Post-Holiday Dilemma: What to do with all those cards?

Holiday Photos

As the holiday season marches on, you’ve no doubt received a number of greeting cards from friends far and near (and maybe one or two from your dentist or stockbroker!)

You’ve read them, displayed them and enjoyed the updates and photos.  Soon its time to put away the Christmas ornaments or the menorah, and you find yourself wondering what to do with all those cards.

You could save them.  If you’re a sentimental fool like me it’s hard letting them go.   Assuming you get 30 cards a year, you’ll have a collection of 300 by the end of the decade.  Double that and…well you get the picture.  Consider this instead:

Recycle. (You have my permission!)  Statistics state that 80% of what we file is never accessed again.  The idea behind the greeting is just that (to say hello, share a few updates, and carry on).  Odds are you’ll never look at those cards again with an equally good chance that you’ll run out of storage space.  Another option: package and mail the front of your cards to St. Jude’s Ranch for Children recycled card program.  Unfortunately they cannot accept Hallmark, American Greetings or Disney cards).

Re-purpose.  After savoring your beautiful cards, turn them into gift tags.  I purchased a Creative Memories tag maker and 1/8th inch ribbon from a craft store.   Simply punch the unused portion of the card, as seen below.

Re-purpose Old Christmas or Hanukkah Cards

Reminisce.  In recent years a number of holiday cards are photographs.  It can be fun year-to-year to compare photos of children as they grow or your friends changing hairstyles.  I’ve created a Reminisce Box for those beloved holiday photos.  I enjoy thumbing through it once a year as I add the current batch of pictures.

“I just like to smile.  Smiling’s my favorite!” – Will Ferrell as Buddy in the movie Elf


  1. I love this Alys- as always you have great ideas. One other suggestion I have is to put the photo cards into an album. I add to mine every year, and it’s great to see all my friends’ children growing and changing. My first volume is finally full, so this year I’ll be starting volume #2!

  2. Mary Elizabeth Tait says:

    Super ideas, Alys….I confess to being very sentimental about cards….and there is something very special about seeing a loved one’s handwriting, especially after they have passed away. I have a box of cards and letters saved over the years and every now and then I find comfort in re-reading about their days in those old cards and letters…

    • Cards are very special and difficult to part with for many people. Sometimes having a letting go ritual can help. Consider sitting down once a year and re-reading cards from the previous year. Enjoy the sentiment, then let them go, making room for the new ones that will flow into your life.

    • ME, for some reason your full comment didn’t post. Yes, special notes and cards from family members we’ve lost can be precious. I’ve saved a handful from my mother, father and aunt. I’m finding more and more that holiday cards arrive without any personal sentiments included, so I find those much easier to let go.

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