And recycle them into a Christmas ABC book!
When we were expecting our first daughter, my husband's mom gave us an ABC book that she made out of Christmas cards. She had made one for each of her children when they were young and was passing down my husband's to us. I decided then I wanted to make one for my nephew. I started collecting our Christmas cards. And my parents'. And my husband's parents'.
Five years later, I had enough cards. I'm telling you...it took forever because so many people send out family picture cards or Christmas emails. So now it is no longer just my nephew in that family, but 2 nephews and a brand new niece. I do have some left over cards, but you need a ton to be able to choose for each letter and then the number.
My husband's mom made hers in 1" binders with page protectors and red and green paper. I made mine in an 8x8 scrapbook with page protectors (had to buy 2 refill packs to add to it) and Christmas scrapbook paper. Both are super easy. Hers has more room on a page and is cheaper by far.
The one I made for my nephews and niece
The one made for my husband
Here are some hints I used/realized:
- Group similar cards (i.e. angels, snowmen, etc.)
- Leave letters that have multiple words (S is for Shepards, Star, Snowman, Snow, Snowflake, etc) for last
- Use a business card template for the wording, I only had to cut a few smaller
- Wish I would have used less patterned paper for the backgrounds, some are too busy to read
- Let glue dry for a at least 45 minutes to ensure it doesn't make the page protectors go wavy. (You can see it in mine on pages "X" & "Y")
- I had to go to the dollar store and pick up a few cards for letters I didn't have, like "Y" (yule log).
The kids loved these books and gazing at each picture. It does take some effort in collecting and sorting out each letter, but it is pretty simple after that, just cutting and gluing.
Here is the Christmas ABC document I created to help me sort out cards. It is just what I gathered from here and there so it is rough. There are repeats, some very closely worded, and some without rhymes. You can really do whatever you can come up with. The ones in bold are the ones I ended up using with the cards I had.
Start collecting those Christmas cards now (ask family and neighbors for the fronts of theirs too), or your kids might be graduating from high school by the time you get enough.
Heads up: Also you may be able to score cheap some cards the day after Christmas at the store. And I saw a Christmas card at Wal-mart that had children holding hands around a world - perfect for letter "U". Don't know how much it was though. Some cards are way too expensive.