Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Thank you, thank you!

We here at Love and Life Cards want to take a moment to thank you, our cherished friends, family, customers, and colleagues, for a very successful first holiday season. We hope this week, you have a chance to curl up with a loved one next to the fire, share a laugh with friends and family, and reflect on the wonderful things in your life. We sure are!

Looking forward to sharing a wonderful 2012 with you!

Elizabeth & Sona

Monday, December 19, 2011

It's Show Time

Well the cards are pouring in through the mail, and we hope lots of those are Love and Life Cards with gorgeous smiling faces.  Now the main challenge is how to show them off!  We have chosen just a few of our favourite ideas to share with you from the complicated to the ridiculously simple.

For those who like a challenge...

We saw this impressive Christmas Card Tree Display on Martha Stewart's website.  It looks amazing, but does require a bit of time, patience, and skill which are three things that I'm a wee bit short of.  You can find all the instructions and everything you need on http://www.marthastewart.com/266879/displaying-christmas-cards

For something a little easier...
This is my favourite as it's simple and can hold a lot of cards.  I have done this over our dining room door which means I can see everyone's cards each time I pass.  Living far away from family and friends makes this a little way to share the holidays with them.

For something a little more child friendly...
This one can be kept up and away from reaching and curious hands.  Corkboard, fabric, ribbon and thumbtacks.  This one is also simple to make and you may have everything you need at home already to make it.

One for the kids...
My three year old has really caught from me my love of receiving Christmas Cards.  We both get so excited when the mail arrives, but she now has the pleasure of opening them.  Although she can't read, she loves to look at them over and over and always asks who they are from until she has it memorized.  Imagine how many times I was pulling the cards off the door for her and putting them back up...enter her very own card gift bag.  This bag is for all of HER christmas cards, (seems she has more than us now that she started school).  We keep it under the tree and it means she can look at them anytime and as much as she wants.  Genius!

We'd love to hear about or see any of your displays, so please do share!

Wishing you love and all of life's little blessings this holiday season...love and life cards

Monday, December 12, 2011

The four gift rule

I saw The Four Gift Rule on Pinterest the other day and I thought it was a great rule of thumb to aspire to as a way to simplify gift giving to our children. It is so easy to get lost in the excitement of receiving gifts and forget about why we give gifts at this time of year.   

We participated in a few local charity events this fall.
I love watching my three year old learn the joy of giving and how wonderful it can be to give a gift knowing how happy that gift makes another person.

Below are some pointers found at Great Schools to help teach children to give from an early age.

Start small when the kids are small
Your young child might be happy to help bake cookies for a friend but end up wanting to keep the gift herself. Plan for this by baking enough cookies to keep and enough cookies to give. Young children need help in learning to share.

Teach your child that he doesn't need money to give
Help your child make gift certificates good for "one free car wash" or "breakfast in bed" that he can give to others in the family.

Involve your child in selecting the gift
You may think that donating to cancer research is important, but your child who is an animal lover may be more interested in making sure the dogs at the humane society have an extra treat at the holidays. Help her find a way to give the gift she feels is important.

Be a role model
Volunteer your family's time at a soup kitchen or senior center. Gather small-size toiletries, such as toothpaste and shampoo, and pack them in decorated gift bags to take to a homeless shelter. Ask your child if he'll help you baby-sit for a neighbor's toddler so she can do her shopping or help you rake the leaves for an elderly friend.

Personalize giving
It's faster for busy parents to write a check to a charity, but it has little impact on a child who can't see where the money is going or imagine the people who benefit. Delivering canned goods to a food bank is more meaningful than dropping a check in the mail. Your family could "adopt" a needy family through a community organization, choose the gifts and wrap them.

If you have any ideas about teaching children the joy of giving or have a family tradition around giving, please share!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Holiday checklist

December is here and it is now officially less than four weeks until the New Year! We've come up with a quick checklist of some of the most important things to add to your "to do" list for the next four weeks. Hopefully some of these will help reduce the stress and give you more time to enjoy the simple pleasures of this holiday season. 

1. Make a family outing to pick up your tree making it a tradition for your family. 

2. Decorate together letting little ones put on the first ornament and help with as many as possible. 

3. Spend an hour at lunch during the week or after work doing your shopping to avoid the crowds at the shops on the weekend.

4. Set up a wrapping station in your home and wrap gifts as you buy them.

5. Keep a list of everyone you need to buy for on your phone so you don't forget anyone.

6. Pick up bulk gifts such as wine or candles (we like to give maple syrup!) to give to neighbors or hostess gifts. 

7. Pick up a festive holiday shirt or two and pair with simple black pants so you don't have to stress about what to wear at the last minute!

8. Make and freeze cookie dough to be ready to pop in the oven if you need something to bring to a party or so like me most years, you aren't having to start from scratch to get cookies ready for Santa.

9. Take stock of your pantry now and make a holiday shopping list.

10. Be sure to order your Love and Life Holiday Cards by December 15th to guarantee delivery by December 23rd!!

What do you do to reduce the stress during the holiday season? Are you one of those super organized people I aspire to be or do you simply book an appointment at the spa and put it all out of your mind? If you have any pointers to share about getting organized and/or reducing some of the stress this holiday season we'd love to hear from you!