Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

The De-baubling Blues

Monday, January 6th, 2014

I’m probably not the only one who hates this time of year. Christmas is well and truly behind us, and the rest of winter we’ve yet to endure. But it isn’t the flood warnings, the cold weather, the early morning get-ups or the lack of holiday days left in the calendar, no. Of course, all those things don’t help – but the thing I like least of all is taking down the Christmas decorations.

Today is Epiphany or the twelfth day which well and truly marks the end of Christmas. If you’re the superstitious type, it’s widely accepted that taking them down any time after today is a recipe for bad luck. And if you’re really superstitious and not very organised you might be forced to leave them up all year. Either way, it probably won’t be the best start to 2014.

But I do detest all this de-baubling. It’s a terribly depressing thing to do – carefully packing away the Christmas tree lights and knowing that, inexplicably, you’ll return to them in a year’s time and they’ll be a bundled up mess of wires. Stuffing tinsel and decorations into boxes and suffering the scratched skin rashes symptomatic of folding down the branches of an artificial tree that surely never really fitted into that box??

And then there’s the Christmas cards. I’ve never really gotten over the pang of guilt as I remove each and every last Christmas card hung on strings or slumped by the mantelpiece. After all, someone took the time and effort to choose their cards, hand-write them and pop it in my letterbox or in the post. And here I am, hovering a glittery cartoon robin over the recycling bin, its eyes all of sudden filling with sorrow. And I would keep it if I could. I’d keep them all. Honest. But I can’t. Besides all the superfluous smellies and socks, there’s simply no room.

If only there was a way to send Christmas cards that didn’t use paper…

Fully fledged Christmas mode

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

There comes a time in each of our young lives when we learn that Christmas is not a celebration of how well we behave a few short weeks of the year. This unfortunate discovery can often lead to annoyance as we have to try a little harder to make ourselves feel Christmassy.

The point being, feeling Christmassy is something we may have to work at as we get older! Our Pinterest board has some wonderful DIY creative decorating and wrapping solutions that definitely have a boosting agent for that warm, fuzzy Christmas feeling whilst also helping get the family together.

Cornstarch and baking soda recipe

Also do not forget it is not too late to send holiday greetings from our Christmas ecard category to those people you may have forgotten about in the chaos of the season; that is forgotten about until you annoyingly receive a card from them a couple of days before Christmas!

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Have a lovely Christmas Eve, Katie x

Give these Birds a Break this Christmas

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

Christmas dinner done differently

If our last post and latest Turkey Breakout ecard had you feeling sorry for our ill-fated feathery friends, we thought we’d take this opportunity to offer some alternative festive recipes to the traditional with some of these tasty twists:

• If you still feel like keeping things nostalgic, why not go all Dickensian this year and try cooking this classic roast goose with cider gravy. It’s a slightly pricier bird, but with its crisp skin and succulent, rich flavour, the turkey’s oldest Christmas contender is well worth it.

Give these birds a break this Christmas

Turkey Breakout 5 ecard

• Give the birds a break this Christmas and instead opt for an impressive feast of roast suckling pig for not much more than you’d spend on the average turkey.

• Whether your veggie or just looking for something that won’t leave you feeling bloated and guilt-ridden this Christmas, try the thoroughly festive parsnip, cranberry and chestnut loaf.

If none of those are quite alternative enough, maybe you could be tempted with a spot of reindeer? But surely, we couldn’t do that… could we?

 

12 Saves of Christmas

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Christmas comes but once a year. And without meaning to sound like a Scrooge, we say: ‘thank goodness!’

Christmas is great but it can be very costly too. Check out these 12 tips for cutting costs:

1)      Set yourself a budget

The first thing you should do is set a budget and stick to it! Remember Christmas isn’t about the stacks of presents and mountains of food. Try not to put too much emphasis on the commercial side of Christmas and instead focus on the family and friends around you. Christmas is a lovely time of year but it’s not worth getting into debt over.

2)      Order your shopping online

Fall not ye for the special offers and abundance of cheese available. Instead, opt for grocery shopping from your own home. We know it costs to get it delivered but you’ll have the advantage of checking your cupboards as you shop so you don’t double up on supplies, whilst also being able to organise your festive menu – hopefully stopping you from over-spending (and over-eating too!)

3)      Use cashback sites

If you do a lot of your shopping online, consider using cashback sites where you can sign up for free and earn money by purchasing products via their site. Companies offer cashback sites money for referring customers to them – they pass a percentage of this reward back to you.

