Reduce, Re-use, Recycle

I spent a few moments yesterday going through my Christmas Cards and hacking them all up before I got rid of them.

I’m one of those people who don’t keep Christmas Cards, in fact – I will probably start to put all of my Christmas decorations away today. I like to set the decorations up a month before Christmas and then celebrate until Christmas rolls around and then as soon as Christmas is over, I’m ready to pack it all away.

This is not to say that I wasn’t so thankful for your Christmas Cards. This year, more than ever, I needed the cards as a reminder that I wasn’t alone. I have so much more to say on that topic, but not is this post….it deserves a post all on it’s own. I hung the cards through my venetian blinds and looked at them every day. Thank you to everyone who sent me one. It meant so much to me and that made it even more difficult than normal to just get rid of them….which is why I was so happy to put them to good use….

Earlier this year, I used a 40% off coupon from Michaels and bought a gift tag punch. I think this punch normally sells for anywhere from $15 – 20 and with the coupon, it is considerably cheaper. It’s great because you can use it year round for gifts and also for scrap booking. I will never buy gift tags again.

All through the month of December I kept looking at my Christmas Cards and thinking about how beautiful they were and how it’s sad to just look at them and then to get rid of them. I know I could keep them, but I have this thing about storing stuff. I just don’t like to. I’m not a pack rat. I keep a very few, select, sentimental things and the rest -I get rid of.

But, I was so excited when I realized that I could totally re-use those Christmas Cards and be “green” about it all.


1. I was able to reduce the amount of material that I was going to dispose of.

2. I was able re-use the cards to make pretty gift tags for use next Christmas and even some that I can use on regular (not holiday) gifts.

3. I recycled the rest of the cards.

Some of the tags are “good” on both sides and I can use a hole punch and tie a ribbon through those to attach to a gift. There are some that have writing on the back side of them and I think that I’ll just use tape or pop dots to stick those to the gifts so that the “underside” doesn’t show.

Paper punches are a great tool to have. Especially one’s like this that are so functional.

I will just pack the Christmas Gift Tags in an envelope along with the rest of my Christmas Wrapping Paper and Decorations. Then next year – Voila! Christmas Gift tags and I get to remember all your love again.

Speaking of gift tags – I had a moment this Christmas where I was wrapping presents and I had run out of pre-made gift tags. We had a a set of gift tags that had come from the Cancer Society and I figured that I might as well use them up. You know the kind….the little rectangle ones that are about 3/4 inch by 2.5 inches and they have a small picture of some Christmas wreath or candy cane or snowman or snowflake… you know what I’m talking about?

Well, I was sitting there wrapping presents and I picked up one of these tags to use and I had a great memory of my Grandma Kennedy. She ALWAYS used those little tags and my mind flashed back to an image of her living room with her Christmas Tree with the tinsel that was perfectly placed on the tree one strand at a time and all her fragile old Christmas ornaments. I have some of them hanging on my tree now. I remember wrapped presents with tags placed on perfectly in the corners. My grandma was very precise in everything that she did. I’ve been told that I’m a bit like her sometimes. I remember her handwriting and for a brief moment I wondered if I had a tag from one of her presents upstairs in my memory box. Something that I could hold on to and look at and remember. The memory came flooding in so fast and then I was left wanting more. I’ve replayed that memory more than a dozen times over the past 2 weeks. My Grandma died when Jeremy was 6 months old (he’s 10 now) and I often think of her when I’m dealing with my boys and wonder what she would have done. She had 4 boys and raised them all to be amazing, wonderful men. I hope and pray that I raise my boys (and girls) as well. I miss her and think of her often. It’s so nice to have these memories that come and bring such gifts with them.

Author: Patricia Culley

I'm the ringmaster of my own circus. Just trying to stay one step ahead of the monkeys.

3 thoughts on “Reduce, Re-use, Recycle”

  1. Love the idea of reusing cards! Most of our Christmas cards are photo cards though – what do you end up doing with those?

    And the memory of your Grandma made me cry!! I have those every so often of my Busia – she passed away 5 years ago on 12/17 – and this week I was thinking about something that we used to do that was so simple and it made me miss her so much. But I’m also thankful for the memories!!

  2. Love it!
    I cut up my cards too, and make new cards with them for the next year.
    I do cut out extra nice messages that are on the card, write the date and put it in my card show box, just ones that I would like to remember. The box is full of birthday, wedding, christmas, thankyous, goodbyes, get well… notes from years worth of cards, very nice to look through sometimes.

  3. So glad you had a wonderful Christmas together as a family. “together” that is one of the most beautiful words in life. Wishing you Gods best for you all in this New Year.

    Love Aunty Jo

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