Lasting Holiday Traditions

I’m getting ready for Thanksgiving.  It’s my husband Andrew’s favorite holiday and he’s agreed to give me all the others if I give him carte blanche for that weekend.  It’s a steep price, but I’m pretty sure I come out ahead in the end.

I have a love-hate with the holiday.  First, the good part: Andrew’s brother arrives.  Morgan is an amazing chef (and conversationalist. Ladies, if you haven’t found a keeper yet…).

That’s not to say that Andrew isn’t.  He’s a fantastic cook, and I’m lucky to come home to a warm dinner most nights (and on the others I usually enjoy the leftovers).  But there’s really good food, and then there’s…well, Morgan’s food.  He probably should have been a chef.

Around Monday I start skipping lunch, hoping that come Thursday I’ll have saved up enough calories to justify participating in the upcoming meal.  By Tuesday I’ll doubt that it will happen, and by Wednesday I don’t really care anymore.  All I can think about are Morgan’s brined turkey, the stuffing (from a recipe that’s four hundred years old, if you believe the family lore) and Andrew’s indescribable apple pie.

Okay, I know the tradition, but he won’t hold with pumpkin.  If you want his reasons be prepared for an earful.

Continue reading

Related posts:

What to Write on Your Christmas Cards

Figuring out what to write on your Christmas cards every year can be difficult. The blank box with the blinking cursor grows larger and larger, in direct proportion to the pressure you’re feeling to make your message sincere, inspiring and funny all at the same time. Our advice to you? Just relax and write the way you talk to your friends. Here are five examples of Christmas letters that are long and newsy, but not obnoxious. Maybe you can use one of these approaches to get started on your own Christmas letter.
Christmas card wording ideas Christmas card wording ideas

1. Kids growing up
The Williams family is chalking up 2014 as yet another memorable one for the books! Let’s start with little Miss Paige. With two older brothers, not much gets past her. She started dance class this pas fall and loves the dresses and social interaction. Onto two of the “men” of our family, Joseph is our wild child and has proven this with his dare devil ways. An off-road bike tour of the neighborhood brought him home with a broken arm this summer. Eli is still calm, cool and collected. A second-grader, he excels in math and is growing his love for basketball this winter. He’s definitely the ring leader around the house, making sure his busy brother and diva sister are staying in line with what Mom and Dad say. We were blessed with our 4th child, Andrew on April 23rd. We hope this holiday greeting finds all our family and friends doing well.

2. Family adventures/trips
After two months of traveling, we are now able to correspond and connect with loved ones to share our wonderful experiences. We revisited France during September and October, traveling the Ligurian Coast. Our first stop was Alassio, a charming town with picturesque beaches. From there we traveled by train to Genoa. On our past trips, we never took the time to visit this brilliant city, so it was a real gem as we discovered stunning architecture. One of the largest cities in Europe, it brought about many historic excursions. Following the week stop in Genoa, we met with friends for a few days at a villa in the South of France. Great views with even better friends! We closed out the trip by spending a couple days in beautiful Paris. As we reflect on our travels, we are reminded of the many blessings among our family and throughout the world. We hope this letter finds you, a blessing to us, happy and healthy. Continue reading

Related posts:

10 New Ways to Say “Happy Holidays”

At Pear Tree Greetings, we dare to stand out not only with our unique Christmas card formats (which we fondly call our Golden Pears), but also with the Christmas card wording ideas we use in each of our designs. We love to give you options for saying “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” and doing it with a fresh twist. Here are 10 new ways for you to say “Merry Christmas” on this year’s Christmas card.

1. String of Sequins Ornament Christmas Cards: Oh Joy
Christmas card wording ideas

2. Shining Bright Foil Christmas Cards: Be Merry, Be Bright
Christmas card wording ideas

3. Colorful Cheer Christmas Cards: Cheer
Christmas card wording ideas

Continue reading

Related posts:

Featured Favorite

Real cards created by real people like you!

Christmas card ideas
We love the choice of gold foil to accent the beautiful photos on this simple, two-sided Shining Bright Christmas card. This family was excited to introduce their new puppy, Pearl, to friends and family, and chose this card because it had “the perfect sparkle for a Christmas card.” But more than the card choice, we love what mom, Heather, says about the tradition of sending Christmas cards and the meaning they hold for her family.

Continue reading

Related posts:

Free holiday garland printable!

Pear Tree Greetings is happy to introduce its free holiday garland printable! Creating this colorful paper chain is a fun DIY Christmas project to do with your kids and it’s FREE!Christmas Paper Chain Printable

Be sure to get your free free holiday garland printable now!

Related posts:

7 reasons to keep sending Christmas cards when your kids are all grown up

I’ll admit, sending Christmas cards does get harder as your kids get older. I can think of lots of excuses not to, from lack of photos to lack of funds. But I also think that sending Christmas cards is about more than sharing baby photos.

Best Wishes Spinner Photo Christmas Cards Merry Treescape Horizontal Photo Christmas Cards
1. By sending Christmas cards every year you are teaching your kids the power of connection and showing them that you value meaningful holidays as well as old friendships. You may not think they are watching, but they are. Someday they will think of you when they send their own Christmas cards.

