The following is Leah's* comment on a previous post. I've brought it forward here so that I could show a few images of her homemade Christmas cards. I'm sorry for the strange configuration. If you've ever worked with Blogger, you understand.
Leah wrote: "Here's the story of my Christmas cards. I began making our cards by hand in 1961. We had money for the stamps (4cents) but not cards. So I wrote a poem of 8 stanzas about Christmas at our house. I was a stay-at-home mom and on my portable typewriter, I typed the poem on 67 pieces of paper, 8½ x 11, folded in half. Then I folded the "card" in half again. On half of the folded paper, I made a tree and candle out of letters typed into these shapes. Before computers (and clip art), we made designs in a more creative way.
"Sending cards that I made by hand began again in the mid 60's. I cut out little pieces, pasted them on a background shaped like a snowman, angel, crown, tree or gingerbread man. It was much more expensive than buying cards and the time involved was enormous. But I loved it and so did our friends & family. These folk art cards ended up on people's trees year after year and I realized that I made a bright spot in people's lives for a brief moment. My son just loved them. Not so, my husband. Our kitchen table was covered with my project pieces for weeks before Christmas as I cut out and assembled them. Felt, sequins, pipe cleaners and ribbon were everywhere. I would send 100 cards each year during this time period.
"When I stopped (after the gingerbread man's buttons stuck to the envelopes), my son was heartbroken. He was 17 at the time. He begged me to keep doing it. "No one makes handmade cards. They are so special" he pleaded. But I was just plain tired of the hard work & knew that my heart wasn't in it any longer.
"I told Brian that even though I don't make hand crafted cards today, they are still uniquely my own creation. I found a place on the internet that allows me to choose my own greeting. Then I add a special message at the bottom (which they print on the card). Their selection of cards is outstanding, although very expensive.
"I now send 75 cards each year and receive around 40 to 45. I am not disappointed that I don't receive as many cards as I send (although I love getting cards). Some people just don't send cards and that's okay. I send my Christmas cards as a gift to each person. It is to warm people's hearts and remind them that I think of them."
A great point of view on the card exchange, I think. KW
*Leah's mother's half-sister was my dad's cousin. We aren't really related by blood but our paths crossed as we researched family history.