Skip to content

What do you do with old Christmas cards?

January 22, 2014


The Christmas tree is down and hauled to the woods (or curb or landfill). Epiphany symbols (wisemen, Baby Jesus) are all put away.

There is still one Christmasy thing sitting on my dining room table (besides the poinsettia which I can’t bear to part with until it is totally bedraggled).

A sleigh full of Christmas cards and greetings.

This is one of my new favorite after-Christmas tradition, that I began when I realized we never really took much time to read and savor the messages of friends and family who had bothered to send Christmas cards. We still appreciate and participate in that custom ourselves, sending a lighthearted picture-filled letter called The Davis Gazette—that always has at least a short line of handwritten personal greeting.

P1040891The Davis Gazette, 2013

Pre-Christmas days find me decorating and shopping and wrapping and baking and barely having time to give cards we receive a quick once over before mounting them intertwined with ribbon around the front doorway.

So one year in January we began taking time to read the cards again right before our evening meal, and then including whoever sent the card in our mealtime prayer—asking God to be especially with them and mentioning any particular needs if we are aware of them.

I love the way this simple pause carries the love and beauty of the season into the long and sometimes lonesome days of winter, connecting us with friends and far flung family.

P1040888Some of the cards are truly beautiful works of art. Some of the cards include lovely new family photos.

P1040889All are great to linger over just a bit and then tuck away in the sleigh where they await recycling in a later year.

So, if you sent us a card, you will be prayed for and thought of sometime in the next 30-40 days. And if you haven’t put your cards away yet, you can still start this little “tradition.”

“Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. I always pray for you, and I make my requests with a heart full of joy.” Philippians 1:3-4

What do you do to carry the joys of the Christmas season through January?


From → Faith, Family Life

  1. Caro - Claire Wiles permalink

    I enjoyed this one very blog much as I have always enjoyed receiving Christmas cards and letters so much.
    For many years I wrote a family letter but I had a period from 2007 through for the next three years when my husband was sick that I did not send cards. I was able to do some e-messages but for those who were not online ,
    I am sure they thought we had dropped off the face of the earth. Last year we were able to send them out again and this year, although I got behind and did not get time out in time, we did manage to make it a New Year’s message,.
    We had a picture taken for our new Church directory and I was able to have one of the pix done up with Christmas greetings on it to include with it.
    We have had some nice favorable comments especailly of my miracle husband, who is an esophageol cancer surviour.
    Like you, I do not like to just throw them out and I was actually just rereading ours the other day.
    I like your idea of reading them after and saying a prayer for each one and I would like to try that

    • My mother always worries when she doesn’t receive a card from friends who she usually only hears from at Christmas. She wonders if something is wrong, ill, disabled and so on. So I’m sure your friends were happy to hear from you again, officially!

  2. What a beautiful idea, Melodie! Thanks, Donna Coffman

    • And thanks for following my blog! I’ve signed up for your updates. I like the way you put things–I know you are a good writer. Take care.

  3. Sue Sparks permalink

    After you have finished with you tradition with the cards, you can do what my grandmother always did and I do now too. I sit down with pinking shears and look over the cards one more time then cut out the pretty part or some little art piece of the card. Than using a hole punch, punch a hole in the top and insert a ribbon. There you have gift cards for next year.

    • Thanks, Sue! I like that this was something your grandmother did. I have cut out the pretty parts before and made Christmas tags, but never used piking shears or a hole and ribbon. That would finish them off very nicely. At our Clothes Closet at church, one year we each looked for cards that had some form of nativity scene on them, and cut them out in circle shape, tied ribbons on those, to give out as a no-cost Christmas ornament for clients who came, with a Bible verse and sign off from our church on the back. Those were nice too. Thanks for adding this!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. What do you do with old Christmas cards? | Faith Bytes: Elsie Spins a Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Jennifer Murch

Art is the only way to run away without leaving home. -Twyla Tharp

Trisha Faye

Cherishing the Past while Celebrating the Present


To walk or tramp about; to gad, wander. < Old French - trapasser (to trespass).

Tuesdays with Laurie

"Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing." —Laurie Buchanan

Hickory Hill Farm

Blueberries, grapes, vegetables, and more

The Centrality and Supremacy of Jesus Christ

The Website & Blog of David D. Flowers

Cynthia's Communique

Navigating careers, the media and life

the practical mystic

spiritual adventures in the real world

Osheta Moore

Shalom in the City

Shirley Hershey Showalter

writing and reading memoir

Mennonite Girls Can Cook

Harmony, grace and wisdom for family living.

mama congo

Harmony, grace and wisdom for family living.


Harmony, grace and wisdom for family living.

Roadkill Crossing

Writing generated from the rural life

%d bloggers like this: