Anyone who knows me knows how much I love stationery and writing letters, so I was super excited when Basic Invite reached out to me for a collaboration. Basic Invite is a Utah-based small business specializing in customized invites, holiday cards, and other stationery. Since I don’t really have a need for photo Christmas cards yet (sending my friends cards with pictures of just me feels a little narcissistic), I decided to customize Christmas-themed thank you cards instead.
When I was younger, my parents used to force my siblings and me to write thank you cards when we received presents on our birthdays and Christmas. As a kid, writing a bunch of cards to aunts and uncles whose names I couldn’t spell was not the most exciting pastime. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown to love writing thank you cards and think the habit is so important. I always appreciate receiving thank yous from my own friends after giving a gift, so I like to pass on that feeling whenever I can. Not to mention, writing thank you cards makes it much more likely that you will receive gifts from that person again in the future… There is nothing more disappointing than putting a lot of time and effort into a present for someone and not hearing any feedback from the recipient. Thank you cards show how much you appreciate the giver and communicate that the time and money they spent was worthwhile.
At first, I considered making funny holiday cards with my Elf on the Shelf pictures from past years. (It has become a tradition that I put on a make-shift elf costume around Christmas and find a shelf around the house to sit and pose on.) However, I realized nobody really needs a picture of me in a pointy sparkly hat and sequin slippers that jingle when I walk, so I started browsing thank you cards instead. I was looking for holiday-specific thank you cards, but I kind of wish I had widened my search—Basic Invite has tons of really cute thank you cards for any time of year or occasion! I especially like this template.
Anyway, I stumbled on this Pine Frame template and really loved the layout, so I started playing around with the customization. Basic Invite offers over 160 colors to choose from and a ton of fonts. The nice thing is that you can change the color on each aspect of the card. For example, the Pine Frame includes the background, two shades of berries, five shades of leaves, and the writing, all of which can be personalized. I started my customization by removing the place for the last name, and then I began playing around with the colors. While I love the original juniper and minty-green shades of the design, I felt obligated to change the hues, since there is such a wide selection from which to choose. I ended up with more classic and bold shades of green and red for a traditional Christmas look. I also decided to change the font and make the writing bigger, as the card looked a little empty after I removed the line for the last name.
When the cards arrived, I was impressed by the thickness of the cardstock. They printed just as they appeared in the preview online, and I love the vibrant colors. I’m not sure I am crazy about the design I created (the original Pine Frame template was way cuter as-is), but at least I am very happy with the quality and colors of the cards. For Christmas this year, my family decided to pick two names out of a hat for Secret Santa-style gift-giving instead of buying a present for everyone, like we usually do. I am looking forward to using these cards as thank you notes to whoever my Secret Santas turn out to be!
Stationery is one of my favorite gifts to give this time for year, and it makes a great stocking stuffer. I almost always buy my mom a pack of pretty cards for Christmas and include it on my own wish list! I figure cards are something that may not be explicitly wanted but can always be used. I know I am never disappointed to receive a new pack of stationery… Plus, you can make a whole letter writing kit for an even bigger gift!
Last year for Christmas, I put together a fancy box for my friend filled with stationery, a seal with his initial, wax, and some pens. Yes, I am old school when it comes to writing letters. I have a G seal that someone got me as a souvenir from Austria including red wax to stamp my envelopes closed. Basic Invite’s envelopes are all peel and seal (which is perfect for avoiding those tongue papercuts and the overall weird aftertaste of that sticky stuff), but I still like to stamp all my envelopes closed purely for the aesthetic. If I’m feeling really bold, I sometimes even write letters with a quill and ink. I think together customized stationery, a quill and ink well, and a seal make for such a thoughtful gift! Here is a pretty set of seals from Amazon, and this is a very similar quill pen and ink set to the one I have.
Does your family send out photo Christmas cards? We have been receiving fewer and fewer holiday cards each year, but I always love snooping on old family friends and seeing how much everyone has changed. My family is the type who always uses a photo from throughout the year, like while we’re on vacation, as opposed to posed family photos in match-y outfits. Now that my brothers have moved out and I spend most of the year at school, however, it is getting harder and harder to take good family photos.
What about you? Do you write a lot of letters? I am so passionate about keeping letter writing alive, as opening the mailbox and finding a letter for me has always felt like receiving a small present. I plan on sending so many postcards from Scotland while I’m studying abroad! If you’re looking for some new thank you cards or invitations for your next event, be sure to check out Basic Invite and use code 15FF51 for 15% off your order until the end of December.
Hope you’re having a great week so far!
Miles of smiles,
*Full Disclosure: I did receive this customized stationery for free and was paid in exchange for a blog post about Basic Invite. However, all writing, thoughts, and opinions are my own.*