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Recycle holiday cards for future gift tags

Recycling Christmas cards has been a tradition in my family for as long as I can remember. In addition to eating sauerkraut on New Year’s Day, we gathered around the dining room table to make gift tags out of that year’s Christmas cards.

My grandmother, Agnes, invented this way to extend card use before recycling was cool. It’s a great family activity, and it’s easy enough for younger children to participate.

Step 1: Tear the card in half at the seam.

Step 2: Turn the “message” half around, so the back of the card faces you.

Step 3: Tape the two halves together on the top.

Step 4: Place all in a box and store with your holiday decorations.

If you tend toward the creative, then there are many other ways to make these. You can embellish them by using pinking shears or other decorative cutters for the borders.

You can cut out specific objects or scenes from the card itself, or even make two tags from one card. If there is a lot of text toward the bottom of the blank side, turn it upside down before taping, so you’ll have room to write inside.

For the ultimate presentation, use the most colorful tags on plain, single-color wrapping paper, and vice versa. If you love imperfect but “made with love” tags, then get younger children to help cut using safety scissors.

So now you don’t have to worry about buying those generic stick-ons that ruin the paper when you pull them off. Another bonus if you reuse some of your prettiest holiday wrappings.

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