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The One Hour Christmas Card & Gift Test!

Updated on January 15, 2015
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SheilaSchnauzies is a Miniature Schnauzer rescuer, writer, crochet designer, gardener, crafter, wife, mom & friend living in Omaha, NE.

This Test May Help You Prioritize Your Homemade Gifts & Christmas Card List!

Many of us tend to keep some holiday traditions or rituals in a certain way, to our self-imposed standards, because it's the "right way" to do it. At least I know I did that, and still do on some things that are important to me. Let's take that Christmas Card list of yours, for example. Do you even know or remember all the people on your list? (I'm talking about the personal cards here, nothing related to business).

Now granted, your life changes from year to year. Some years, you are simply too busy to make special gifts or handmade cards for those special people. Or maybe other life situations like health or finance may prevent you from doing what you want. If that's the case this year, please do not beat yourself up about it! Those who truly care for you will understand.

The One Hour Christmas Card Test Is Born!

Many years ago, I was driving home one morning in the first real snowfall of the year, having just dropped my daughter off at high school. I was thinking to myself, "It would be so cool if this snow lasts until Thanksgiving," just two days away. The snowflakey, crispy winter air made me think of Christmas cards, how it would be a great day to light a fire, sit down with some mint cocoa and write away! "And," I thought, "since I am crocheting all these dog ornaments anyway, I could just tuck one into each Christmas card!"

This blissful holiday picture of cheerful cards neatly handwritten, filled with colorful crocheted schnauzer ornaments, stamped and ready to mail on TIME for once, was shattered almost immediately by the thought of just how much time would be involved - almost an hour per card/gift! My Christmas card list back then averaged around 40 cards.

And then it struck me... that's the test. I would mentally ask each person on my long Christmas Card list, "Does our current relationship merit an hour of my time right now? Should it?"

It was one of those profound moments of clarity where you almost hear an imaginary bell ring somewhere. Especially in light of the fact that I had recently been very ill and had begun to place a higher value on my time, it seemed crucial that I resolve this issue for myself.

I started prioritizing the list. The first name belonged to a person I'd worked with long ago, who had never returned a card, an email or a phone call, and with whom I'd had zero personal contact in years. "Are you worth an hour of my time right now?" I ask. "Not really, I've kind of moved on," the virtual person in my mind replies. "Should you be?" "Well, it would be nice if we said hi on the street or something, but we're both in such different places now, and I think we were just friends in the work situation. You can skip me if you want." Wow! That was easy!! No guilt!! Scratch right through that name forever.

The next name belonged to a dear neighbor from my childhood, with whom I'd had no contact in more than ten years. She was sweet to me as a child and was my late mom's very best friend. "Are you worth an hour of my time right now?" I ask. This reply comes immediately from my heart - "YES." "In fact," I thought, "not only do you deserve a dog ornament, you deserve a handwritten note and a copy of a picture I found of you and my mom together."

The third name belonged to an internet friend who had gotten me through many difficult days.. but I would have to find out their address... that's an easy "yes" answer. And so the prioritizing of the list went on.

I ended up writing far fewer Christmas cards than usual that year, but each one was what it should be - a true outpouring from the heart, not a dreaded ritual to power through.

What's Your Favorite Tuck-In Gift?

Do You Make Handmade Gifts? Tell us!

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More... Not Less!

When you prioritize your list to those truly important to you, there is more time to make their greetings and/or gifts even more special!

My Favorite Christmas Card Writing Accessories From Amazon - The More Fun You Have, The Faster You'll Get Done!

What Do You Think Of This Idea? - Come On, You Can Tell Me!

Here are some of my handmade ornaments....

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Please Say Hello! - Happy holidays to you!

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