Halloween Costume Contest

Halloween Costume ContestGhosts, pirates, witches, pumpkins, superheroes and so many more creative costumes fill the streets in the evening of October 31st. This is one of the best times of the year for children as they go door to door disguised in their aspirational costumes and saying the familiar phrase of “Trick-or-treat!”

We love Halloween at Pear Tree, so this year we decided to have a Halloween Costume Contest to win $150 towards holiday cards! We’re looking forward to seeing all the fun costumes, and you just might win some extra cash to spend on your holiday cards!

How to enter:
1. Go to Halloween Costume Contest on our Facebook page and Like us to enter.
2. Upload a photo of you or your child in a Halloween costume.
3. Get friends and family to vote!

Entries will be accepted through November 4th and voting period is October 22nd – November 11th. Three winners will be chosen by Pear Tree from the top 10 most voted entries. Winners will be announced via Facebook on November 15th.

No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited.

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What inspires us? Can you spot the Christmas card ideas?

When we’re designing Christmas cards (or any other cards, for that matter) our inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere—fashion, home decor, textiles, pop culture, events, you name it. Sometimes it all comes together perfectly, like in this year’s holiday collection.

Hottest Christmas cards trends

We filled a Pinterest board with some of the hottest trends to influence our Christmas card ideas this year, including bright colors, stripes and patterns, mixed fonts, vintage shapes and natural elements. See if you can spot some of these trends in our new holiday cards!

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Sneak Peek! New holiday card ideas

Maybe you’re not thinking about holiday card ideas quite yet, but our busy little elves have been working on our new collection and we can’t wait to show you! Here’s a sneak peek to put you in the mood. Watch for our new Christmas cards sometime in August.

Christmas cardsGingham Photo Greeting – Christmas cards
These Christmas cards string together your warmest wishes and your holiday style! Four square Polaroid-style snapshots are cut out and strung together with ribbon to hang in loved ones homes. Personalize each square with a photo and a merry message in your choice of colors. The back of each square is covered with a cheerful gingham pattern in your choice of color.

Continue reading

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Sneak Peek! New holiday card ideas

Maybe you’re not thinking about holiday card ideas quite yet, but our busy little elves have been working on our new collection and we can’t wait to show you! Here’s a sneak peek to put you in the mood. Watch for our new Christmas cards sometime in August.

Tri-fold Classic Tales - Christmas cards

Tri-fold Classic Tales – Christmas cards
Tell the tale of your family’s eventful year in retro style! These Christmas cards in a tri-fold layout open to reveal a mix of classic flourish and ribbon style borders, along with room for three favorite photos. Add to the customization with space to share your Christmas letter and your choice of color to accompany the gray and black. Continue reading

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Sneak Peek! New holiday card ideas

Maybe you’re not thinking about holiday card ideas quite yet, but our busy little elves have been working on our new collection and we can’t wait to show you! Here’s a sneak peek to put you in the mood. Watch for our new Christmas cards sometime in August.
Read All About It Christmas CardsRead All About It Christmas cards
These photo holiday cards deliver a one-of-a-kind look in an even more unique layout, so if you’re looking to stand out this season, this card was made for you! Favorite photos, a poster-like holiday greeting, unique diamond designs and room for a custom Christmas letter are all folded up and tied with ribbon so loved ones can open it to reveal plenty of Christmas joy. Top off the customization with your choice of colors to accompany the ecru background.

Christmas CardsModern Cheer Christmas cards
The holidays are filled with plenty of cheer, so why not share your cheer with loved ones? These holiday photo cards make the message loud and clear in a unique way with individually cut-out letters spelling Cheer that all string together to hang on a tree or from a mantel. A Polaroid-style photo strung on the end adds personalization, while the back side of the letters holds angled stripes in fun colors of green, aqua, pink and black to add trendy style. Continue reading

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There’s more than one way to say Merry Christmas

There’s more than one way to say Merry ChristmasOut of the dozens of Christmas cards you get this year, how many of them do you think will say, “Merry Christmas from the _____ family?” It’s the standard greeting, of course, and one that certainly gets the point across. But if you have the opportunity to customize your own Christmas greeting, wouldn’t it be nice to make it a little more personal?

