This week I decided it was FINALLY time to wrap up everything remaining from Christmas. George nagged me enough about our Christmas card display, and I knew our thank you notes were far overdue. And…it is Valentine’s Day!
I am certainly no Emily Post, but I try to maintain proper etiquette, particularly regarding thank you notes. When someone takes time, effort, and money to purchase and wrap a gift, I want them to know it was appreciated. This year, I thought I’d diverge from our traditional hand written notes, and send electronic versions including pictures of the quads enjoying their gifts. I started strong. In the first few days following Christmas I busily snapped pictures and attached them to texts and emails thanking the gift givers. Then, it became overwhelming. I started losing track and getting confused so I gave up, leaving about half of our thank you notes undone.
After almost two months, it was high time I finish the thank you notes. I bailed on my original idea and insead reverted back to traditional hand written paper versions. Even though these would not come with pictures, I wanted the quads to add their mark. I wrote a quick note to each gift giver, then let the quads decorate with stickers and crayons. In the past, they typically ate both stickers and crayons so I partially expected a futile effort. However, the quads really enjoyed playing with stickers. I started by handing them stickers and pointing to the paper and telling them to “stick it”. It wasn’t long before they convinced me to let them peel the stickers off and place them independently. I really didn’t give them enough credit, and found our project to be relatively relaxing. They did, however, munch a few crayons in the process, leaving most of our crayons without tips.
Once we stuffed our mailbox with completed thank you notes, it was time to tackle the Christmas card display. At the beginning of the Christmas season, we hung a wooden “S” in the entryway with three strips of ribbon dangling from it, then used clothespins to attach cards as they arrived. Christmas cards are one of my favorite parts of that time of year. We get updates from our friends and family from near and far, and I enjoy looking back at them all season long. If it were up to me, we may leave them up until the next year.
As I took the pictures down, the quads were given the task of storing the clothespins in an empty wipes box (it’s not my permanent storage place for them, but it was a great toddler task). Then, I borrowed an idea from a fellow quad mom. I punched a hole in the corner of each card and put them on a ring, creating a flip book. Since the quads are interested in learning names and labels, we’ve been pointing out each person pictured as we name them. Perhaps at our next extended family gathering, or play date the quads will recognize everyone better. The best part is that our cards didn’t end up stuffed in a storage box indefinitely or worse, thrown away.
Now that Christmas is finalized, I suppose we shall take time to show our love for each other in honor of Valentine’s Day. George and I aren’t the biggest fans of Valentine’s Day so we are keeping it simple. I’m planning to pick up dinner after work, and perhaps a movie rental. I also made our favorite sugar cookies in heart shapes for each of my five Valentines.
What do you do with Christmas cards at the end of the season?
Happy Valentine’s Day!