Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Rethink the Greeting Card

Greeting cards can be some what costly even when you find them at affordable retailers.

With so many occasions to acknowledge over the course of a year I started a trend in our household, one I hope I can keep up with, one that I am encouraging my child to take a big part in, and one I hope won't make me nuts.

We make individual, personalized "Sarah Original" greeting cards with paper of various colors, coloring book pages, paper plates along with either crayons, paint, stamp pads, stickers and glue-on things (e.g., pom poms, hearts, googly eyes).

While I do enjoy getting greeting cards, I have also come to realize that I sometimes don't often keep them except when they come from my husband, daughter and pet (yes, my precious kitty gives me mommy day and birthday cards). I sometimes keep other really funny or genuine cards from friends and family. I suspect that this is possibly the case with many others especially when space is somewhat limited. My mom might be the exception to this as she holds on to most of what we send her, and especially now Sarah’s art projects and cards.

Before Sarah was born, greeting cards were a typical mode of appreciation and recognition sent by us to family and friends for all occasions. Since her birth and when Sarah was able to start becoming involved in art projects (e.g., foot prints, hand prints, painting masterpieces) we would send these special creations in lieu of actual greeting cards. The reception from family and friends was overwhelming. They loved these keepsakes and treasured them.

There are certainly ways to save money on greeting cards as some retailers have good deals. I have found that these personalized masterpieces from little, and growing hands (and sometimes feet) tend to be that much more appreciated by those who have received them. Again, I am only speaking from my own experience.

As a result, we now have a wall in our home that has become somewhat like an art gallery with paintings and colored drawings that Sarah has made waiting, being admired, for the right moment, and the right person, for them to be sent to as a special acknowledgement of an upcoming occasion.

While coloring paper, crayons, markers and paints, and other craft supplies do cost money, there are places to get inexpensive tools that are fun to do with your child. The best part is that arts and crafts are great for our children's development and they can be fun too.

Please know that doing art projects with kids is not for everyone. My husband will be the first to admit that he tends to avoid doing them with Sarah, more so with painting because she really, really gets into it, if you know what I mean. Let's just say many times following painting experiences a bath follows including a wiping down of walls, floors or possibly furniture. He tends to stick to crayons and coloring books with her.

As much as I want for Sarah to have freedom while she paints I have now started to put her in her booster seat with straps so that there is less running around and less stress on my part too.

So, consider your options when considering what type of cards to send to friends and family. If you are crafty, or want to be, and want to dip into fun exploration and adventure with your child, go for it. There is no right or wrong. These personalized cards are keepsakes and sweet expectations by those who receive them. And, watching the joy on our children's faces while they make these cherished crafts is many times a priceless experience.

Have fun being creative.

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