What Makes the Holidays Special To Us

The best part of the holiday season? No, not the presents. (Though, of course we love those, too!) It’s the time spent with loved ones, celebrating the holidays with long lasting traditions! Here, the Cardtorial team shares what puts each of us in the spirit of the season every year.

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YVONNE: My sisters, Eva and Elice, and I usually do some sort of photo shoot where we get dressed up and take a ton of photos together/of each other. It’s silly and fun and we always love going back  to look at them. It’s the only dedicated time we really take (good quality) photos together. Sometimes it’ll be around the house or in the yard…sometimes somewhere random around home (Irvine!). Perfect fodder for our family photo albums!

JESS: Christmas is the one time a year when everything slows down and you’re with family and friends and you can simply enjoy one another’s company. You don’t feel the rush of a hectic work schedule, and you can just lounge around and actually drink a cup of tea and enjoy it. I also enjoy the smell that comes from baking: the cinnamon, the spices, the feel of a warm kitchen. And, of course, walking through the neighborhood at night looking at Christmas lights!

TIINA: My favorite holiday tradition is making traditional Finnish Christmas desserts with my mom. She makes the BEST gingerbread (I might be biased, but Scandinavian gingerbread is the best of them all). We also make cardamom rolls and a spice cake that is so, so tasty. All of her recipes are in Finnish and use lots of ingredients and spices that aren’t typically used in baked goods here in the US, so they taste really special and unique.

KRISTIN: My Grandma on my Mom’s side would come over on Christmas Day, and would make us her world famous empanadas. Over the last few years, she finally started to let my sister and me in on the magic. We started to learn the recipes (spice ratios are KEY, as well as the secret ingredient – raisins), the special empanada folding technique (anyone who uses a fork is an amateur), and how they taste WAY better fried, not baked. A very nice memory I have is of my sister, my cousin Ashley, and me making empanadas under my Grandmother’s watchful eye, and everyone enjoying the fruits of our labor.

Lastly, King’s Hawaiian sweet dinner rolls. These are my ride or die. Bless the Hawaiian Roll.

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KAYLEY: My favorite holiday tradition is baking with my mom and grandma, and decorating our house. My family and I also always go to my aunt’s house on the day before Christmas Eve to have dinner and exchange gifts with our extended family. We spend the night there, and then my brother and I go Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve day at the outlet centers near my aunt’s house (it’s never crowded and there are always sales!).

MADDY: It never really feels like Christmas is here until the night of Thanksgiving! Since I was a kid, after all of the kitchen clean up has been done and we’ve all woken up from our tryptophan/turkey-induced naps, everyone’s settled in to watch a holiday movie. For the first decade or so of my life, that movie was always “The Santa Clause.” Eventually, we began to cycle in some other holiday classics—from “It’s A Wonderful Life” to “Elf”—to keep the tradition fresh. Once we’ve watched that first festive movie of the Christmas season, it truly feels like the holidays!

SARAH: My favorite Christmas traditions include:

  • All of the kids in my family get a new ornament in their stocking every year
  • Decorating the tree as a family, and placing our angel on top
  • Christmas baking—mostly almond brittle and Puppy Chow
  • Being with my family on Christmas Day, eating breakfast, opening gifts, and then driving to cousins/aunts/uncles’ places to celebrate all together

LIZ: My favorite part of the holidays is binge watching Christmas TV episodes and specials!

 

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We’ve Found Santa’s Elves in Real Life!

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Our secret to a wonderful and stress-free holiday season? We’ve found Santa’s Elves in real life: the postal workers at USPS!  Not everyone ships as much as we do year round, but during the holiday season, the US Postal Service is especially busy. Just to give you an idea of how hectic this time of year can be:

  • On December 14th — AKA the busiest shipping day of the year! — about 612 million pieces of mail are processed in the US.
  • Over 240 million Americans will visit their local post office between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
  • Approximately 15.5 billion card and packages will be mailed this holiday season (WOW).