You don’t have to be a poet, or a songwriter to write a great Holiday card, but it helps to know a few! Here are a few of our favorite simple but creative Christmas card wording ideas:

The important thing is to choose words you love, because that’s what will give your Christmas greeting the perfect personal touch. Know what you want to say? Start creating your Christmas cards now. Or look for more Christmas card wording ideas on our blog.

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My least favorite time of year: the annual address book update

Updating Christmas Address bookOne of the necessary but painful activities of the holiday season is the annual updating of the address book. Yes, it’s all part of organizing for Christmas and must be done before sending out Christmas cards, but it’s a job best swallowed with a bottle of wine and lots of music.

A few years ago my address book was just that—a book. A little yellow book I kept in the kitchen with phone numbers and addresses. I learned early on never to take a pen to this precious book, always pencil, for easy updates. Still, some members of my family have moved so often the paper was worn through with erasing. And I could never tell from one year to the next whether the address I had was the current one. As new addresses came to me, usually via the previous year’s holiday cards, I’d toss them in a pile for updating next year, sometime around December 15th.

Since then, I have upgraded my system to an Excel spreadsheet. The advantages to this are that it’s easy to make changes, and you can keep track of the changes if you want to. You can also use the list to print envelopes or address labels in Word. It’s not as convenient as I’d like it to be, however, because I still let the changes pile up and do them all, you guessed it, around December 15th.

I took an informal poll in our office to see if anyone had a better solution. I was surprised to find that about a third of us, even some of our IT gurus, are still in paper mode. Another third use some form of electronic spreadsheet, like I do. And the rest, the early adapters, have moved to a Google Doc format. A Google Doc is free to set up, and accessible from most smart phones and from any computer. This means that you can update addresses the minute you hear about a change, and that you have access to this updated address list wherever you are. You can also share it with other members of your family, and they can make updates, too.

When it comes to organizing for Christmas it seems that I am behind the times, as usual. But since it’s just one simple step to convert my Excel list to a Google Doc, I am not that far away from a state-of-the-art address book. I love the idea of having access to it on my phone. The downside is that currently you cannot print labels or envelopes directly from Google Docs, but it’s easy to export it back into Excel or Word to do this. Besides, I haven’t decided whether I’m going to hand-write or print address labels this year. I will make that decision later, probably sometime around December 15th.

Have you started organizing for Christmas or shopping for Christmas cards?  Find other ideas on addressing Christmas cards on our blog.

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Choosing your perfect Christmas card

Family PictureI’m seriously excited. I just got a glimpse of the photos I hope to use on my family’s Christmas card, taken by my friend and colleague Michelle. I was worried the photos wouldn’t turn out, but she did such a wonderful job that now I am going to have a hard time deciding which one to use. And I was already conflicted about which card design to choose! There are so many holiday card ideas out there. Where to start?

Some people select the design and then try to take a photo that complements the design. If you are like me and are photographically challenged, you can’t even think about the design until you have a photo that is actually in focus and everyone is smiling (minimum requirements). This year, for the first time ever, I am actually considering a photo of our whole family, instead of just the kids.

Once I have the photo, I just go with my instinct on the design. I choose a few I like and put the photo in each one to see what it looks like, changing colors to match the photo if that’s an option. I always have fun tinkering with the text in the card, too. This year, I came up with the idea to use the lyrics to a Christmas song in my card, but I am also thinking about ways to incorporate my family’s culture in the text somehow. I don’t know which idea will be the winner. In the end, what really makes a photo Christmas card the perfect card is that it is a reflection of me and my family. My card will not look like anyone else’s, and that is what makes it perfect to me.

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Christmas Traditions

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. A time to do, well, everything you did last year all over again. There is so much comfort in Christmas traditions. Remember when you were a kid, and you used to ask, “Are we doing that again?” Not because you didn’t want to help decorate cookies, but because the holidays are special and often chaotic, and you were searching for routine amidst the hubbub.

