What’s Greek for ‘Upcycle’?

January 10, 2017 9:21 pm Published by 1 Comment


So Christmas is over. Soon you will pack up the decorations and take down the tree. Presents are put in their new place and the wrapping paper has gone out in the trash. What are you going to do with all the Christmas cards you received?

You could pack them up with your decorations and use them to decorate next year. Not too many people do that, though. You could throw them out, but I sure hope not! There are so many uses for those cards, it would be a shame to forget about them or waste them.

For starters, some cards are re-usable. When we were living in Papua New Guinea working on the Nabak New Testament translation, we re-used everything we could, and Christmas cards found a special purpose. We would cut the front of the card off which left just the picture or image from the front. Assuming there was nothing written on the back of that image, we could then include a line of scripture in Nabak on the back. It was easier to paste a copy of the scripture rather than writing it out, so that’s how we did it. We would then hand out these cards to the Nabak people, so they would not only have something beautiful to look at, but also a bit of God’s Word in their own language. You can do this as well. Get in touch with a missionary – probably through your church, but you could contact a missionary organization such as Wycliffe – and send them your Christmas card fronts. When we would hand them out, the Nabak people would hang them like artwork in their homes, and the cards were a great help in spreading the Word and starting conversations. There’s no reason missionaries in the field today couldn’t do the same thing!

Here’s another idea, and you’ll need to keep those scissors out! Some of the Christmas cards I receive are quite beautiful, so I cut them out and use them as small decorations or ornaments for the tree. Here is an example of one I just salvaged.

At Christmas dinner I like to go all out with fancy napkins on top of everything else. But if you have napkins, then you need napkin rings, right? Well, many Christmas cards are landscape style as opposed to portrait style. These often have beautiful long images on them, so I cut them out like the picture on the right here.

Since these are long, I can roll them around and tape them into a ring, and that ring is perfect for holding napkins. It is also a small way to honor friends. Imagine if the person who sent you a card last year found that card as the napkin holder when they came to visit the next Christmas!

And another favorite of mine is to cut out the message of the card, or a scripture verse on the card, and stick it on my fridge or my bathroom mirror. These little reminders of Jesus and the wonderful gift He is may give you a little lift through your day.

And of course there are many other ways to reuse those lovely Christmas cards, and any other cards you may receive throughout the year. Check out the Family Focus Blog or The Organic Prepper for more excellent ideas!

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This post was written by Grace Fabian

1 Comment

  • Lorraine Taylor says:

    Enjoyed reading your informative blog Grace. Met with my friend for lunch yesterday and she said her church collects Christmas card fronts for projects. So nice things can be recycled and used for other purposes.

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Grace Fabian
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