With so much going on, this feels like the perfect time of year to recognize the hard work our Postal Workers put in for us every single day. We are so thankful for Jay, Nick, and Keisha, the Cardtorial mail carriers! They always go above and beyond to help us out (and trust us, we always have TONS of mail for them to pick up at ALL hours of the day!). Seriously, they rock.

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We’ve been brainstorming some good gifts to let them know how much we appreciate them, and we hope you’ll join us in saying an extra ‘thank you’ this holiday season. Some of our favorite ideas include:

  • A heartfelt, handwritten holiday card, telling them how much their work means to us
  • A basket of snacks and portable drinks to keep in their truck (We’ve decided to keep a snack box at our door so that they can grab something to eat and drink all year long!)
  • A gift card to a local shop or restaurant that they’ve mentioned they enjoy
  • A cozy hat, gloves, and scarf (okay, maybe this one is better for our friends outside of SoCal..)
  • A genuine, detailed letter, sent to the Postmaster, outlining the exemplary work our Postal Worker has done throughout the year. This letter will go in their permanent personnel file and might help them get a promotion or raise down the line!

Let us know how you chose to say ‘thank you’ and ‘happy holidays’ to the USPS this season! This time of year, a little heartfelt appreciation goes a long way.

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**Source for statistics: https://blog.integracore.com/packaging/fun-holiday-shipping-facts-from-the-usps/

The Cardtorial Holiday Gift Guide is Here!

We understand–it can be so hard to find the right gift for everyone in your life. With SO many options available, how can you find something truly special? Luckily for you, we have gifts for everyone in your life to make it a memorable holiday for all. 

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After the gift whirlwind that is a baby shower, it can be tricky to think of something original and creative to give the new mom in your life. We suggest a present that commemorates a big milestone: baby’s first Christmas!  

Rocking Horse OrnamentReminiscent of the types of toys a child would have opened on Christmas morning many years ago, this rocking horse ornament combines our modern designs with vintage charm, perfect for the holiday season

Dear Little One Ornament: With this ornament, you can put into words what’s going on inside a new mom’s head: “Dear little one, you are loved more than you will ever know.” Hung on their tree, it says all that needs to be said.

Floral Monogram Journal: Perhaps your friends spent nine months selecting their new baby’s name, or maybe they just knew the perfect moniker all along; either way, honor their decision with a journal engraved with a beautiful floral monogram.

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In a relationship as unique as yours, how can you find a present that truly encompasses all that you feel for one another? Jewelry or clothing are both lovely, but can sometimes lack that personal touch. We suggest something customizable and handmade to do the trick!

You & Me Ornament: Two halves of the same whole, you two fit into each other’s lives like puzzle pieces. Say as much with our adorable “You & Me” ornament! You’ll be hanging each piece on the tree together for so many Christmases to come.

Carry Your Heart Box: There’s a reason e.e. cummings is counted as one of the greatest love poets of all time—let him say what’s in your heart (perhaps a bit more poetically than many of us could muster!). And if you’re so inclined, add some poetry of your own by engraving a custom message on the front motif.

My Sun, Moon, Stars Card: Love you to the moon and back—there’s a reason we say it! Sometimes our love stories feel out of this world. Express that feeling this holiday season with our “Sun, Moon & Stars” greeting card; add a custom engraved message to the back when you have a bit more to say.

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Since your friends are probably still writing thank you notes for the many gifts they received on their wedding day, we think the perfect present is something thoughtful, yet simple. Check out some cute options to help them celebrate their love this holiday season!

Wedding Coasters: It might not be appropriate for your friend to wear her wedding gown every day (though we totally wish it was!), but she can definitely use some subtle wedding-themed coasters all year round! Simple, thoughtful, and stunning—these coasters will be a lovely reminder of their big day every time they set down a drink.

Ever After Keepsake Box: Of course you gave your friends a card on their wedding day! Aaaaand…so did everyone else. Now that their honeymoon is over and they’ve gotten back to real life, where are they supposed to keep those handwritten well wishes? That’s where you come in! Our “Ever After” keepsake box is the perfect place to store all of the newlyweds’ most treasured notes and trinkets.

