Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas card containment

Often the best solutions are the simplest. I love getting mail, and Christmas cards are so cheerful and festive that they are warmly received in my household. People often have anxiety over how to display Christmas cards and what to do with them after the season is over. Here's my advice:

    • Get a shallow bowl or basket and collect the cards inside. You can shuffle through them periodically throughout December and enjoy reading their messages.
    • Use the opportunity to update your address book with the return addresses included on the envelopes and update any notes you may have about a particular person, such as an engagement, marriage or new baby in the family.
    • Keep those cards that have particular special notes or are from particularly special people and feel free to recycle the rest or use them for art projects. Many people simply use store-bought cards and sign their name. No need to hang on to those past New Year's day.
    • Don't feel anxiety about sending cards in return. If you have the time and inclination to send out cards to friends and relatives, go for it. Otherwise, there's no life rule that says you must send holiday cards or you are a bad person. If you do want to send someone a card but don't want to go to the expense of buying and posting it, consider an e-card, which is enjoyed once and then never becomes paper waste or clutter.
    Lelah Baker-Rabe is a Los Angeles-based professional organizer. To discuss your organizing needs, call her at 818.269.6671 or email

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