A Year in Review (Monday,12.31.12)

December 31, 2012

A Look Back at 2012…

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Can you believe 2012 is over already? And what a year it was…

In Entertainment: The undead and other fans rushed out to see the final episode of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, while singer Carly Rae Jepsen immortalized herself with her oft-parodied “Call Me Maybe” song. Apple ensured that phone calls could be cutting edge again with the release of the iPhone 5. And, unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to many notable celebrities including:  Whitney Houston, Robin Gibb, Andy Griffiths, Michael Clarke Duncan and “For Now, Dick Clark, So Long!”  

In Politics: The presidential election battle between Obama and Romney was certainly top-of-mind this year with much of the drama—as well as the comedy— played out on TV. Remote control “mute” buttons across the country saw a lot of action during all those annoying TV ads!

In Science:   The Mars rover, aptly named Curiosity, landed for a two-year stint on the red planet to answer questions about life there.  Meanwhile even bigger mysteries about the universe saw some light when the physics elite revealed the discovery of the Higgs boson. This subatomic particle (aka the God Particle) might just hold the answer to all life—right down to those little green men on Mars!

In Sports:  The Giants won their second World Series in three years (incredible, right?), and in football, the NFL referee strike was fortunately short lived.  Although the sub refs brought enthusiasm to their duties, well, they didn’t bring much else!  But the sports highlight was the London Olympic Games, which saw Michael Phelps with a record-setting medal count, and the “Fierce Five” vaulting Women’s Gymnastics to new heights.

In Weather: There was extensive drought throughout much of the country, wildfires in the west and, of course,  flooding and power outages from Superstorm Sandy in the east. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that the first eight months of 2012 were the most extreme weather events ever recorded. It looks like weathering the storms could be more the norm than the exception.

And last but not least, we are happy to report that one predicted event—the end of the world—did not occur. While many thought the Mayan calendar foretold our demise on December 21st, we are now looking forward to celebrating the arrival of 2013!

Happy New Year, everyone!

New Year Quote (Friday, 12.28.12)

December 28, 2012

Cheers to a New Year!

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Thoughts for the New Year (Wednesday, 12.26.12)

December 26, 2012

Wishes for the New Year…

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It’s hard to believe how fast the Christmas holiday goes by and even harder to believe that 2012 is drawing to a close. On December 31st, the clock will strike twelve and people all over the world will be wishing each other good cheer and hoping for a great 2013. But beyond the celebratory glitter and sparkle and the turn of a calendar page, the New Year signifies a time to take stock and better our lives. The popular custom of making resolutions is deeply rooted in spiritual history and the key to the meaning of the New Year holiday. Did you know that, on average, Americans make 1.8 resolutions? And most of them will be centered on becoming healthier and re-connecting with family and friends. What are your resolutions for the coming year?  We’d love to hear from you.

In the mood board:  Light the New Year ecard from American Greetings

Christmas Eve (Monday, 12.24.12)

December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

The spirit of Christmas can be found all around you – in the laughter of children as they play, in the flicker of a golden candleglow, in the magic of the first December snow,  in the voices of carolers singing and in the stars that shine above. As you celebrate this special holiday with family and friends, may you be inspired by the miracle of Christmas in your home, in your heart and in your world.  Wishing you all love, hope and peace from your friends at American Greetings.

In the mood board: Love, Hope, Peace ecard from American Greetings

Printable Christmas Cards (Saturday, 12.22.12)

December 22, 2012

Printable Christmas Cards!

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Christmas is almost here, but there’s still plenty of time to spread holiday cheer with fun and unique printable Christmas cards. These cards are a great addition to any Christmas present and everyone will love how personal and creative they are. Here are our top 3 reasons to give printable Christmas cards a try this year…

  • They can be a great romantic addition to any Christmas present. You spend so much time choosing the perfect gift for your significant other; why not give them a card that explains just how much you love them – in your own words! Print a romantic holiday card with your very own personalized message inside and you’re sure to stay on the nice list this year.
  • Kids can create instant presents for their parents, grandparents, and friends with customizable printable coupons! These adorable coupons are perfect for free favors, chores, dinner or any other fun and playful ideas they can come up with. All you have to do is customize and print!
  • Everyone loves the word FREE, and now printable Christmas cards are free for 7 days when you join Americangreetings.com. With nothing to lose, give these fun-to-create cards a try today!

Have any other fun reasons to personalize and print Christmas cards this year?  Let us know!

Christmas Quote (12.21.12)

December 21, 2012

Christmas is in the Air…

Christmas Quote

Christmas at American Greetings (12.21.12)

December 21, 2012

Holiday Spirit at American Greetings…

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Here at American Greetings, we all enjoyed getting into the spirit of the holidays by decking the halls and the walls at world headquarters in Brooklyn, Ohio.  We even included some of Santa’s little helpers to join in the fun. As you walk through many of the departments, you will find a festive display of lights, beautiful trees and a special place on the wall where folks can pin up their Christmas wish list. Plus, in the interactive department, you can hear Christmas music playing on an old-fashioned record player keeping the mood merry and bright.

From all of us at American Greetings, we wish you and your families a warm holiday filled with happiness, laughter and love!