4)      Send ecards

Sending Christmas cards can be really expensive, especially when you factor in the cost of stamps. On the other hand, sending Season’s Greetings is a nice way of keeping in touch and letting those faraway friends and family know you’re thinking of them. There is a compromise. Sending ecards is cheap and quick to do. Ecard sites usually work on a membership basis where you can send unlimited cards for a small annual subscription. We offer 12 months unlimited ecard membership for £7.50.

5)      Alternative wrapping

You’ve bought the gifts, you’ve sent your Christmas ecards. What comes next? Wrapping. And if you’re not careful you can spend a small fortune on paper that will probably be in the recycling bin by the time the turkey hits the table. So consider recycling materials from the get go, with some of these alternative methods of wrapping.

6)      Take part in ‘Secret Santa’

Secret Santa is a great way of limiting the amount of presents that you need to add to your already substantial Christmas list. These work particularly well in the workplace and often benefit from an imposed price limit of £5-£10; no-one will be expecting anything too fancy and the ‘secret’ element adds a bit of excitement and mystery to gift-giving at work.

7)      Make Homemade Decorations

Rather than buying a new bauble for the tree or extra decorations why not have a go at making some of your own? You might not have a huge amount of time – what with Nativity plays and Christmas shopping – but this is a great way to create some unique decorations. And with sites like Pinterest, you’ll never be stuck for homemade decoration ideas. Get the kids involved and make something that you’ll treasure forever.

8)      Consider sharing entertaining costs

If you’re sharing the big day with others, consider sharing the costs too. If you’re hosting it’s not unreasonable to ask whether your guests are able to contribute a little something to the celebrations. If you’d rather money didn’t exchange hands, you could suggest that each person could provide a crucial component of Christmas dinner such as drinks or desserts.

9)      Make your presents

How many times have you heard the phrase ‘it’s the thought that counts?’ So what could be more thoughtful than taking the time to make someone a present? It doesn’t have to anything too complex, a batch of homemade mince pies or one of those decorations that you made with the kids could be the perfect way to say happy holidays without breaking the bank.

10)   Take advantage of free entertainment

Whilst you might be spending quite a bit on gifts and food this Christmas, thankfully, there’s plenty of free entertainment on offer to help get you in the mood for Christmas. Wander Christmas Markets, attend your local church’s carol service and even just get cosy in front of the box and enjoy a packed schedule of top telly.

11)   Use your loyalty points

Christmas is the perfect time to spend all those Boots, Tesco and Nectar Card points you’ve been saving up all year. Look out for special promotions in the lead-up to Christmas from retailers that could help your points go further.

12)   Be social and save

There are thousands of articles out there with great advice on how to save and be resourceful; use sites like Twitter and Pinterest to find money saving tips. Also, retailers often use their online presence to publicise special offers to their followers, so don’t forget to follow your favourites and keep a keen eye out for any deals available.

All these tips are useful in a practical sense but we think the best piece of advice we can give you is to just enjoy it. Try not to get stressed if things don’t go to plan, with good company and a relaxed atmosphere, we’re sure you’ll have a very happy Christmas.

Time, Turkeys and Traditions at Christmas

Monday, December 16th, 2013

It probably won’t surprise you to learn that Christmas is a really important time for us. Not only are we like little kids when it comes to the festive period but it’s also our busiest time of the year; answering emails, dealing with phone enquiries, as well as trying to expand our range to give our brilliantly loyal customers better and ever-growing choice.

But it might surprise you to learn that this year marks our fifth Christmas. And if truth be told, we can hardly believe it either. Time goes so fast and seems ever more fleeting, especially in December – can it really be Christmas next week?

Yet, amidst all the rushing around and excitement this Christmas, we didn’t want to forget to tell you about our new Christmas ‘Turkey Breakout’ ecard.

As sure as mistletoe under the archway and stockings hung by the fireplace, at Katie’s Cards we love a good Christmas tradition. Ours comes in the form of the release of our annual great-escape style animated ecard starring a couple of courageous turkeys that, over the years, we’ve really grown to love.

Turkey Breakout 5, our fifth incarnation, takes inspiration from the daring deeds of Evil Knieval as the turkeys attempt to escape the farm by jumping straight into cannon that’s ready to blow.

Watch Turkey Breakout 5 to find out if theirs will be a happy holiday.

Every year we try and outdo the last turkey card and we have to admit that we have great fun finding new methods of escape. And whether the turkeys are successful or not, you always end up rooting for them… so much so, that we often spare a thought for them whilst eating Christmas dinner!