Lovebirds Ornament: They’ll only get to celebrate once, so be sure to commemorate their first Christmas together this year! Our beautifully carved “Lovebirds” ornament will stand out on their tree now and forever, even as they gather more ornaments over the years.

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Where would you be without your best friend? You definitely wouldn’t have as much fun, that’s for sure! Friends make life so much sweeter, and the holidays are the perfect time to celebrate your one-of-a-kind friendship with a one-of-a-kind gift.

Paw-lidays & Meow-y Christmas Ornaments: Perfect for the animal-loving human in your life, these ornaments are an adorable celebration of man’s best four-legged friend.

Succulent Journal: Is it just us, or are succulents way harder to keep alive than their reputation makes them out to be?? Give your coolest pal a cactus that will last forever with our handmade succulent journal.

Holiday Cheer Greeting Card: Sometimes the holiday season can make a long-distance friendships even harder. Send your bestie a little holiday cheer with our Holiday Airmail greeting card! Be sure to engrave a fun message on the back to tide you both over until the next time you see each other.

 

 

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Small Business Saturday

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Here at Cardtorial we believe deeply in conscious consumption, which means that we try to only create (and purchase!) products that are made sustainably, ethically, and meant to last for the long haul. We think it’s so important to give a gift that can last forever, as opposed to something that will have been thrown away, broken, or forgotten about by next year. 

With that in mind, we just wanted to say how grateful we are for you, our customers! We want you to know that when you support Cardtorial, you are supporting:

  • a small business!
  • a dedicated team of eight women who love what we do.
  • a company that puts ethical and sustainable practices first.
  • and, of course, cards and gifts that send happiness and love into the world!

It’s officially the most wonderful time of the year, and we can’t wait to spend it with you all!

xo, The Cardtorial Team

History of the Advent Calendar

The holidays are so special to our team at Cardtorial. Whether we’re watching our favorite Christmas movie, baking huge batches of our grandmother’s gingerbread cookie recipe, or spending quality time with our loved ones, it’s our traditions that truly make this the most wonderful time of the year! With that in mind, we are thrilled to introduce our brand new Heirloom Advent Calendar!

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A Little History:  Since its invention in the mid-19th century, the Advent Calendar has become a treasured family tradition. Building excitement day by day throughout the month of December, the advent calendar traditionally stores pieces of candy, small toys or trinkets behind 24 small doors, each marked with the date in December on which it should be opened. The advent calendar has its roots in the mid-1800s, when German Protestant families began to countdown using chalk lines on the doors of their homes. Others chose to light a candle on each night of the month, or to burn a candle down to a specific point, with the 24 carved-out notches on that candle denoting the 24 days of Christmas.

 

 

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Source: The LDN Diaries [http://theldndiaries.com/beauty-advent-calendar-guide-2017/]
Since its first appearance in its modern form in the 1850s, the Advent Calendar has seen many iterations, from the store-bought chocolate boxes first popularized in the 1950s, to—in more recent years—the introduction of super fun beauty-focused calendars from brands like Clinique and Bare Minerals, or the ever-sold out option from the England-based shop, Liberty London.

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Creating Your Own Advent Tradition: We love this holiday tradition because it’s an easy, fun way to build excitement all month long for the ones in your life (and perhaps gently eschew that desperate “when is Santa coming??” plea…). If you’re interested in an advent calendar of your own, we’ve got you covered.

Each advent calendar is made by hand – every cotton bag is hand-painted and tied with luxe Italian ribbon. Our signature engraved, sustainable wooden tags date each bag, so that you know which day in December you’ll be opening that particular treasure. We picture this calendar displayed on a showstopping wall, hung along a staircase or mantle with care, or dreamily draped around your family’s Christmas tree.

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However you choose to fill your 24 days of the holiday season, we hope that our Heirloom Advent Calendar brings you joy this holiday season. We can’t wait to hear how you use your Advent Calendars this year!

 

How It Gets Made!

People always say to us, “Tell me how you make it!” You may guess we have tiny little elves hand carving each piece, but the truth is we create each of our products in our Los Angeles studio using our laser cutter – he’s the true Cardtorial MVP.

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Shop this Succulent journal, as well as all of our other journal designs, on our website.