Holiday 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

     

     

  • Holiday Cards ~ Unique or Traditional?

    The holiday cards are coming in by the droves these days, and I love all of them...every last one. Some are so unique and others traditional, but mostly what I like about them is that I get to seefrechette the personalities of my friends displayed in what kind of card they decided upon.  If I were to pick a favorite style of card, it would have to be the ones that include photos.

    I'm sitting here at my desk, looking at a card from a good friend who, up until this year, has always sent a card with just her daughter's photo. But, this year, the whole family was in the shot, and instead of dressing all up in fancy, matchy matchy clothes (nothing wrong with that for sure), they were at a Minnesota Twins game ~ Mom, Dad, and daughter, all sporting their own brand of a Twins t-shirts, sitting out in the sunshine clearly having a great family time. On the inside were 3 more pictures of the same kind!  Love love love this card!

    doggyOthers I've seen are very pet focused. Have you noticed this trend, the folks who perhaps don't have children or children at home anymore take adorable shots of their dog or cat? I think it's a wonderful trend and I hope it never stops! I don't think there's a person alive who doesn't enjoy a cute animal photo, so those cards are quickly becoming very popular.

    Then still others are classic and traditional, and those are just comforting to receive, aren't they? To know that some things stay the same and still look amazing and evoke the  warm fuzzies in  me is one of the best feelings there is.

    Although time is running short, if you are looking for a great holiday card that gives you the freedom to express yourself, check out what we've got on our website. Just go here, and look under the Accessories tab on the far right. We've partnered with a very fun vendor, and you won't be disappointed. Promise.

    I have often sent my cards after Christmas, making them more of a New Year's card and pretend it was on purpose. Haha, don't tell anyone. :)

    Photo courtesy

  • 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?

  • Online Spending Up Last Christmas

    It seems that more and more people are finding online shopping more convenient and more reliable, if data from the previous Christmas retail season is to be believed.

    comScore reports that for the period of November 1 to December 26, online purchases amounted to $30.8 billion, a sharp 13% increase over the previous year's $27.4 billion tally for the same period. Most of these were seen in the week ending Dec. 26, with as much as $2.5 billion worth of goods purchased online.

    That translates to a 17% improvement year-on-year.

    While a lot of factors, including bad weather, have been pinpointed as the cause of the increase, this new data supports that many consumers nowadays are finding it more convenient to shop online, especially for Christmas gifts.

    What were the top items bought online this part Christmas season? Computer hardware and handheld devices. The comScore data found that a lot of people bought more of these, along with books, electronics, software, and toys, online this year. Purchasing expensive items online also denotes a certain level of trust on the part of the consumer. Who would give their credit card details to retailers if they are not sure that it is safe, and that the items they bought would be delivered?

    Online shopping has truly provided an easier way to avoid the Christmas rush. It is one of the things that we capitalized on by having our products sold online. You just pick out your gifts and decorations, we process it for you. Quality and satisfaction guaranteed!

    We at MerryStockings.com are grateful for all the people who have trusted us during the past year. It has been a busy time for us during the past few months, making sure that your Christmas stockings, ornaments, holiday cards reach you or your recipients. As always, we look forward to the new year with a better inventory, prettier designs and with the usual focus on quality.

  • 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 Around the World: Philippines

    The Philippines has a notably long Christmas season. Unofficially, Christmas in the Philippines start with the "-ber" months, September through December. Indeed, radio stations throughout the country start playing Christmas songs as early as September. Officially, however, the mostly Catholic Filipinos start their holiday season on December 16, with the start of the Misa de Gallo or Morning Masses and ends it on the Epiphany.

    Filipino Christmas Traditions

    The Misa de Gallo or literally, the "rooster's mass" is a nine-day novena wherein Filipinos wake up at dawn to hear mass at church for nine consecutive days, culminating on Christmas eve. This is considered to be the most important Christmas tradition for Filipinos.

    Families also gather together to have a midnight feast on Christmas eve called the noche buena. After this feast, comes the gift giving and opening of presents for some families, while others wait until Christmas morning to do these.

    Christmas parties are also a big part of the Filipino Christmas, with most schools, offices and stores holding their Christmas parties on different nights once December rolls in. These parties are peppered with parlor games, contests, food and sometimes, production numbers prepared by employees or students.

    Christmas carols are usually sung during the Christmas season, with young and old carolers regaling households with their repertoire of Christmas songs. Filipino children go from house to house to regale their occupants with songs. In return, the listeners give them coins, candies and other inexpensive gifts for their efforts.

    Christmas Symbols

    A country of roughly about 75% Catholics and Christians, the Filipinos put special emphasis on the symbolism and importance of Baby Jesus even in its Christmas symbols. A common Christmas decoration is the Belen (nativity scene), which depicts the manger scene with Joseph, Mary, the Baby Jesus and the whole cast of characters like the Three Wise Men, stable animals and angels.

    Another common decoration is the parol, a star-shaped lantern that symbolizes the star of Bethlehem.

    But the Philippines also have Western-inspired decorations. No house in the country celebrates Christmas without a Christmas tree. Friends also exchange holiday cards on top of gifts. Further, every child in the country knows who Santa Claus is. Some carols even have imagery of snow, while some decorations depict snow even if the Philippines does not have snow.

    But Christmas in the Philippines is mostly about family. MerryStockings.com recognizes this. If you want to wow your friends and family in the Philippines, send them truly personalized gifts of you and your family, like these holiday greeting cards or photo ornaments!

  • Top 5 Christmas Shopping Tips

    Christmas shopping does not have to be stressful. Well, not if you follow MerryStocking.com’s tips!

    1. Make a gift list and stick with it.

    Before even entering the mall, make sure that you have a list of people that you'd give gifts to. This would make sure that you do not end up buying something out of impulse.

    2. Buy quality products.

    Think about the person you are giving the gift to. What do you think he or she would like or want? Then seek out inexpensive but durable gifts. Same thing with Christmas cards, you should make it apparent that you wanted to impress the recipient and make them feel special and remembered.

    3. Shop early.

    There is no rule that says that you can not buy gifts early on. Buy gifts months or weeks before can certainly save you from the hassle of elbowing your way through the aisle, the horrendous traffic and the mad rush for a parking space. What is more, you can get more discounts when you shop early. It also helps when you are ordering personalized Christmas gifts. Advanced shopping ensures that your gift will arrive on time to the recipient.

    4. Avoid the rush. Shop online.

    If you find yourself still needing to buy gifts and you hate the thought of the Christmas crowd, then you should shop on a weekday morning, where the crowd is the thinnest. Or you can shop online. Just be sure that the site you are buying from is a reputable and secure site.

    5. Keep the receipts.

    Do not throw away your receipts before your recipient has opened the gift and you see that it is perfect. You might find that a toy you gave your son has a missing part, or a sweater is too big for your sister. It is always good to be able to have these replaced.

    MerryStockings.com has a wide array of Christmas cards, Christmas ornaments, Christmas stockings that could be the perfect gift for friends and family. Make them feel special with a personalized gift this Christmas!

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