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Monday, December 6, 2010

My Christmas Card Tradition

It's one of my most favorite things to do for the holidays - create and send out Christmas cards. It's a tradition I just can't seem to stop - even in the name of "green". My husband tells me we should send out an e-card. I have a couple of friends who tease me when they receive theirs, saying "WHAT? These are made of PAPER?".

But let me tell you why I just can't stop. It's one of the "non-green" things I cherish.
  • It's the one time of year I go through my list of friends, family, and acquaintances and as I'm writing their envelope, I spend a dedicated moment thinking of them.
  • It's the one time of year where I look forward to going to the mailbox. Something personal from someone I know and love is exciting...and different in this fast moving, electronic world.
  • It's the one time of year where I send out a family photo. I hope that people keep it on their wall. I know I do! I take all the photos I receive and make a collage that stays on the fridge year-round. Then I put them in a scrapbook when the next year's come around. I have a scrapbook filled with our friends and family's photos and it's fun to see how everyone changes. You can't do that with an email greeting.
  • I love to create the card itself. I used to hand-make them, and now that I have a family, I make them through a photo service like Shutterfly. They are easy, and cute! (I also love picking the perfect picture. Although, my husband would argue this creates a lot of undue stress in my life!)

So...how "non-green" are Christmas cards? I considered doing a carbon neutral offset donation to cover my "habit", but I couldn't find any hard numbers to tell me how horribly non-eco friendly I was being. (Here's an interesting article on the subject).
  • There's the paper. Many companies offer recycled paper products now. However, my theory is that I'm sending a glossy photo, and really...a photo is something you could keep a long time.
  • There's the postage. My theory is that the mail truck is already coming to your house, may as well bring my envelope of cheer :)
  • There are arguments that e-mail is not totally carbon neutral either - it takes electricity to run your computer.

    I (at least) am making other efforts to reduce my footprint in other areas. Around the holidays specifically, using reusable cloth bags instead of wrapping paper (like the one on the left).





    There are lots of very cute electronic greetings out there. Maybe they are right for you. But for me, I hold on to a little piece of "old fashioned". What are your thoughts?

    - Happy Holidays!

    2 comments:

    Jenni "Bee" said...

    I also make cloth bags for present wrapping--I even have reusable labels (I got a bunch of sticky labels, stuck them to cardstock to make them stiff, then laminated them and hole-punched the corner of each, then I attach them to the drawstring ribbon of each bag. We use a vis-a-vis wet erase pen to write the names!)

    Anyway, I also like the paper letter/picture/card. We have opted to not do it every single year though--we tend to skip every 3rd year or so. On those years, we write up a newsy letter and attach some photos and send something digital...but the majority of the time we're still sending a real letter. Because I agree with you, it's my non-green habit I guess, but I like having the real cards, I like putting them up on my wall and feeling loved and remembered!

    Sarah said...

    We are not a 100% "green" family...I recycle everything that I can, I cloth diaper, use cloth wipes...those are my biggest contributions to the environment. BUT, I will never stop sending our Christmas picture card and letter! I absolutely love doing it and also receiving "real" mail. I too save the pictures and add them to our photo album in our Christmas section. I always get a lot of compliments on our cards and letters so I like to bring a smile to our friend's/family's faces!

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    I love hearing from you! Thanks for sharing your comment. - Jen

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