Oh what fun…

Monday, November 25th, 2013

EMBRACING HOMEMADE

Less packaging, recyclable materials and money saving makes homemade an ideal way to go for Christmas.

With four weeks,  lots of presents and a huge dinner to go, we thought we’d give you some more food for thought on creative ways to deck your halls!

Homemade Tip #1

Origami makes an easy, colorful and creative solution to decorating the house! I’ve found an example of how fantastic it can look from the New York Museum of Natural History. For instructions on making origami click here, see below to find out how mine turned out!

How our orgami turned out!

How our origami turned out!

A more colourful example of our version of the Dragon

My more festive example of a Dragon!Museum of Natural History Origami Christmas Tree. Image courtesy of, http://tinyurl.com/p8z5aku

Homemade Tip #2

Gift wrapping small presents. These cones are easy to make and still look like high quality gift wrapping with the added bonus of being able to make them from almost any material around the house. I’ve found a link with templates for making them, click here.

Make your own cone wraps for small gifts! Image from, http://tinyurl.com/o65drub

Sending ecards is evidently another beneficial factor for a stress free Christmas. Check out the Christmas ecard‘s from our wide collection, you’ll be able to find something for everyone. You can also check out the Katie’s Cards Pinterest for more Christmas ideas!

Dreaming of a Green Christmas

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Here at Katie’s Cards, we care about the environment and know that there’s just under five weeks until the Christmas season is in fully fledged festivity mode. So, we’ve got some tips on how to make your Christmas a truly green one whilst also reducing the budget.

  • For a cheap and recyclable solution to your Christmas tree decoration’s, painted egg shells are ideal. Make a hole in the top of the egg, empty the contents and give it a wash. Then you can paint your egg shell however you like and alas you’ve got yourself a home made Eco friendly solution!

    Painted Eggs, courtesy of http://tinyurl.com/oht3lqc

  • Next on our top tips, pine cones! Pine cones are another wonderful and natural resource to add an Eco friendly seasonal feel to your home. You can paint them, cover them in glitter, stick sequins to them, pretty much do whatever you like! Then simply attach a string.

Beautiful Pine Cone Decorations Courtesy of http://tinyurl.com/nd23ufe

 

We’ve found some ways for you to create Eco friendly Christmas decorations that will also bring some fun to your household. In the countdown to Christmas we will be giving more tips! Also, here is a Christmas ecard from our collection you might like. You can find and send this ecard by clicking here. Look at our Pinterest for more Christmas ideas.

 

“309 Days Until Christmas”

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

On a recent trip to Amsterdam, we were tickled by seeing this sign hanging up on the wall of a shop. Christmas is the busiest time of year at Katie’s Cards …  In fact, last year was a record-breaking year in terms of the number of corporate customers we had. Maybe we should get one of these signs to hang on the wall of the office so we can have our own Christmas countdown?

http://www.katiescards.com/ecards/christmas-ecards

Our Christmas Ecards remain on the Katie’s Cards website all year round and so, if you want to be really organised, you can pre-schedule them now to be sent in December 2013…

 

Our Top 3 E-Cards of 2012

Friday, January 4th, 2013

The end of the year is always a time to reflect and look back on the year that was 2012. We’ve had a look through all the e-cards sent this year and have compiled our top three e-cards of 2012.

Here are our Top 3 E-cards of 2012:

1. Birthday Cake Maker

Birthday Cake Maker - a birthday e-card from KatiesCards.com

Birthday Cake Maker - a birthday e-card from KatiesCards.com

This fun and inventive birthday e-card shows an elaborate machine that makes a birthday cake. E-cards for birthdays are very popular but this one beat them all.

Preview: http://www.katiescards.com/preview/birthday-cake-maker

2. Christmas Cottage

Christmas Cottage Ecard

Christmas Cottage Ecard

This beautiful and elegant Christmas ecard looks like a chocolate box cover. With a traditional greeting this e-card captures the magic of Christmas and gives the viewer a warm and nostalgic glow.

Preview: http://www.katiescards.com/preview/christmas-cottage

3. Turkey Olympics

Turkey Olympics Xmas Escape

Turkey Olympics Xmas Escape

Not surprisingly our Turkey Olympics Christmas e-card proved to be a big hit in 2012. The London Olympics of 2012 was a definite highlight here at KatiesCards.com – it was great to see the Torch relay and Cycling near to our office.

