ReConsumerEYES: Handmade Holiday Cards

by Lorne Holden In our house, we love mail. Real mail. The kind that arrives in our box at the Post Office. When my son was little he loved the Post Office so much that I got him a box of his own and the first time he opened it, his “mail” was a wrapped donut hole - a gift from the people who worked there. After he retrieved it, a hand shot out of the mailbox opening, offering him a pretzel. It was the Post Mistress who had heard him moving towards his box and was ready with a treat. We will never forget it.

If you can't be near a loved one to pop them a pretzel at a zingy moment, how about making them a handmade card? I've already expounded on the joy of sending handwritten notes to people – why not double the happiness by sending a handwritten note on a handmade card?

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Handmade Christmas cards have an interesting history. The first cards were made and sent in Great Britain by Sir Henry Cole in the 1840's. He was a civil servant who was interested in the “public post office” (a new thing then) and wondered how it could be used more fully by ordinary people.

Sir Henry came up with the idea of Christmas Cards and worked with his friend, the artist John Horsely to create a design. The very first Christmas card had three panels – the outer two depicted people caring for the poor and the central panel showed a family enjoying a sumptuous Christmas dinner. These cards were sold for 1 shilling each (8 cents today) and were an immediate hit. We've all been sending cards ever since.

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While there are a gzillion truly beautiful cards available to purchase, why not try making a handmade card or series of cards? Handmade doesn't have to mean hokey – using scissors, paper, markers and more, you can create cards of unique and astonishing beauty. All it takes is time, creativity and love and 'tis the season for all of that!

Sift through pictures, magazines, old wrapping paper and other items in your home and see if you can re-imagine them as a Holiday card. Use markers and stamp pads to illuminate your message with love. Even the simplest paper can come alive when adorned with a one of a kind creation, made by you.

The thing to remember is that making a handmade card is to create something that is one of a kind. And when you send it to a beloved friend or family member, you are letting them know that they are one of a kind which in turn makes you, yes, one of a kind. Be generous with your creativity this season. Take the time to give cards and gifts that matter to the eyes and hearts of the people you love.

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Lorne Holden is an artist and author of the bestselling book "MAKE IT HAPPEN in Ten Minutes a Day/The Simple, Lifesaving Method for Getting Things Done." Check our her amazing course "LifeBloom" a three week adventure in making things happen. Next course begins January 12, 2015. Join her list to be the first to know when registration opens!