I don’t know about you, but I have a love/hate relationship with greeting cards. On one hand, I absolutely love getting them and picking them out for others. On the other hand I hate paying full price for them and I hate the clutter they create. Read on to learn about our fun family tradition that saves us money on greeting cards and eliminates the clutter they create.
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Why I Stopped Buying Greeting Cards
As an organized, money conscious person who really dislikes clutter, I finally realized I had enough of greeting cards. I had several reasons for this:
- It’s hard to admit it, but I still have a box of greeting cards from childhood that I need to purge again. This is not an easy task for a sentimental person.
- I don’t want my kids to end up with their own huge box of cards that they have to purge someday. (Won’t they have better things to do?)
- I feel wasteful throwing greeting cards away after they have served their purpose.
- My husband doesn’t really care about his cards at all.
- I hate wasting even $1.00 of money on stuff I know will most likely go in the trash. It’s like throwing money away.
- Greeting cards have gotten super expensive and even the .99 cent ones add up after you buy 5 or 10 of them. Even if you only bought 2 cards a month at the dollar store that’s still $24.00!
So you might be wondering what we do instead of buying greeting cards at my house.
We Started a New Family Tradition
I realized that if I got rid of cards in our house that I would need to find an alternative way for us to recognize each other on holidays and special days. One day the answer to our problem was literally staring me in the face. I had recently purchase a journal to use up a store credit and there it sat completely blank and waiting for a purpose.
I knew that a journal could replace greeting cards and it would make the perfect keepsake for notes and drawings for birthdays, holidays and anniversaries. All I had to do was get my husband to agree to my idea. We picked up a journal for him and the kids and we began using them immediately.
Why I Love Our Family Journals
Our family keepsake journals are amazing.
- The journals take up way less space then greeting cards.
- They allow you to be creative and personal. My husband and kids have left several drawings for me made out of the kid’s hand and feet outlines that I never would have gotten in a greeting card. You can check them out in the picture below.
- The messages in the journal are so much more personal. The blank space forces you to write to your family and speak from the heart. I never know what they will say or draw for me.
How to Start a Family Journal
It is really easy to start your family journals. Follow these 4 simple steps:
- Sit down with your family and decide to make the change from cards to journals.
- Let everyone pick out their own favorite journal. I prefer a simple book with blank pages. An elastic band to keep it closed or a built in book mark to hold your place are nice to have too.
- Make sure the journals have lots of pages and space for writing and drawing. I recommend at least 200 pages.
- Remind yourself to use them.
Breaking up with greeting cards is not easy. It is fun to pick them out and buy them, but they are just not cost or space effective. You may be thinking my family will not agree to this or this is just extra work to do, but trust me it is not. There will probably be occasions when you still need to buy greeting cards for extended family or friends and that’s okay. You can also make cards for others if you are crafty enough. The point here is to keep greeting cards from cluttering up your house. It is okay to tell family and friends what you are doing and encourage them to join you.
Are you wondering what to do with your old greeting cards? Check out these fun ideas from The Chic Site. The Simple Dollar also wrote a great post called Tactics for Handling Greeting Card Occasions that is a good starting point for discussing this with friends and family.