As we get older, we realize how precious our traditions are. Every year, I buy one ornament for my son, daughter and husband. It’s really important that my husband’s has the year marked on it, since I have done that for the last 10 years. We always put the tree up together the day after Thanksgiving and use C9 bulbs — yes, old school, but we are not changing. On Christmas Eve, we cook a lot, leave chocolate chip cookies for Santa (his favorite, apparently), write him a note, and then break out the special wine while we wrap and put together presents. We look through the holiday cards again, to think of people far away that can’t spend the holidays with us. On Christmas morning after breakfast, we drink dark coffee and open presents, and commence the Christmas movie marathon, including A Christmas Story and Holiday Inn.

Our Christmas traditions are the same every year, but that’s what makes them traditions. Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without them.

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10 Tips For an Eco-Friendly Holiday Season:

‘Tis the season to be GREEN! This holiday season keep your eco-friendly efforts going with these eco friendly tips to make it a very special season ‘green’tings for your friends and family!

  1. Shop Green. Keep down your costs and environmental impact by shopping online. You will save yourself a trip to the store and those long lines. Have the gifts sent directly to the receiver; this way it won’t be sent twice and you save a little extra money. If you have to go to the store, plan shopping trips in advance and carpool to save extra trips to the mall and the grocery store.
  2. Bring Your Own Bag. This year– BYOB to the stores with you. Not only will your shopping tote hold your holiday list, but you’ll also feel good knowing you save a few plastic bags in the process. If you have left over bags from shopping, use them for wrapping the gifts or as a trash can liner.
  3. Eco-Wrapping Solutions. Find alternatives to wrapping paper. Some of my favorites include:Using the newspaper comics section for a pop of color or brown grocery bags dressed up with ribbon. For a really trendy look, buy vintage tins at a thrift stores to wrap your presents. Use old holiday cards to create a unique gift tag to tie it all together. Remember, save the bows and ribbons you receive from others for next year.
  4. The Gift That Keeps On Giving: For those hard to buy for on your list this year, make a donation to their favorite charity, have a tree planted in their honor, or buy a gift card to their favorite restaurant. Find trendy gifts that are eco-friendly, fair trade, or made from recycled materials online. Offer your services such as babysitting, cooking, or helping someone move. All of these gifts will certainly not be forgotten and won’t end up in next year’s trash.
  5. Set a Green Table: Instead of disposable plates, cups, and napkins, opt for cloth napkins and re-usable dishes. Serving dishes can be rented or purchased from restaurant supply stores, or IKEA. After the event, un-needed pieces can be resold on e-bay. If your event calls for disposable pieces, opt for those made from corn or potatoes, these are easily biodegradable compared to Styrofoam or plastic.
  6. Waste Not. Buy locally grown organic food to feed your friends and family this year. To reduce waste, buy in large quantities; one large bottle is better than five small ones. Send leftovers home with guests, or donate them to local food kitchens and remember to compost your scraps.
  7. Green Christmas Tree. Opt for a real tree, grown from a local tree farm instead of the plastic versions in the stores. One acre of a tree farm creates oxygen to support 18 people and remove 13 tons of airborne pollutants per year. When the holidays are over, contact your city officials to find out where you can take it in for recycling. Recycled trees are used for mulch, and other landscaping uses.
  8. Add a Twinkle To Your Holiday. Recycle those old, worn-out, broken and outdated strings of twinkle lights and replace them with LED lights. LED lights use only 1/50th the energy of regular holiday lights and don’t create a fire hazard! Turn off your lights at night to save even more energy. Go to HolidayLEDs.com for more information on recycling your old lights.
  9. Festive Décor. Be creative this year using what you find in your own backyard. Make edible decorations such as popcorn strings and cranberry wreaths. Cut down a few bows for décor around the house or collect pinecones for a great centerpiece. The smell of nature is sure to bring out your holiday spirit.
  10. Recycled ‘Green’tings Card. Send out holiday greetings made from recycled papers. There are plenty of cool and trendy options here on Pear Tree Greetings to make everyone’s holiday a little more green.

Recycled Holiday CardRecycled Photo Holiday CardRecycled Photo Holiday Card

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