puppy and enormous dog cuddle up and become friends, sharing a humorous post about “the ease”of repurposing “almost free” furniture (one of my passions and so hilariously close to home) and reading two genuinely interesting articles that I’m glad I didn’t miss.

Something I’m super happy I caught and my inspiration for today. This beautiful piece by Ludovico Einaudi. It was posted by one of my favorite people ever and reminds me to calm, find peace and the rest will fall into place.

Happy 3rd day of December. Inhale big, exhale slow and enjoy this moment.

Advent-a-thon

Today kicks off the countdown to Christmas and the last slice of 2016. Who’s ready for 2017?

Last month was July. Right?

Ha! Well, I do love this time of year. There’s just no other month that is so general and yet so specific in all that it encompasses. It has a “feel” to it. A Decemberness.

Embrace it or want to deny it, December is upon us. So I’m stretching out my arms and welcoming it with what I am going to call “Advent-a-thon”.

I’ve always liked the idea of advent calendars. My kids counted to Christmas with a variety of ones over the years starting with the chocolate behind a little perforated window to different versions of hanging ornaments on a tree. The year I found one that had little drawers inspired me to get more creative with the daily surprises.

So with no more delay, let the Advent-a-thon begin.

Happy First Day of December. Go have a chocolate!

P.S. — Have advent calendars come a long way or what?

 

Epilogue

 

ep·i·logueˈepəˌlôɡ,ˈepəˌläɡ/nouna section or speech at the end of a book or play that serves as a comment on or a conclusion to what has happened.
ep·i·logue  /’epəˌlôɡ,ˈepəˌläɡ/ – noun : a section or speech at the end of a book or play that serves as a comment on or a conclusion to what has happened.

What do you think of epilogues? Are they overkill or handy summations?

For me, it depends. I like a well-paced story. I get frustrated when the pace jumps abruptly to the end and everything wraps up quickly and thoroughly. It is synonymous to having a great outing with someone who has just realized they are late for a meeting, stuffs all belongings into a bag and kiss-kiss “Toodaloo, ’til next time!”

However, I also don’t like a story that should have ended shortly after the resolution of the main conflict and then just keeps going and going. It’s like continuing a sports game after the clock has run out and it’s clear that one team has scored more points than the other. “Get off the field already, let’s go celebrate or something.”

Most stories have a definitive ending even if there might be lingering questions in a reader’s mind. In those cases, an epilogue is favorable. Much like those movies based off a true story then puts up quick details about what happened to each character over time after the big event.

An epilogue can offer that quick source of information to settle lingering thoughts.

 

Details

details

Storytelling is in the details. Most stories when broken down can sound just like any other story. “Girl meets boy. Events happen. They fall in love. They live happily ever after.” “Life is good. Bad event happens. Battle ensues. Someone prevails.” “Life is ordinary. Something is discovered. Events take place. New inspiration is found.”

Details breathe life into a story. Building characters and the world they live in is a painstaking process. Authors detail every aspect of what makes that character do what they do, react the way the do, think and feel they way they do. Those details don’t always get written into stories but they exist on scraps of paper, old files, mental images, etc. And when a writer has done their job well, the character they build becomes as real to the reader.