Saturday, January 8, 2011

Holiday Greeting Cards - Sorting Saturday

Photo by Michelle Goodrum
© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum One of the last things to be put away from the holidays are the greeting cards. I've decided it's time to become brutally selective about which ones we save.  You see, I still haven't finished sorting through the years and years of greeting cards my parents received and I don't want to have to go through this again in future years with our holiday cards. Or put my children through this.

Using lessons learned from sorting Mom and Dad's cards, here's my criteria for becoming a candidate for the Goodrum Greeting Card Archives:

  • It's from family.
  • There is a photo.
  • There is a note or holiday letter.
  • It's from close family friends (especially those my children know).
  • If it meets more than one of the above criteria, the item has a far better chance of being retained.
It's hard to do. I mean, for years I too just kept all of our holiday cards but no more. After all, sooner or later someone has to sort through and toss them. The cards, letters and photos that truly are gems have a greater chance of standing out and being saved by future generations if the pile being sorted is smaller.


  1. I have eight 3" ring binders with family names on them. Inside I have archival sleeves to hold standard 8.5 x 11 white cardstock. I put cards, letters and thank-you notes...etc from that named family in the sleeves. Scattered amongst those things are the yearly school pictures and Christmas family pictures from that family secured on the cardstock with photo corners. I have one for my husband's sister and her daughter, one for ALL MY siblings (5) and their children (16), one for close family friends from both sides and 5 for our own children and their families. These binders hold only Christmas cards, newsletters and photos .. plus the annual school pictures I usually received when they were still in school. Guess I'm going to have to start some for the great-grandkids soon... as we are expecting one in March.
    One thing I really treasure are the Santa pictures taken each year as our children were growing up in the 60's and 70's. Those have their own binder which I bring out for public viewing at Christmas. ;-)

  2. Excellent! And easy to do. I'm thinking I could do that not only with the items we have received but also those of my parents. Then it would truly be multigenerational.

    I'll bet the Santa pictures spark some great conversations.

  3. Michelle, I was in exactly in the same situation! Several years ago, I decided that I would only keep the photo Christmas cards and Christmas letters from family. I started an archival album (Creative Memories) and put them in chronological order. They are protected and since Christmas letters already have the highlights of the year, it's almost like a diary. While it would be very interesting to see how cards change over the years, I decided that it would be overwhelming and cumbersome to try to keep anything else.

  4. Excellent way of triaging your cards. I've decided I want to keep cards of friends with little children and grandchildren. I'm not very scientific about it -- just put them into a folder, but about 90% get tossed. We have a tiny family, so no family-children pix yet. I regret not keeping the photos of friends' children whom I've watched grow up in Christmas cards over a couple of decades, so now I'm starting on the grandchildren photos! I figure my kids won't want these and will just toss -- so that's their prerogative.