greeting cards

  • Creative Use of a Button

    rustic buttonOne of the things my creative mind loves doing the most is finding multiple uses for simple, ordinary things. It is my industrious character trait coupled with creativity and, of course, frugality at work! And, what could be more basic than a button?

    I dare say few things are more rudimentary than a button. :) Think about it, we've been making buttons to clasp things closed for a very long time, way before we learned to make them in a factory. Wood sticks and loops of twine is just one example!

    I think we can take this inexpensive little thing called a button and make some really charming Christmas items. Here are just a few examples:

     

    button card

    Now isn't that just about the cutest card you've ever seen? It has that minimalist look too that is so popular, and what you see ends up being way more than the sum of its parts.

     

    button cookies

    How about button cookies? These are simple sugar or butter cookies, too! After you roll out your dough and cut your circle, take a cookie cutter just a little smaller and press lightly for the groove. Then poke 2 holes in the center with a skewer. I think these would be adorable as a table favor at a ladies Christmas party, or a very creative way to bundle up plain sugar cookies for a cookie exchange.

     

    button ornament

    I LOVE this idea. It involves a package of colored buttons in various shades, some thin wire and ribbon. These can be ornaments for the tree or even gift tags! This is a tag that your sewing friend will definitely not throw away, and will forever think of you as their most creative friend.

    While going to the spendy department store for their annual Christmas ornament is a tradition for many, I simply love the idea of crafting one of our own annual ornaments from the staples of life.

     

    Photo credit:  Wooden stick, card, cookies, ornament/gift tag

     

     

  • Christmas Pictures

    Today I bring you a veritable feast for the eyes that is sure to bring a smile to your face. You know those baby pictures that your parents took of you that they brought out every time you started dating someone seriously? My parents had a picture of me lying on my tummy in my birthday suit on a black couch. For whatever reason they thought it was adorable, sweet, endearing. Okay, I admit it, it kind of was. But, I didn't think so at the time. Just think what could be done with these adorable shots:

    baby 1

    Rudolph

    baby 2

    Osh Kosh Oh My Gosh

    baby 3

    Pretty as a bow

    baby 4

    Wake me when it's time to go

    baby 5

    I'm in lights!

    baby 6

    No jacket required

    baby 7

    Are we done yet?

  • Christmas Traditions Explained, Part II

    Yesterday, we looked at the practice of kissing under the mistletoe and hanging up Christmas stockings and examined their origins.

    MerryStockings.com takes a look at more Christmas traditions and how they came to be.

    Deck the halls with boughs of holly...

    Everybody knows this Christmas song, and almost everybody has sung it at at least one point in their lives. But do you know why people use holly during the Christmas season? It is not only because of the green leaves and red berries they have, which is coincidentally the most popular Christmas colors, but also because of a legend.

    In olden times, people believed that ghosts and evil spirits roamed during winter and Christmas time. Europeans believed that holly held magical powers because like the mistletoe, it remains green even during the bleak winter months. So people hanged boughs of holly over their doors to keep the evil spirits away.

    It served a more practical purpose too. In the time before canned air fresheners became available, these boughs of holly also purified the air inside the home.

    Holly is also used as a religious symbol around Christian homes. It is believed that holly came up from the ground on which Jesus Christ walked. The spiky leaves represent his crown of thorns while the red berries represent the blood that he shed.

    Christmas Cards

    The practice of sending out Christmas cards had humbler roots. It began in the United Kingdom where young boys sent Christmas greetings to their parents in order to practice their writing.

    Officially, however, the first real Christmas cards were the brainchild of Sir Henry Cole who was too busy to send his friends individualized Christmas greetings. What he did was to ask John Calcott Harvey to draw an illustration, which he then mass printed on a card. The illustration with a simple greeting for the holidays became the first Christmas cards.

    Get into the Christmas spirit by sending your loved ones beautiful and personalized Christmas cards. MerryStockings.com allows you to have the flexibility of choosing any format from the various designs we have and then letting you add a personal touch by incorporating your own photographs on these.

  • Top 3 Tips to Sending a Christmas Card

    Christmas cards are very much a part of the season, just like snow and Santa Claus is. MerryStockings.com gives you three things to remember when sending out holiday cards!

    1. Know your reasons. Christmas cards provide an easy way to get in touch with long lost friends, connect with friends and family, or simply to let them know they are remembered. It is important for you to know why you are sending them a Christmas greeting. This is the perfect way of taking stock of everyone whom you met in your life and how they changed your life for the better. It's also a good way to be thankful for the friendships and having them in your life. Whatever your reason, be sure to appreciate the recipient as you write your greetings.

    Also, if you want them to know what has been happening to your life lately, a personalized Christmas card might be the best idea to go. Not only will they be delighted to see your new husband or new baby, they will also get to share an important moment in your life.