Family photo ideas
Continue reading

Related posts:

Holiday Checklist: What You Can Be Doing Now

Have you started planning for the holidays? You’ve made travel arrangements, decided who’s hosting Thanksgiving dinner and your Holiday photo cards are ready to mail? Well, consider yourself a superhero because most of us don’t even want to think about the holidays yet. But if you get started on your holiday checklist now, you can eliminate some of the last-minute craziness and stress of the holiday season.

Holiday Planning Checklist
Talk to your relatives.
This may seem obvious, but rather than assuming plans will be the same as last year and that Aunt Susie will be hosting Thanksgiving as usual, you should ask the question and make plans accordingly. And if you are hosting (or can’t this year) let people know now, so they can make plans.

Keep your eyes peeled for deals. Whether you’re setting the Thanksgiving table, trimming the tree or decking the halls, decorating for the holidays takes time, money and planning, especially if you’re young and just starting out. You can be collecting ideas all year long, and keeping a lookout for sale items you can turn into something beautiful.
Continue reading

Related posts:

Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas

Do you love to create a new theme or color scheme for your Christmas tree each year? Looking for inspiration, we turned to Martha Stuart for this year’s most creative Christmas tree decorating ideas.

Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas
Unbreakable Tree. Curious little hands can’t help but be drawn to the irresistible magic of a Christmas tree. With an unbreakable tree, you can let them explore without worry. Nylon threads provide invisible support for a small tree, which is decorated entirely with easy-to make, kid-proof ornaments.

Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas
Golden Tree. Kevin Sharkey punctuated this 10-foot-high flocked tree with golden glass balls, then added new and vintage glass icicles. Cut felt serves as a tree-skirt-cum-snowdrift.

Continue reading

Related posts:

Featured Favorite

Real cards created by real people like you!

Christmas cardsIt wasn’t hard to choose this month’s Featured Favorite, because it was already one of our most unique family Christmas card ideas. We love how our customer, Tiffani, added her personal touches to make it even more unique—a greeting that could only come from her family.

Colorful Lights Ribbon Strand Christmas Cards, five vintage Christmas lights personalized with photos or text and strung on a green ribbon, was the perfect choice for her family. “I immediately loved the light bulbs when I saw them and just knew that was it.” This Little Light of Mine is a song she and her boys sing together. Text she had written for her church’s Christmas narration was perfect for the second light bulb.

When looking for family Christmas card ideas, Tiffani says, “I like something different. My formula for a good value includes the uniqueness and quality of an item in the equation. I selected this card because I can use it different ways. It will be my card, the toppers for some of my gifts, and garland on my tree.”

This card does require stringing the lights on the ribbon yourself, and Tiffani is planning to make it a family affair. “When we look back, it comes down to making memories, and lots of times it is the simple little things that we remember. My husband and two boys will make this into a family evening of education, memories, and fun. We will sort and assemble. We also usually each take turns saying things we are thankful about for the year.”

As she says, “It is hard to find a card that plants a seed that is remembered long after Christmas season is passed, and many of your cards have that wow factor that is remembered long after the tree is down.” Thanks, Tiffani! We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Get more ideas on how to make addressing and mailing your Christmas cards a family tradition, or see more Featured Favorites by customers like you on our blog.

Related posts:

My least favorite time of year: the annual address book update

Updating Christmas Address bookOne of the necessary but painful activities of the holiday season is the annual updating of the address book. Yes, it’s all part of organizing for Christmas and must be done before sending out Christmas cards, but it’s a job best swallowed with a bottle of wine and lots of music.

A few years ago my address book was just that—a book. A little yellow book I kept in the kitchen with phone numbers and addresses. I learned early on never to take a pen to this precious book, always pencil, for easy updates. Still, some members of my family have moved so often the paper was worn through with erasing. And I could never tell from one year to the next whether the address I had was the current one. As new addresses came to me, usually via the previous year’s holiday cards, I’d toss them in a pile for updating next year, sometime around December 15th.

Since then, I have upgraded my system to an Excel spreadsheet. The advantages to this are that it’s easy to make changes, and you can keep track of the changes if you want to. You can also use the list to print envelopes or address labels in Word. It’s not as convenient as I’d like it to be, however, because I still let the changes pile up and do them all, you guessed it, around December 15th.

I took an informal poll in our office to see if anyone had a better solution. I was surprised to find that about a third of us, even some of our IT gurus, are still in paper mode. Another third use some form of electronic spreadsheet, like I do. And the rest, the early adapters, have moved to a Google Doc format. A Google Doc is free to set up, and accessible from most smart phones and from any computer. This means that you can update addresses the minute you hear about a change, and that you have access to this updated address list wherever you are. You can also share it with other members of your family, and they can make updates, too.

When it comes to organizing for Christmas it seems that I am behind the times, as usual. But since it’s just one simple step to convert my Excel list to a Google Doc, I am not that far away from a state-of-the-art address book. I love the idea of having access to it on my phone. The downside is that currently you cannot print labels or envelopes directly from Google Docs, but it’s easy to export it back into Excel or Word to do this. Besides, I haven’t decided whether I’m going to hand-write or print address labels this year. I will make that decision later, probably sometime around December 15th.

Have you started organizing for Christmas or shopping for Christmas cards?  Find other ideas on addressing Christmas cards on our blog.

Related posts: