Monday, December 04, 2006

Yearly ritual

In the absence of having actual holiday traditions (which are openly loathed in my grinch-y household) I have yearly rituals that happen to occur around the holidays.

This way I don't have to watch Bubba's eyes roll back into his head while he sighs meaningfully and pretends to skewer himself with my chef's knife. And I don't have to feign interest in the true meanings that surround the conveniently placed holiday.

One of my yearly rituals is the taking down of the year's correspondence and starting over for the next year when the first holiday card arrives in the mail. I decided a while back that I loved all the cards that I got throughout the year; for birthdays, anniversaries, thank yous, babies born, marriages vowed, etc, that I didn't want to just let them flop around on the bar or fireplace mantle. And I really didn't want to have to replace them when they blew over or were swept aside by the tail of a passing land beast we call Rocket.

So I pin them up. Not in a fancy way, just to a ribbon that is pinned up at the corners, with some old clothespins that I don't use anymore because I can't figure out a way to shoehorn a clothesline into our teeny laundry room. And throughout the year, starting with the first holiday card we get, I continue on my merry way pinning and stacking and strategizing ways to get all the cards collected on the ribbon without it peeling away from the wall and crashing down all over our entry. This event, too, causes much eye rolling and faux self-impalement, so we try to avoid it.

And, for 2006, I can say that we have started anew upon the receipt of our first holiday card. Which, ironically, comes from the person I'd least expect to have the time, energy or inclination to put together a holiday mailing (particularly the gorgeous one she sent) since she's, at once; packing an entire house by herself, selling most of her earthly belongings, changing jobs, moving across the country and carrying her second child. All this while her husband is thousands of miles away caring for their first child and working his rear off at a new job in the new city. If you have those friends who seem to be able to manufacture time and get an outrageous amount of stuff accomplished in addition to their very busy work lives, you know what I'm saying here. It blows my mind. And here comes this beautiful card sailing into my mailbox on 12/1. Incredible.

Anyhoo, this card gets the highly coveted top/center spot on the card holder thingee and starts off the annual ripping down and starting over of the whole process.




And this year, I decided that merely admiring the nice cards for a full year while they hung on the card holder thingee (I've stopped short of giving it a real name) is not enough. No, I need to reuse them somehow. So, if you receive a gift from me this holiday season, odds are good that it will have a weird looking gift tag attached to it with some abstract something or other on one side and your name on the other. That is because it was punched (by way of a Sizzix) from a card someone sent me this year that was too pretty/fancy/weird/ugly to throw away.

I'm aware that these gift tags will just perpetuate the common feeling amongst my family and friends that I'm mildly off my nut and I just don't care. But, I'll tell you, I finally don't feel guilty about throwing away greeting cards and that is a great, strange relief. And don't sit there and tell me that you don't have a twinge of guilt when you throw away a birthday card or thank you note because I won't believe you. And I might start not liking you a little bit because you are clearly a stronger, and saner, person than I.


  1. Although you and I aren't friends--I read your blog and think you're one of those amazing people that seem to get it ALL done! Knitting, gardening, cleaning closets, reading books, traveling, baking--and now holiday cards! Wow.

    And yes, I do feel guilty about trashing cards.

  2. Yes. I send LOTS of cards and it makes me sad to think that my friends throw them away. I save a lot of cards I receive, if they wrote something meaningful. I love your card holder thingee idea! It must be nice to sort them at the end of the year and be think back on all the people who have made you feel special this year!

  3. What an interesting idea. I really like the year-of-correspondence idea. I never throw cards away. But for the freebie ones I get for advertising, etc, I want to make these
    old cards or paper to gift tags

  4. Hi there,
    I just got sent a link to your book club. I've been looking for a book club for a month with no luck. Is there anything needed to join yours, or just show up and comment? Oddly, I was reading BB'slost continent last month (i gave it to my boyfriend who is having America homesickness) and didn't know about your club!

  5. LOVE your holiday card Fin!! I just got it and it is excellent. So sweet. Bravo my friend. :)

  6. Hey -- can you talk me through making one of those card-hanging thingies? Love that idea.

  7. dmarie - You talk like that and we WILL be friends ;) Don't worry thought, I assure you that with all the crafty stuff that appears to get done around here, I have many more moments of unbridled insanity and inefficiency. Glad to hear that you, too, have card-tossing remorse. Makes me feel normal-ish.

    ktered - You hit the nail on the head. Getting to read through all the cards is the best part. Not sure why I didn't that. To me, that is what makes this time of year special. And this year I realized even more how blessed I am thanks to all those kind words sent my way.

    Barb - Girl, I bet you of all people could do something innovative with your freebie advertising. In fact, I wonder if I could...

    Jessica - Please! This about as low key as it comes. Take a look at the book I choose and if you like it, read it. Then show up and toss up a comment. If you get real fancy, you can even put up a post on your own blog or add the image link to your sidebar and let other people know about the bookclub.

    Africankelli - I'm glad you got your card OK. Whenever I put that many cards in the mail at once I'm positive some horrible blackhole-style fate will befall them.

    Oh, and:

    Get a nice long ribbon, two push pins and a bunch of clothespins.

    1. Fold the ribbon in half and pin it up to the wall so that the side lengths are even.
    2. Pin shit to it.

    The end!

  8. Ok - i just found your blog and am reading all your back posts - and THANK you for a great idea - I hate the thought of throwing away great cards - what a wonderful idea. I still have cards sitting in a dish from 3 years ago - because they are so cool looking.....


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.