    2. Write a personal note. While it is easy to cop out and just write your recipients' name and seal the card, address it and post it, it's always better to write a personal note. Make it short and brief, but always show that you took the time out to think of the right words to say. This will make your Christmas greeting even more special.

    3. Start early. It would be easy to get overwhelmed when you have dozens of people you want to send a card to. Make sure that you prepare your list of recipients well in advance, and that you already have a draft greeting written for each even before the Christmas season starts. The extra time would be very beneficial when you want to write a personal note for everyone in your list.

    Further, remember that almost everybody sends out Christmas cards during the holiday season, so postal traffic might be too hectic for your cards to arrive on time. Sending your cards early would help ensure that your recipients get your card before the Christmas season is over.

    Lastly, if you are opting for a personalized Christmas card, you will need the extra time for it to be printed and delivered to you.

  • Christmas Cards: A History

    Yesterday, we gave you the perfect samples of our holiday cards that are sure to be cherished and kept by its recipients. A Christmas card is more than just a greeting card, it conveys the message that you care about them and that you remember them during the holiday season.

    So a personalized Christmas card is a great way for you somehow say it in a manner that is both personal and warm.

    But did you know that the practice of sending out holiday cards is actually a very old tradition? It has been practiced for more than 150 years. The practice of sending out a holiday card came from England.

    How did it start? Well, it started due to a reason that we're all too familiar with. Sir Henry Cole found himself overwhelmed by the sheer number of Christmas greetings he had to send. Sir Henry was the founder of the Victoria and Albert Museum and had so many friends, acquaintances and colleagues that he found it impossible to write the greetings by hand.

    So he asked John Calcott Horsley to design the first commercial Christmas card. It depicted a family drinking wine, a panel showing clothing and feeding the poor and the simple message: A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You.

    Each card sold for a shilling, but the tradition stayed on. Soon Christmas cards depicting fairies, flowers and fancy designs cropped up . The tradition came to the U.S. over 30 years after, when Louis Prang opened a new lithographic shop and churned out the first U.S. Christmas cards. They depicted birds and flowers. Soon, however, Christmas scenes became a favorite illustrations on cards, as well as cards depicting the signs of the times. During the World Wars, Christmas cards had a more patriotic design, while risque graphics were prevalent in the 1950s.

    It has since been a steady climb for Christmas cards the world over. The holiday card industry has always been very lucrative, with an impressive 1.9 billion cards sent in 2005 in the U.S. alone.

  • Some Christmas Facts to Remember

    Some weird and not so weird Christmas facts that you can drop during holiday parties and conversations.

    1. Seven out of ten pets get Christmas gifts in the U.K.

    2. Over 1.9 billion holiday cards are sent out in the United States over Christmas. Valentine's Day does not even come close with only 192 million cards given.

    3. States that have the most number of Christmas trees cut? The winner is Oregon in 2002 with 6.5 million. Runners up include Michigan, Washington, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

    4. In 2004, Christmas tree farmers sold $506 million worth of Christmas trees.

    5. There is a town in Florida named Christmas. It has 1,162 people living in it. You can also visit North Pole, Alaska, Santa Claus in both Georgia and Indiana, and Rudolph, Wisconsin.

    6. Retailers in 2004 reported sales amounting to $31.9 billion in December alone. Christmas shopping in 2004 started in November which saw $20.8 billion in sales. So as a whole, retailers rely on Christmas for more than $50 billion in sales!

    7. For those who prefer to shop in their underwear, $21.5 billion in sales were made online during the last quarter of 2004, making Christmas at least a $70 billion enterprise for retailers.

    8. You are not alone. 32% did their Christmas shopping online in 2003.

    9. Between Christmas and Thanksgiving, there are 20 billion letters, cards and packages delivered by the post office.

    10. December 21 is the busiest delivery day for the U.S. Postal Service.

    Now is the most opportune time to order your holiday cards so that it can get to your recipients on time for Christmas. MerryStockings.com could produce the holiday cards for you. Give your friends and family the best holiday cards ever by giving them personalized Christmas cards that they would surely appreciate!

  • Christmas in Non-Christian Countries

    How do Non-Christian countries celebrate Christmas? Well, the answer is not so clear cut. So we take three countries and look at how Christmas is celebrated there.

    Christmas in Thailand

    Thailand is largely a Buddhist country and Christmas is officially just another ordinary day. But most people do celebrate it just for fun.

    Major cities in Thailand still put up Christmas trees and other decorations, usually seen in hotels and malls.

    December, however, is the month of the King's birthday. From December 5 to the New Year, various festivities are help in celebration.

    Christmas in China

    The Chinese are also a largely non-Christian country. They do put up Christmas decorations during the season, but these are mostly in metropolitan areas like Beijing. Most people decorate their houses with Christmas trees and paper lanterns and have special feast with family and friends. The Christmas season in China coincides with the Spring Festival.