Peace on Earth (Wednesday, 12.19.12)

December 19, 2012

Peace on Earth…

Merry Christmas

As the holiday season shifts into high gear and you still find yourself in the midst of shopping, decorating, baking and entertaining, it may be a great time to slow the pace and get back to the basics. Reflect on what means the most to you – your family, friends and what you believe in. It’s all about holding the true meaning of the holidays in your hearts with the traditions you enjoy, the memories you cherish and the connections you share. So celebrate what you have and what you’re grateful for, from simple pleasures like cozying up to a crackling fire to more meaningful gifts, like being with loved ones and feeling at home for the holidays!

In the mood board:  Peace on Earth ecard from American Greetings

Gift Wrapping Ideas (Tuesday, 12.18.12)

December 18, 2012

Wrapping Up the Holiday in Style…

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Sometimes you don’t have to look farther than your own backyard to enjoy the wonders of the season. The Christmas tree displayed this year at American Greetings came from our own property. The spruce was blown over during Hurricane Sandy, and was brought inside and lovingly decorated by a talented group of AG folks and interns from Kent State University.

As for the gifts under the tree, just like icing on a cake, the wrapping is that final touch to a perfect gift. And it truly is another way to show just how much love and thought has gone into the gift. Here are some tips to jazz up that paper and wrap up your holiday gift giving in style:

 

Gift Wrap Ideas:

12182012_main_imageMany people like to color theme their gifts.  Select a few different coordinating papers and mix and match the ribbons to tie it all together for a bold statement.

Get creative with your accents. Who said a bow just has to be a bow? You can include coordinating plastic or glass ornaments, pine cones, or even glittered snowflakes that you find at your local craft or dollar store to add something unexpected to the gift.

12182012_giftsThere are so many ribbons out there to choose from—why stick to just one? Sometimes a beautifully-textured or fabric bow can turn ordinary paper into something extraordinary and classic.

Coordinate your greeting card with your gift wrap–and leave it outside the envelope to serve a dual purpose as the gift tag!

christmas gift tags

Photo by: Martha Stewart [recycled Christmas card crafts]

Recycle last year’s greeting cards and turn them into gift tags. We cite one of our favorite experts for this tip and she suggests gluing card designs to store-bought tags or cutting out the design and punching a hole for the ribbon.

christmas monogrammed gift tags

Photo by: Martha Stewart [recycled Christmas card crafts]

Creating monogrammed gift tags from last year’s greeting cards is a great way to get the kids involved. Trace an initial on the back of the card and let the kids cut out the letter and punch a hole for the ribbon or tape to the gift.

homemade gift wrap

Photo by: Lovely Indeed for The Sweetest Occasion

Use a brown paper bag to wrap the gift and use a marker to write words or a special message, or even paint a design. Try making bows out of the bag too!

newspaper christmas gift wrap

Photo by: Country Living [creative gift wrap ideas]

Some people like to use the comic section, and that’s great, but you can really spruce up newspaper giftwrap by using international papers and then finish with a coordinating bow. Save this idea for the world traveler on your list!

If that special person puts a song in your heart, why not wrap their gift in music? Sheet music to be exact! You can easily download it and print it out to wrap around your gift—and don’t forget the bow!

There really are so many creative ways to put the finishing touch on the perfect gift.  Do you have any ideas you would like to share? We’d love to hear from you.

Happy wrapping this week!

Source Credits:

http://www.marthastewart.com/276934/recycled-christmas-card-crafts#242820
http://www.marthastewart.com/276934/recycled-christmas-card-crafts#272401
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/19/diy-gift-wrap_n_1159209.html
http://www.marthastewart.com/274678/gift-wrapping-ideas/@center/307035/santas-workshop#198813

Christmas Traditions (Monday, 12.17.12)

December 17, 2012

Christmas Traditions…

Classic Santa Class

It’s Christmas—time for trimmed trees, lights, mistletoe, Santa, and of course, greeting cards. Have you ever wondered how these traditions started? Well, a quick trip around the world can answer that!

Trimming the Tree: In Germany, fir trees were associated with Christmas nearly 500 years ago, with fruit, flowers and candies used as decorations. Prince Albert brought the tree to England when he married Queen Victoria, and the tradition came to America with the Pennsylvania Germans. Along the way, new types of Christmas ornaments were added, from homemade ornaments to little presents and trinkets.

Christmas Lights: It’s said that Martin Luther, a famous German monk, was inspired by the heavenly stars to add candles to a fir tree. A large Christmas candle, symbolizing Christ as the Light of the World, still burns throughout Christmas night, especially in Europe.

Mistletoe: First used by the Norse as a symbol of peace– warriors would meet under it to reconcile. Other cultures saw it as a sign of fertility, and as a blend of both beliefs, today couples kiss under it.

Santa Claus: Most stories link the jolly fellow with St. Nicholas of Myra, (Turkey), who generously gave money and gifts to those in need. St. Nicholas became the patron saint of Russia, but it’s Father Frost who visits the children there. In other countries, such as Spain and Mexico, the Three Kings are also givers of gifts.

Greeting Cards: It’s back to England for the first commercial greeting card, created by Sir Henry Cole in 1843 because he was just too busy to write individual messages for his friends! He probably would have loved the time-saving benefit of personalized paper cards and ecards today, especially in sharing his still popular wish:

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You!

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