How are you celebrating tonight? We hope that you’re surrounded by friends, family and good cheer!
Even though we like to think about giving all year long, it’s especially fun to be immersed in the season of giving! Because I like to be able to fully appreciate and enjoy everything that’s magical about the holidays, I need to have my holiday cards ready to start right after Thanksgiving. I do have to plan ahead and be very disciplined about my process, especially since I write a short letter to include…and I LOVE to decorate and hand-letter each envelope. But it really feels good after I’ve finished and the cards are ready to be mailed!
Having finished my cards, it’s then time to start decorating our home for the holidays. And because in early December here in the Pennsylvania, the landscape wasn’t yet covered with snow, we could get outside for our annual family “gathering of the greens.” When I was a little girl, my dad and I used to go outside before Christmas every year to search for evergreen boughs. We’d bundle up and clip greens and sprigs of holly berries and bring them inside. Then we’d display them all over the house, from the mantel to the dining room table, to the banister – any place at all that called for a touch of green. The best part was the fragrance. It was so wonderful to come home to that spicy-sweet aroma of pine. We continue our “gathering of the greens” to this day, and it always takes me back to those great holiday memories of time spent with my dad.
What’s your approach to sending holiday cards? And how about your favorite holiday tradition? Every family seems to have a unique way of celebrating that passes through the generations making this time of year so special!
All of us at Kathy Davis Studios wish you and yours a beautiful holiday season and many opportunities to experience the joy and wonder it brings!
The tradition of Santa Claus is passed down generation after generation, and kids of all ages like to celebrate and keep the spirit of Kris Kringle alive. In today’s tech-savvy world, it is a little more challenging than it used to be, but with a little bit of internet wizardry, you can add to the sense of wonder at the heart of the holiday season. Here are a few awe-inspiring websites and apps to help you keep Santa’s story going strong for another year.
Track Santa Across the World
Your child can track Santa’s progress across the globe on Christmas Eve with the help of a few very qualified experts!
Due to a happy accident, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) introduced the tradition of tracking Santa’s journey back in 1955. A misprinted Sears ad encouraged children to call a “direct line to Santa,” but the incorrect phone number actually redirected to the Colorado Springs Continental Air Defense Command. The good-natured agency rose to the occasion, and all staff were briefed to give Santa’s “current location” to any eager young callers.
Fast forward almost 60 years and the experience is considerably more captivating. Starting December 1, the NORAD Tracks Santa website provides descriptions of the technology used to follow Santa. As he flies on Christmas Eve, it will be updated hourly with “Santa Cam” videos of his sleigh flying over famous landmarks around the world. The very serious and official nature of NORAD lends credibility to the whole affair for a fun, educational, and very convincing experience.
After a few years of partnering with NORAD, Google Maps branched out on their own in 2012. The Google Santa Tracker is very interactive, with mini games and animations in the style of Google Doodles. The link will be available on the Google home page, but you can also follow along on free apps for Apple and Android. It’s a good companion to NORAD’s offering and a fun way to keep kids engaged in those last long hours before the big day!
FaceTime with Santa
A video call from Santa himself will absolutely amaze your little ones. The Video Calls From Santa app is designed to look like a real Facetime call with the big man himself. You can leave Santa a voicemail, or call a number for “Nice” or “Naughty” — which may come in handy as a pre-Christmas behavior modification tool! This one will probably work best for the under-five set, but knowing Santa’s number is a surefire way to impress the whole family.
Send a Talking Santa Ecard
An ecard from American Greetings lets you send a completely personalized message to kids from Santa. Simply type what you’d like the animated Santa on the card to say in the voice you choose, or you can record a message by phone. There are two different Santa’s to choose from, Santa’s List and Dear Santa. It’s available when you sign up for a free trial of American Greetings’ ecards and is sure to inspire a lot of smiles.
In addition to the Santa talking ecards, AmericanGreetings.com offers a wide variety of Christmas ecards. Make the season sparkle with traditional, funny, cute or religious animated ecards. You can even personalize a special Christmas song to send to your friends and family.
Provide Evidence After the Fact
This inexpensive and easy-to-use photo editing tool lets you insert a realistic image of Santa visiting your home on Christmas Eve. When the kids wake up on Christmas morning, you can proudly display the proof that you caught Santa in the act. Cue the wide eyes and excited questions!
These are our favorite examples of the many amazing Christmas resources online, so it’s worth a search! It’s heartwarming to know that people all over the world are committed to keeping Christmas magical in new and innovative ways. Children today might be a lot more sophisticated than we were, but technology is helping parents stay one step ahead to provide some of the most treasured Christmas memories of a lifetime.
What’s your favorite way to make the season magical?
It should come as no surprise that holidays are a big deal at a greeting card company. From individual associates decorating their cubes to entire departments turning on holiday tunes and decking the halls together, Christmas and the holiday season in general is a festive affair at American Greetings.
One of the most lovely centerpieces to the season is the official holiday trees throughout the building. However, this year something caught our eyes on the largest tree in our Town Square area that we wanted to share with you.
See those scrolls throughout the tree? They’re simple scrolls of wrapping paper! We thought they gave a festive, on-trend dash of style to the tree. It’s a look you can certainly recreate at home, even if you’re not super crafty. Here’s a close-up:
They also carried this look over to the wreaths on the doors of our store…
What do you think? Is this something that might work on your tree?
This year we have the pleasure of producing the 2013 Barbie Ornament Collection as a part of our Carlton Cards Heirloom Ornament Collection!
Earlier this summer, we had the pleasure of getting to be a part of the 2013 National Barbie Collectors Convention in New Orleans in order to take part in revealing the 2013 Holiday Barbie Ornament and to get to meet the Barbie Collector community.
We had a fabulous time! From fashion shows to theme parties, collectors showrooms to a live auction of custom, couture Barbie dolls to benefit a local charity, these collectors are a dedicated, loyal, socially-conscious community. It was our pleasure to be able to attend, to meet the fans, and enjoy all things Barbie!
You can find Barbie Ornaments in a store near you, online at AmericanGreetings.com, as well as American Greetings and Carlton Cards retail stores.
Are you still looking for a great deal on your holiday photo cards? Today is the day, friends! Our sister site, Cardstore, is offering 49 cent flat holiday cards on their easy-to-create cards. Enjoy simple, stress-free shopping. What could be better? Today only, all holiday flat cards are 49¢!
Note: Includes all flat Season’s Greetings, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year’s cards. ONE DAY ONLY, 12/2 with code: CCP3122