One of the things I like the best about Christmas is the cards and letters we receive from people we care about but don’t see as much as we’d like. I wrote an article for GenWeekly this month on creating gifts for non-genealogists. One of the ideas I wrote about had to do with making table placemats out of laminated Christmas Cards. You can read the article with a subscription to GenWeekly, http://www.genweekly.com/. I blogged about the place mat idea here last December. The url is, http://philibertfamily.blogspot.com/2007_12_01_archive.html. This placemat idea could be expanded to include copies of pictures or documents about your ancestors. What I liked about this place mat idea is that it allows you to remember those people who have since passed. You can remember the notes they wrote and even how they signed their cards. I had an aunt who always signed her family's names in the form of a Christmas tree. I always looked forward to her cards. When she died, that was one of the things that I missed that next Christmas. With the placemat idea, you can remember those people and what they meant to your Holiday season.
While it may not seem to be a genealogical topic, I think recycling and reusing is a topic that was of interest to our ancestors. So it you don't mind, I will list some other ideas here for reusing/recycling your Holiday cards, or for that matter any greeting card.
There are quite a few craft ideas that use old greeting cards. One year, a co-worker of mine told me that she used the picture part of the card to make gift tags for Christmas presents. For some other craft ideas using your old Christmas cards look at the January 1, 2009 issue of Women’s Day. On page 16 they have a small article on 3 ways to reuse old cards. Ideas include making ornaments and using the backside of the picture part of the card as a recipe card for Holiday recipes. Another website with some ideas for reusing old Christmas cards is at http://planetgreen.discovery.com/home-garden/reuse-holiday-greeting-cards.html?campaign=daylife-article.
For those who just want to get rid of the cards, you could throw them in your recycle bin or stop by the grocery market Fresh and Easy. This new to America grocery store has drop off containers in their stores with proceeds from the sale of those recycled cards to benefit the non-profit American Forests. To learn more about Fresh and Easy, see their website at http://www.freshandeasy.com/. To learn more about American Forests, see their website at http://www.americanforests.org/. Other charities may also take old greeting cards for projects. I once sent some of mine to a Los Angeles based charity that used them for art projects for kids. One national project that uses old cards is St. Judes Ranch for Children. I looked up their website and they do have information for donating cards this year. Check them out at http://www.stjudesranch.org/.