Thursday, July 17, 2008

Vote Nan for Santa Claus!

I might have titled today's blog, Nan for President, but since it's Christmas in July I thought I should stick with the theme.  So, Santa it is.  Nan for Santa Claus.  Besides, Nan's spirit, good cheer, and generosity is far more suited for Santa Claus than it is for politician.  

Today you'll get to meet Nan and maybe you'll agree.

First.  The original reason I intended to talk about Nan  is because of her creative use of the Christmas cards she acquires during the holiday season.  I've seen all kinds of things done with Christmas cards including... lining mantels, covering archways; filling trees, wreaths, and all sorts of contraptions designed for the display of cards.  The conundrum with Christmas cards is, once the card has been read and the holiday is over, what is one supposed to do with the thoughtful gestures from family and friends?  Simply throwing them away seems heartless... even crass, but keeping them seems so impractical.  Me?  I read them, cross reference their address with what's in my address book to assure I'm still up to date, maybe display the card for a few days or a week, and then get rid of them.  That,coming from someone who hates clutter and is constantly looking for what can be disposed of next. 

The idea I'm about to share makes me feel so much better about Christmas cards.  It might one day be featured on the blog I am desperately trying to get Nan to start.  She would be a natural for blogging and could fill whole screens with creative ideas that make you go hmmmmm... why didn't I think of that?  So one day when Nan makes it big, you can say you met her here first, at  What makes her idea so good?... SIMPLICITY!  No extra time, no extra money, no craft supplies required... just a simple, but great idea.

Ok, here it is... Nan takes all the Christmas cards she receives in a season - and I do believe, based on how many people she knows and her social calendar, that it must be well over one hundred - and places them in a basket near her family's dinner table.  Each week after Christmas, while eating dinner together, one member of her family draws a Christmas card or two from the basket and reveals the card-givers name(s).  Nan's family will either say a simple prayer for that family or use it as a chance to do things such as place a phone call to their home, send a card saying hello, or simply talk over dinner about what makes that family special.

Great idea, huh?  All I can think is.... hey, I want a card in that basket.  I want my family to be "featured" in someone else's home over dinner one night.  The idea is so simple and yet so meaningful.  It takes a Christmas card (many of which people like Peggy and Chaotic put significant time into making) and gives the card a longer and more meaningful life.  It takes the spirit of Christmas (to spread kindness and good will) and extends it through the entire year.  I will adopt this idea beginning Christmas 2008.  The beauty of it... no preparation or supplies required.  No skill necessary... just a basket and the sheer will to make it happen.

Second.  Just like Santa, Nan can frequently be found in her magical workshop making treats to share with others.  One of her specialties?  The cutest luggage tags you've ever seen.  Everything about them is cute.  The free-handed fonts she uses, the pictures/icons she draws on them, color choice... I love everything about them.  Each of my sons has been the fortunate recipient of one of Nan's luggage tags, since moving into the neighborhood last fall.  I'm already scrolling through my list of gift recipients to decide who I will purchase a set for this holiday season... teachers, baby sitter, barrista at Starbucks?  I'm not sure who yet, but rest assured, someone will find these in their Christmas stocking.

Fortunately for us, Nan has generously offered to make a set of four luggage tags that I can give away on today's blog.  Win the set (to be personalized as requested by you) by answering this question...  If SNANta Claus was to hop on her sled today and take a vacation anywhere in the Continental U.S., to where would she go?  Guess it right and you're the winner.  More than one correct guesser and I'll draw one of your names from my Santa hat.

Third.  Nan has the best looking elves.  Yesterday they joined my boys in making Snowmen Sundaes (the perfect way to celebrate National Ice Cream Month AND Christmas in July, ALL at once).  Two scoops of vanilla ice cream, sitting in a large drift of snow, made of whipped cream; coconut snowflakes; a corn cob pipe; a button nose; and two eyes made out of coal (a.k.a chocolate chips).  Truth... I filled bowls with all sorts of treats and let the 
kids "build" their own snowmen.  We played Christmas music and talked about what we thought Santa would bring.  Still, the whole thing - beginning to end - only lasted about 20 minutes.  Another good reason not to delay.  These ideas we have, but never quite get around to implementing?... They never take as long, or are as hard, as we envision.

That it.  That's my pitch for voting Nan for Santa Claus.  I hope you'll agree.

Signing off until tomorrow...

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