Like most Americans, once I've eaten my Thanksgiving feast, crammed the leftovers into the fridge, and changed into yoga pants, I am ready to start thinking about Christmas.
Yuletide kickoff activities typically include:
- stringing up the outdoor lights before the sugar buzz wears off
- chopping down a live tree before all the good ones are taken, and
- dropping It's A Wonderful Life into the DVD player before everyone falls asleep.
Well. And there's shopping.
But none of those traditional to-dos are on my Thanksgiving weekend radar. Because I am thinking of one thing, and only one thing:
Making Christmas cards.
Here's a couple hints about this year's cards: metallic polka dots...
I love the whole snail-mail-y ritual of sending Christmas cards, including the handwritten newsy notes, cutesy family photos and holiday-themed postage stamps. Heaven knows, the entire process is laborious and time-consuming. But for more years than I can recall, I've exponentially increased the complexity of this tribulation by making my own cards.
Which means that over the long stretch of the lovely four-day Thanksgiving weekend, I start hauling in the supplies and setting up my greeting card workshop.
Stacks of various papers,
glues and tapes,
scissors and hole punches.
stacks of books to weight the cards as they dry,
assorted trays of partially completed products,
snippets, trimmings and scraps,
and of course, my overgrown old-school paper cutter,
overtake the kitchen counters and spill onto every horizontal surface in half the house.
Yeah. I make a bit of a mess.
And honestly, the explosion of clutter does not really subside until the last of the cards are posted, which is usually sometime after the first of the new year.
... and strips of patterned papers. For now, the finished effect is a highly guarded state secret.
Still, as disheveled and disorderly as this process may sound, I love every chaotic moment.
Because it's hard to beat the satisfaction that comes from making something special with your own two hands to share with the ones you love.
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I'm thankful for the gifts of creativity and artistic vision, as well as the determination required to bring them to life. Also, I am thankful for a family who endures my wild enthusiasms without complaint.
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Read more about what I'm thankful for: