Let the Christmas Card last all year

Firstly it should be said that, if you are going to purchase Christmas Cards, like many, buy all your Cards between at and about at.
I can't see the reason for Christmas Card Manufacturers and Retailers need to get rid of them as they seem to produce the same designs year in and year out!
I guess it's the cost of storing and / or re-cycling them?
Seems crazy to me!

All too often cards are something said just as gesture and if you work in an Office, Lord help the person you forget!
Hence, by the time the Office closes on December 24th, you are going home with loads of samey Cards all with the same 'Have a great time, love 'Mate' on them.
Or 'Thanks for all your help' etc.
Thing is we expect them all to say that, whether they're meant or not.
Our walls are overloaded with Cards from people our partner has never heard of (and we've carefully not put the one's up which portray the image we don't want our partners to think!!!).

So, the alternatives showing frugality and true meaning?

The Family Photo (see right)
I've done this a few times. You've got a PC, you've got Microsoft Word or Publisher, all you need is a good free photo editing programme such as PICASA (part of the Google Pack) and you're away.

You can make these the size of an envelope you've carefully opened to use again and away you go.
The beauty of this is that for some people, this will be something they can keep the whole year round. It's not just for Christmas as they say

Any Photo
Again using the PC, why not a Card portraying your personality. Last Christmas I did some with me holding a Hen with the words "A Chicken is not just for Christmas". Went down a treat and the meaning is there.

Home Made Cards
This can be fun time for the kids, presuming you're of the age to have those little horrors still around!
They'll enjoy making stamps using Potatoes and Sponges, cutting shapes out of card with paper glue and tinsel (sparingly of course!!).

The Dreaded Stamps!
If people don't live within a reasonable distance, a stamp is probably the largest item of expenditure! So wherever possible, take the card to the door if you're passing that way and make sure you are not one of those people (like I was) who leave posting until 23rd.December and paying the extra for the first class stamp!

If purchasing 'normal' cards, Supermarkets and online are the cheapest

Cutting the costs and bringing back the meaning

Never buy them before 27th December!

"Until one feels the spirit of Christmas, there is no Christmas. All else is outward display-so much tinsel and decorations. For it isn't the holly, it isn't the snow. It isn't the tree not the firelight's glow. It's the warmth that comes to the hearts of men when the Christmas spirit returns again."