Sunday, 24 December 2006

Recycling Christmas Cards

Greeting Card Crafts and Activities

After Christmas, or any occasion, what do you do with all the beautiful greeting cards you receive? Do you pack them away? Do you throw them away?

Forget those ideas and recycle those used greeting cards! Here are some ideas to get you started. Can you think of others?

  • Bookmarks - Create unique bookmarks with pictures cut from old greeting cards.

  • Gift Tags - Be prepared with fancy, home-made gift tags.

  • Greeting Cards - Transform old greeting cards into new ones!

  • Lacing Toy - Make fun lacing cards for the younger kids.

  • Ornaments - Trim your holiday tree with these simple ornaments.

  • Place Mats - These decorations can be made from a handful of old greeting cards.

  • Storage Box - Use decoupage techniques to create this fun box.

When it comes to recycling greeting cards, one of the simplest things to do is to cut the front picture off the old greeting card and use it as a postcard. Draw a line down the blank back, write a message on the left-hand side, and address it on the right-hand side.

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Calls to recycle Christmas waste

Up to one billion cards and 83 square km of wrapping paper will be thrown away this Christmas - much of it needlessly - the government has said.

In all enough rubbish to fill 400,000 double-decker buses will be produced, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said.

Half of the festive waste could be recycled, but more than 80% will be binned, it claimed.

It is calling on people to recycle jars, bottles, cans and unwanted gifts.

Recycling points

Britons will also use 24 million jars of mincemeat, pickle and cranberry sauce, Defra said.

If these glass jars were recycled, it would save enough energy to boil water for 60 million cups of tea, said Environment Minister Elliot Morley.

Further waste is created by the traditional Christmas meal, with around 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging and 4,200 tonnes of foil expected to be thrown out.

And, once the festive season is over, about six million Christmas trees will be binned, creating more than 9,000 tonnes of waste.

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Christmas Card Recycling Scheme

Helping the environment by reducing the
amount of waste going to landfill

Help us reach our 2007 target of 90 million Christmas and New Year cards by:
Recycling YOUR cards from 2-31 January
Taking your cards to any mainland WHSmith store*, TESCO supermarket (including selected Express stores) and TK Maxx stores
Downloading materials to publicise the scheme
Find out what happens to your cards

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Thursday, 21 December 2006

Snail mail is still king of greetings

It would be so easy and inexpensive. Sit down at your computer, select a cute holiday e-card and zap it to the dozens of people on your contact list. No cards or stamps to buy. No envelopes to address. You’re done.

So why are so few people doing it?

The reason is simple, industry experts say. The ubiquity of electronic communication has made e-mails commonplace and snail mail more special and important. In fact, there’s a backlash under way, some experts say, and many women are trying to add more authenticity and meaning to the messages they send by assembling the cards themselves.

It’s easy to explain why electronic greetings aren’t supplanting the old-fashioned Christmas card, industry players say. You might call it the “keepsake phenomenon” or the “mantel test.”

“Try putting an e-card on your mantel. Try pulling it out a year from now,” said Sue Lindstrom, the founder and creative force behind Paper Source, a chain of 20 specialty paper and stationery stores based in Chicago. “Electronic communication is becoming more and more important for business and less and less important as a way to communicate real feelings.”

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Thursday, 14 December 2006

Christmas Card sent for 60 years

A Hampshire woman has received a family Christmas card, which has been sent between relatives for nearly 60 years.

Renee Warren, of Emsworth, remembers her parents first sending the "Scotch Christmas card" to her cousin, Ethal, in Tooting, London, in 1947.

When her mother died, she continued the tradition, and still sends the card to Ethal, who now lives in Canada.

Mrs Warren said the card, which has had to be reinforced with sellotape, "chartered the family's history".

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Thursday, 7 December 2006

19th Century Christmas Card Publishers

In the Victorian era when a person paid a formal call on a friend, it was customary to leave a visiting card as a reminder of the visit. These cards were typically small, about 2 by 3 inches. In 1860, Charles Goodall & Son, a British publisher of visiting cards, began mass producing cards designed especially for visits at Christmas. These Christmas and New Year's visiting cards were the forerunners of greeting cards and were decorated with simple designs such as a twig of holly or flowers.

By 1895, most of the original Christmas card publishing firms went out of business due to the importing of German cards, which were less expensive. The following is a list, with examples, of some of the most popular early publishers of 19th century Christmas cards:

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Sunday, 3 December 2006

Greeting Card Etiquette

Birthday cards are facing a crackdown at one insurance firm in Dorset, which fears "ageist" jokes could break new anti-discrimination laws. But the etiquette of office cards is already fraught with pitfalls.
We've all been there - the sense of guilty irritation at the sight of a giant card coming round the office. There's going to be a high risk of glitter and pink overdose.
What are you going to write? A colleague is leaving, having a major birthday, getting married. So it's a big deal for them. But what are you going to write?

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Saturday, 2 December 2006

History of Christmas Cards

The first holiday greeting cards were probably the "Christmas Pieces" made by students in the early 18th century. Students would take large sheets of writing paper, printed with engraved borders, and write messages to their parents expressing holiday greetings. A child might write a message such as "Love to Dearest Mummy at the Christmas Season" or "Holiday Wishes to Aunt Agatha and Uncle Fred." These samplers were designed to show their parents how well their handwriting had improved over the past year. By 1820 colour was added to the engraved borders, making the pieces much more decorative. The use of note paper with matching envelopes, both with decorative designs printed on them, was another early custom. The invention of the Christmas Card was a natural progression from these Christmas traditions and the customs associated with Calling cards, Reward of Merit cards, and Valentine cards.

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Christmas card sells for over £8000

A Christmas card sent 163 years ago as one of the first seasonal greeting cards has been sold for £8,469 at a Wiltshire auction.

The hand-coloured novelty is one of an estimated 10 cards remaining from an original batch of 1,000 printed in London in 1843.

The cards were sold for one shilling each (5p) at a shop in Old Bond Street.

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Christmas Card Verse

The first Christmas card’s inscription read: "merry Christmas and a happy New Year to you." "Merry" was then a spiritual word meaning "blessed," as in "merry old England." Of the original one thousand cards printed for Henry Cole, twelve exist today in private collections.

Sir Henry Cole was a prominent innovator in the 1800s. He modernized the British postal system, managed construction of the Albert Hall, arranged for the Great Exhibition in 1851, and oversaw the inauguration of the Victoria and Albert Museum. Most of all, Cole sought to "beautify life," and in his spare time he ran an art shop on Bond Street, specializing in decorative objects for the home. In the summer of 1843, he commissioned Horsley to design an impressive card for that year’s Christmas.

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Christmas greetings... from Torquay

Did you know that the first commercially produced Christmas card was designed in Torquay more than 160 years ago?

The festive season is fast approaching and it's that time again when we all sit down to draw up our all-important Christmas Card lists. But did you know that this annual friendly offering is a tradition which has its roots in Torquay? We have to travel back to Victorian times for this particular Christmas story - to 1843 to be exact...

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Victorian Christmas Cards

"The Victorians celebrated Christmas with characteristic enthusiasm and had deep respect for custom and tradition..."

Read about the history of Victorian Christmas Cards and view some beautiful Christmas Card designs...
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