*The* Christmas Cards

21 Dec
Stampin' Up! Christmas Card 2010

This was last year's card... all three kids in the snow globe.

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I am a former Stampin’ Up! rubber stamping and scrapbooking demonstrator. I did that job for eleven years. What that means is that I am unusually obsessive about making my Christmas cards. Soon after Christmas ends one year, I am already thinking, planning and scoping out ideas for what my card will look like the following year. I know… it’s unhealthy.

When my kids were little, like babies and then a toddler plus a baby…preschooler, toddler, baby (you see what I mean), I made them all by myself. I’d sit up nights for weeks making them. Each year my goal was to top the card from the year before and each year I did. I save one card each year in our family scrapbook, and as I look back each year, I truly do NOT know how I did it each year.

Girls helping with 2008 Christmas Cards

Three years ago, everyone wanted to help make the cards.

Girls helping out with cards in 2008

Everyone had a carefully chosen "job" in the assembly line of card-making.

Three years ago, all of my girls were old enough to want to help out making the cards. We send out 100 cards each year, so suddenly having three extra sets of hands was a blessing, but it also meant that I had to change my focus quite a bit. Instead of having an detailed, amazing “WOW” card, I had to come up with a simple design that everyone could help out with somehow, no matter how big or little they were. It also meant I had to *really* let go of some of my obsessiveness when it came to the cards. I had to remind myself (a lot) that they were not going to be perfect, but that it was going to mean more to my kids and to our recipients that the girls had made them themselves. And

Girls showing off cards 2008

The girls were incredibly proud of their cards in 2008.

110 cards from 2008

Their first year helping, the girls made 110 cards!

I must say not only did we get a ton of compliments on these cards that year, but the girls were SO proud to say they’d be an integral part of the process as well.

Last year, as is typical for me this time of year every year, I was sick. I’m still sick now, in fact! I was “this close” to giving up on the handmade cards. I told the kids I was too sick, I wasn’t going to be able to pull it off this time. My daughter Elizabeth said, “But Mommy it’s okay, you have us! We’ll do the cards!” And together with Don, they did all 100 cards, and off they went. It was at this same time last year that Elizabeth informed me that she had a design for this year’s card, and when I heard her idea, I told her we’d do it and I didn’t forget. That meant that this whole year I didn’t have to do ANY thinking about the design at all!

2011 Card making day

On our sick day last week, I put the girls to work making our 2011 cards.

So last week I was home sick AND all three girls were home sick. We stayed in our pj’s all day and we created our cards together. It took us about four or five hours but we pulled it off and by the end of the day they were done. It was so much easier, it gets easier each year, and the cards get to be a little less “me” each year and more “them” each year.

Since I’ve only just put my cards in the mail yesterday, I’m not going to show you the finished product yet. I wish I could make and send out several hundred cards so that everyone can get one, but I cannot. Therefore, in a few days I will post the big reveal of the girls’ card this year so that you can see.

Until then, for the next couple of days I will be posting some photos of Christmas Cards From Years Past, a timeline of sorts. In the meantime, we’ll start thinking about the Christmas Card 2012!

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2 Responses to “*The* Christmas Cards”

  1. Tiziana December 21, 2011 at 8:51 am #

    LOL Jen, I do the same thing, I make my own cards and each year I have to out do myself. This year I was just going to make a simple fold card but when I told my boyfriend he gave me a look like “Really, that’s it?” so I had to revamp my idea and make it bigger and better than last year :-S When will the madness end…. 🙂 Have a great Christmas!

  2. jo-lyn December 21, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

    I have a bunch of stamps and pads somewhere…I should find them…

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