Preview: http://www.katiescards.com/preview/turkey-olympicsxmas

2012 has been fun and our top 3 e-cards for the year include classics and new designs.

Which is your favourite?

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

I’d like to wish you a very Merry Christmas from everyone here at Katie’s Cards. The busy holiday season always seems to go by in a flash in the busy Katie’s Cards office and I’d like to thank you all for your support and positive comments throughout.

I look forward to designing many more ecards in the New Year!

Katie x

It’s still not too late to send your Christmas ecards!

Monday, December 24th, 2012

The big day is almost here! The final presents are being wrapped, the children are bouncing off the walls with excitement and Father Christmas is preparing his sleigh and feeding the reindeer…

Christmas Presents

Christmas Presents Ecard

If, in the midst of all of the preparations, you have forgotten to send out some of your Christmas cards then don’t panic! By joining Katie’s Cards, you can rest assured that your Christmas ecards will make it to your friends and family across the world by Christmas morning, even if you send them today. You can either choose to send them immediately or you can have them waiting in the inboxes of your loved ones as an extra little surprise on Christmas morning…

Three Beautiful Christmas Images on Pinterest

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

We’ve been avidly using Pinterest over the past few months and it’s a great site, especially at this time of year when it can be a fun way of finding new festive recipes or DIY gift ideas. I’ve loved collecting Christmas and winter images, it makes me feel so festive and some of them really evoke the magic of this time of year.

As we’re getting closer to Christmas I thought I would share some of my favourite images with you to really get you in the festive mood.

Sparklers

Pinterest Sparklers

Source: Babble (http://pinterest.com/babble/)

There are so many occasions for sparklers at Christmas and New Year – that’s why I love this image. Warm gloves, cold weather and the crackle of sparklers. Lovely.

Child pulling a sleigh

Source: Halina Lis (http://pinterest.com/halinalis/)

Source: Halina Lis (http://pinterest.com/halinalis/)

This image is so nostalgic and cute. Christmas is all about children and snow – if we’re lucky.

Stag in the Snow Christmas ecard

Stag in the Snow Ecard

Stag in the Snow Ecard

Of course, I had to pick one of our Christmas ecards. This ecard reminds me of the deer in the park near our offices.

Why not check out more of the holiday season images we’ve been collecting by following Katie’s Cards on Pinterest.

Which is your favourite image of Christmas and the Winter season?

The main benefits of sending Christmas ecards this year

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

Christmas is a busy time. With all the organisation, the parties and the present buying you’ll always forget to send someone (or everyone) a Christmas card.

Jingle Bell Jive

More people than ever are sending Christmas ecards and there are many benefits of doing so:

  • Speed – there is nothing faster to send and receive than an ecard; it is practically instant.
  • Cost – Most subscription fees are minimal and for the cost of approximately two printed cards and postage you can send unlimited ecards.
  • Social – many people enjoy receiving their ecard on Facebook. You can post the card on their wall or send it in a message so they can view your greetings in a social media account they access multiple times a day.
  • Last minute – there are no last postage dates for ecards. You can send it all the way up to Christmas Day (or even on the big day itself!) and your friends and family will still receive it in time.
  • Animated – unlike a paper card, an ecard can be animated meaning it’s fun, dynamic and entertaining.
  • Interactive – an ecard can be a game to while away the hours at Christmas.
  • Sound & music – there is nothing more festive than Christmassy songs and sound effects and Christmas ecards can really capture the spirit of Christmas by playing your favourite Christmas songs as you view them.

There are many benefits to sending Christmas ecards and it’s not too late to send your ecards with Katie’s Cards now.

Five ideas to keep the peace this Christmas

Friday, December 21st, 2012

With the hussle and bussle of visitors and the rush of house guests, Christmas can be a stressful time. When all the family are at home it’s easy for tensions to rise and emotions to boil over.

Christmas Tree Ecard

To help you through this festive period here are our five top tips to help keep the peace:

1. Have a family meeting

Sit everyone down and discuss the plans over the Christmas period. Agree some rules and be clear about what’s going to happen and what’s expected from everyone.

2. Keep them occupied

Being busy usually helps distract kids from bickering. Give them things to do such as peeling the vegetables, doing a quiz, drawing or reading. However, don’t feel like you have to fill all of their free time. There are plenty of distractions at Christmas, so don’t pressurise yourself.

3. Keep rivals separate

Try to keep the people who may cause arguments separate from each other. Make sure they are in separate groups and, if they’re adults, reduce the drink you give them.

