Tuesday, November 27, 2012

In Search of the Spirit of Christmas

I love Christmas, really, I do, but this year I feel like I'm constantly searching for that holly jolly feeling.  Yesterday was the pits.  My house was a jumble of boxes and glitter, oh the glitter, it was everywhere on the floor.  As I slowly got the house back to order (or what passes for order these days in 1100 square feet that houses three people and a puppy dog), the feeling of holiday magic slowly started to break the ice of my humbug.

Suddenly, I felt like turning the tree lights on for my son returning from school, the Christmas songs on the station didn't make me cringe and you know, a little glitter never hurt anyone, right?  It was a cold and dreary day outside, but inside, there was a renewed warmth as my little boy and I curled up on the couch to work on after school homework and talk about the season ahead.  He's certain it's going to snow.  I hope he's right.

What struck me is that I'm happiest when I'm doing something to make things special for those I love.  Maybe you're the same?  Case in point, when my husband arrived home from work, I had the outdoor Christmas lights on to welcome him, a candle burning to make the house smell good and holiday music playing.  No home cooked meal, but hey, baby steps!  Those little touches made me feel more giving and in the spirit of the season.

This morning, a routine trip to the store found me staring at stationary (I love stationary!) and thinking about holiday cards.  I want to be economical this year, but also creative.  I didn't want to send off for another amazing photo card, I wanted something that was personal that showed that I touched each card and thought about the person who would be receiving it.  An idea came to me which really put me in the Christmas spirit thinking of friends and family.

Holiday Cards Made Simple
Step one, buy 3.5"x5" card stock.  I found a kit with 200 pre-cut pieces and envelopes at Target.  3.5"x5" seems to be the perfect size to fit into most printers using the photo tray.

Next, I went through my digital scrapbook elements and found a saying/expression that I liked.  I looked for a graphic image, but didn't find one that fit the bill so I ended up downloading a free image and manipulating it in Photoshop to make it what I wanted.

I combined all the elements together in Photoshop and used a few sheets of my least favorite color in the card stock bundle (purple since my graphic was very natural looking) to test the printing.  When I had all the settings correct, I printed out 175 cards.

The image looks like it was hand stamped onto the cards, which I love, and this weekend, if all goes well, my family will get a holiday photo at our Farm together which can be attached to the back of the cards for friends and family.

I already feel more in the spirit thanks to finding the perfect holiday cards for the Shoptaws and knowing the the most expensive part will be the postage.  There's something about making a thing from scratch that just feels right.  

Happy Holidays!!


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