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Family: 2017 Christmas Card

Family: 2017 Christmas Card

The backstory.

Christmas cards are one of my favorite things. If I'd written the song for the Sound of Music, the opening line would have been "raindrops on roses and Christmas cards in my mailbox." Each year I spend months brainstorming ideas for a creative, hand-made, festive Christmas card design. It's like sending a little piece of me to all the people I love most, all over the world. It always seems like it will be so fun. It is always an unmitigated disaster.

Usually the drama centers around the printer. Please bear in mind that I am an excellent printer owner. I ask very little of it. I provide it a warm, comfortable place on a desk to live, rent-free. Yet, there seems no better time for a malfunction, or an ink deficit, or inexplicable weird slashy dashies in the middle of every other line, than the ONE BLEEPING DAY A YEAR I need it to be there for me. While others are basking in the love and peace and cookies of the Christmas season, I am white-knuckling the desk praying for God to beer me the strength not to go Office Space on this God-forsaken appliance. It's a delightful tradition that my husband adores, and it happens with such regularity at this point that I'm fairly sure my children will pass it on to their children one day.

So, I took a lesson from my girl Taylor Swift: I got smarter. I got harder. This year, when that useless paperweight failed me again and I found myself covered in black printer ink (mainly in the cuticle area which does not come off and just looks like dirt in your nail beds for approximately 2 weeks, cool), I calmly drove sent my husband to Wal-Mart to buy a new one. Did you know you can buy a brand new printer-scaner for $35? It's a Christmas card miracle.

The design

A few years ago I sent out Christmas cards with little pieces of Christmas tree clippings glued to them, and they were one of my simplest yet favorite designs:


This year I wanted to do something similar, and chose to make miniature Christmas wreaths out of Rosemary after finding these adorable place markers on Pinterest.

Initially, I thought the little banner in the middle of the wreath would be adorable with a Christmas-related word (joy, peace, calories, etc.) cross-stitched on fabric, and it would be... for someone who doesn't take a 'more is more' approach to their distribution list. I ultimately decided that stitching 'joy' 150 times would have severely limited my ability to feel feelings my fingertips actual joy this holiday season, so I settled on printing 'LET YOUR HEART BE LIGHT' at the bottom of each card. I always love incorporating Christmas hymns and lyrics into my cards and this line comes from one of my favorites.

To create the wreaths, I bought long stems of fresh Rosemary from Whole Foods, bent them into circles, and wrapped the ends together with green floral wire. Then I ran out of long-stemmed rosemary, went back to Whole Foods, and realized that they only sell that around Thanksgiving for stuffing in turkeys. At that point all I could find were the pointy rosemary bush/tree getups, so I behaved rationally and cut down my distribution list bought two.

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The wreaths took a few evenings to make, but the rosemary made my disgusting ink-cuticles smell wonderful so in terms of hand-appeal, I'd call it a wash. The spot that was wired together was covered with a small bow (ribbon from Hobby Lobby, half off, HOLLER!) and stuck with double-sided tape to the front of the pre-printed card.

Other small touches included red plaid envelope liners, a personal letter printed on the inside of the cards, a family photo, and vintage stamps (which tasted terrible tbh).

Final result? A-... I knocked it down a peg for shedding like a retriever

Total cost? More cash than the nicest Snapfish card money can buy, eleventy billion hours, and a partridge in a pear tree

Worth it? Totally

Merry Christmas and happy 2018!

Toodles! TLO

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