4. Be positive

A friendly, positive attitude always helps maintain a positive household. If you’re moody then it is likely they will be too, so keep positive and smile.

5. Random acts of kindness

There is nothing more disarming than being surprised by kindness. So give plenty of compliments and show compassion in the face of a bad attitude. Not only will it make you feel better but it will also help to defuse tense situations.

Finally, you could even use a Katie’s Cards ecard to say thank you and to surprise people with a nice gesture…You can see our full range of thank you ecards here on the Katie’s Cards website.

Our top three funny ecards to send this winter

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Christmas is a fun, jolly time of year. Well, that’s the theory anyway. However, how many cards do you receive that are, if you’re honest, a little bit boring? This year, why not inject some fun into Christmas by sending one of our humorous animated Christmas ecards. We’ve listed our top three funny Christmas ecards below:

1. Turkey Olympics

The Olympic Games was the highlight of 2012 for many people and the Turkey Olympics ecard celebrates this. The turkeys in this card are trying to escape their inevitable festive fate and only some serious Olympian efforts will help them.

Turkey Olympics Xmas Escape

Turkey Olympics

2. The Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse….’ Hang on a minute, there is a mouse stirring in this ecard. This card follows one mischievous mouse as it climbs up the Christmas tree to hug the angel at the top.

The Night Before Christmas

The Night Before Christmas

3. Lob the Leader

This political game let you throw snowballs at your favourite (or not so favourite) party leader. You can choose from David Cameron, Ed Milliband or Nick Clegg. You’ll have to be fast though because they duck and hide very quickly. Let them have it!

Lob some snowballs at your favorite party leader.

Lob some snowballs at your favorite party leader.

A very merry stress-free Christmas

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

We all know that despite the Christmas jollity and mince pies, the holiday season can become a little stressful at times. This stress is multiplied when there are families to feed, presents to buy and cards to send to friends who have moved to far-flung corners of the globe.

Christmas Elves

Though we can’t help cook your Christmas dinner or do your Christmas shopping for you, we can help you send out your Christmas ecards to friends and family all over the world, for minimal cost. By choosing to send Christmas ecards this year you can save yourself expensive postage costs and rest easy knowing that your Christmas wishes can be sent instantly to people in all corners of the globe.

It couldn’t be simpler. Simply fill in your details, pay a small membership fee and you can send unlimited Christmas ecards through the Katie’s Cards website

The Night Before Christmas – New ecard on the Katie’s Cards website!

Friday, December 14th, 2012

‘Twas the night before Christmas,

When all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring,

Not even a mouse….”

The Night Before Christmas

Reading The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve is a much-loved tradition in many families. This classic Christmas book inspired us to create this new Christmas ecard. It features a mischievous mouse who takes advantage of the quiet Christmas Eve night to clamber his way to the top of the tree…

New Jingle Bell Jive Christmas Ecard!

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

We are delighted to announce that there is a new Christmas ecard on the Katie’s Cards website! The new ecard is set to a jazzy version of Jingle Bells. Watch the lyrics of this classic Christmas song dance across the screen as you try to resist humming along…

Jingle Bell Jive

Why not spread a little festive joy and send it out to your friends and family right away? Alternatively, schedule it to arrive in their inbox on Christmas morning so they can begin Christmas day with a Jingle Bells bang.

The Great Christmas Tree Debate

Friday, December 7th, 2012

We at Katie’s Cards are always exploring ways in which we can continue to be as environmentally friendly as possible and it’s something we’ve commented on in recent blog posts. The Christmas tree is an iconic image of the holiday season and features on a selection of our ecards, so we decided to investigate whether real or artificial trees are more eco-friendly.

Christmas Tree Ecard

Real Christmas trees were the clear winner due to the fact that they are biodegradable and recyclable and are often grown on farms aware of their potential environmental impact. Artificial trees, on the other hand, are non-recyclable and must either be left to rot in a landfill or burnt. They are often made in factories with lax environmental rules and transported around the world, therefore racking up a large carbon footprint.

Needless to say, the Katie’s Cards Team was delighted with the outcome and look forward  to once again having that wonderful piney Christmas tree scent wafting around the office…

Click on the image above to view our favourite Christmas tree e card.

Card of the day! 2012.10.23.

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

As we’re nearing Christmas (and adding the finishing touches to the new turkey escape card) I thought today’s e card of the day should be an old favourite Turkey Escape card! Enjoy!

Turkey Breakout 3 Christmas card from www.katiescards.com

Turkey Breakout 3 Christmas card from www.katiescards.com