Headed towards back to the basics living.

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living green: New way to Recycle Your Christmas Cards

Countdown Calendar

So the Christmas rush is through. It’s that oh so wonderful time of year when you are exhausted from all the merry making and now you’ve got to put away those decorations you so lovingly displayed a few weeks ago. Time to pull the boxes back out and put things back where they belong til next year. But what to do with all those cards filled with well wishes from family and friends? You could put them in the recycle bin (very responsible of you) but you could also do one better and reuse them. No I don’t mean regift them-well not exactly.

A few years ago my mom came up with this really creative idea of reusing those holiday cards. She made me a december countdown calendar out of them. It is now one of my absolute favorite treasured holiday decorations and always brings warm thoughts of her to mind.

Basically you just gather a bunch of holiday cards that you’ve received of similar size and cut the front from the back. Then take the front of each card and lay it face down on top of the inside of the matching greeting card. Then place all the cards on top of one another in a big stack. Using a hole punch make 2 or 3 holes on the end of the all the cards keeping the cards in the order you’ve placed them. Make sure to put the holes in the end where the bottom of the front of each card is. The idea is to be able to flip the top card up and see the frontside of the card and read the message from the inside of the card beneath it (see photo). Fasten the cards together by threading string, yarn, or ribbon through the holes and tying in a knot.

Next ,number each “page” of your calendar 1-25 with marker or number stickers. You may also want to punch a small nail hole in the bottom of each card so you can hang the calendar on a nail and flip up the pages as you go. Decorating the outside of your calendar adds a nice festive touch and helps to identify it next year.

I think you could also take cards that are too small or even photo cards and attach them to scrapbook paper to be the size you need. Get as fancy and creative as you like. It makes for a really great keepsake for your kids or grandkids. My december 24th calendar page isĀ  a Christmas card from my grandparents during the year I was born and makes it super special. I also think you could do something similar for children’s birthdays rescuing all those never to be seen again birthday cards or maybe even anniversary cards from you and your spouse to each other.

If your creative juice has simply fled out the door after the holidays, remember: Just save them all in a bag or box and store them with your Christmas decorations with a little note about what you plan to do with them. Then next year when you dig out your decorations and your creative juices have been replenished, you’ll be ready to go.