    In Hong Kong, however, they have their own version of Santa Claus that they call "Lan Khoong" or "Dun Che Lao Ren". Similar to the Western Santa, he gives out gifts to good children. Church services for Christmas are held in English and Chinese. Children exchange cards, usually with the Holy Family in very Chinese surroundings. Public places are also decorated with poinsettias, streamers, paper chains and other decorations.

    Christmas in India

    India has a very secular population and Christians are a minority. Unlike China and Thailand, however, India observes Christmas due to the colonization of Europeans. It is celebrated by Christians and non-Christians alike.

    Christmas decorations are to be seen in malls, stores and public places. School plays mostly touch on the Nativity story. Santa Claus, or "Christmas Baba" is a common feature in malls.

    Christians in India hear Christmas mass on the December 24, amidst beautiful poinsettia and candles. They then share a delicious Christmas feast before exchanging gifts. Similarly, they decorate their homes with a manger display, giant star lanterns and other Christmas decors.

    MerryStockings.com invite you to share Christmas as you know it to friends in India, China and Thailand by giving them holiday cards that they can appreciate. Choose from our largely secular designs and show them they are remembered.

  • Top 7 Things You Probably Don't Know about Holiday Cards

    Today, it is very common to send and receive Christmas cards.  It is one of the most cherished Christmas tradition that helps us keep in contact with friends and family, while also making them feel important to us.  MerryStockings.com have compiled some interesting facts about Christmas cards.  Here are the top 7 things you probably do not know about Christmas cards.

    1. Christmas cards are the highest selling seasonal cards, cornering 60% of that market.  Among all cards, Christmas cards sell as high as birthday cards.  This is rather astonishing and shows that the Christmas card market is a lucrative one, considering that:

    • Americans buy around 7 billion greeting cards per year
    • The greeting cards sector is a $7.5 billion industry, and
    • More than 9 out of 10 households buy greeting cards.  The average household buy around 30 cards yearly.

    Also, take into consideration that greeting cards can cost from 50 cents to around $10!

    2. The average individual gets more than 20 cards per year.  One third of these are birthday cards and another third are Christmas cards!

    3. Ninety percent of Americans love getting cards and letters, because it makes them feel special and remembered, while also allowing them to keep in touch.

    4. Henry Cole commissioned the first-ever commercial Christmas greeting card in 1843.  The card was designed by John Horsley.

    5. Americans had to import Christmas cards from England for the first thirty years.

    6. Louis Prang, a German immigrant in the United States, published the first U.S. Christmas cards in 1875.  His business became so successful that he was creating 5 million cards a year by 1881!

    7. Hallmark says that more than 1.8 billion Christmas cards are sent out every year, including personalized Christmas cards.  This is more than 10 times more than the 152 million cards sent on Valentine's Day and 141 million cards sent on Mother's Day.

  • Why Electronic Greeting Cards Are a No-no

    With the advent of the Internet, it is now possible to send electronic cards to friends and family.  Indeed, with just a few steps that would only take minutes, you could already send out a holiday greeting.  You could also "personalize" it with a graphic of your choice, a personal note, even attach pictures or have it play a sound file (usually a midi version of a popular Christmas tune).

    Using your recipient's e-mail address, your Christmas greeting card is received in a matter of seconds.  Your recipient can click on the link on the e-mail he or she received to view your card.  He or she can then send you his or her own electronic greeting, as well as his or her other friends.

    Admittedly, the convenience of sending electronic greeting cards is a benefit that most of us cannot turn down.  What is more, it costs next to nothing to send one, with a lot of sites offering free e-cards for you to choose from.  But is it worth it?  MerryStockings.com thinks it is not!  And here are the reasons why:

    1. It is very impersonal.  True you could personalize an electronic greeting card, but nothing beats getting one in the mail and reading handwritten notes from friends and family.  Also, there are some senders who for the lack of time or originality tend to just send the same note to everybody.

    2. It is not safe.  In this age of online hacking, phishing and identity theft attacks, opening a link on an e-mail is a no-no.  Even if the sender of the e-mail is a trusted friend, there is a chance that the link would take you to a Web site that could start sending you packets of data that could compromise your computer, download malware and spyware to it, and otherwise make you vulnerable for hacking and phishing.

    3. Most recipients do not open it or it gets caught by spam filters.  Because of the threat described above, a lot of people do not open greeting cards that are sent electronically.  Some ignore it because of the sheer volume of e-cards they receive.  While others miss out on it because it has been blocked by spam filters.

    This Christmas, know that you should keep touch with your friends and family even if they are far away from you.  The best way to do this is to send them a Christmas card.  Possibly, you could include pictures to update them how your family is like now.  Another alternative is to send the personalized holiday cards that would help decrease the cost of having to develop several copies of your photos.   With the right note, you can easily warm their hearts and make them feel treasured and cherished.

9 Item(s)