How to: Send Paperless Thank You Notes

December 26th, 2008
This post is a part of A Greener Christmas Guide, a series of posts dedicated to celebrating the holidays with a lighter impact on the earth. For more of this series, please visit A Greener Christmas Guide.

At some point in the coming week, each of us is going to have to sit down and write thank you letters.  What a wonderful season it’s been!  Some of us love this next step (me); some of us dread it (my husband).  So this year, I got an idea.  We were so successful with sending our Christmas cards online and  making wrapping paper out of blueprints that I thought we should cut down on our waste one more time:  we sent thank you emails.

I know what you’re thinking.  How lame.  How impersonal. But not so!  I think it’s one thing to say, “Oh I love it!”  It’s another thing entirely to show it.  After all:

A picture is worth a thousand words.


So we decided to roll up our sleeves and keep green.

  1. We pulled out the camera and started snapping photos with us and our new treasures
  2. Martin downloaded the shots
  3. I got busy sending personal thank you notes and attaching photos

What about at your house this season?  The comment section of this series has included so many wonderful ideas from all of you.  Now you wanna spill a few more thoughts?   Any green or fun ideas for sending your thanks?

If you decide to share digital thank you cards with your loved ones, won’t you share the love and tell them about this little article?  Happy holiday recovering!

(Images by Katie for Making This Home)

Life Abroad: German Christmas Markets II

December 23rd, 2008

Christmas around the world is beautiful.  There’s no question about it.  But after seeing some before shots of the Christmas markets in Berlin, I didn’t know about you, but I was dying to see some pictures of Christmas in Germany.

My friend Vica put together a special treat.  She’s a talented and kind woman from Romania who currently lives in Berlin.  I love looking at photography on her blog, fotogravika, over and over.  And every so often, I accompany one of her works with my poems on Making This Home.  I hope you all get the chance to view her work.  She does everything in English – how cool is that for all of us?  She’s seriously amazing, as you can see…

Frohes Weihnachtsfest  (A joyous Christmas celebration)!









I’m inspired now.  I need to make some Christmas cookies or make a few more ornaments (and quit staring at all of those delicious roasted nuts)!

What about you?  Any must-do holiday excitement floating around your house?  And truly, are you drooling with envy over Vica’s talent like I do?

(Images by Vica at fotogravika)

Life Abroad: German Christmas Markets

December 22nd, 2008

When we left Germany for the holiday, crews were proudly working throughout the city to get ready for the Christmas markets.  I have often heard people say that Christmas time is the best season to visit Germany.  There is spiced wine, happy children, and handmade Christmas crafts on display.  I love the smell of roasting nuts and imagine the cinnamon and laughter.  One American friend told me it’s the sort of celebration where you just want to go every day.  You want to smell everything… and buy everything.

Germany brought us the Christmas Tree, Silent Night, and some amazing Christmas cookies – what a fantastic place to celebrate, I imagine!  In the meantime, this is what I saw before we left:

Christmas market 1

Christmas market 2

Christmas market 3



You can find Part 2 of this series during the Christmas market here.

Interested in more German holidays?  See an inspiring autumn farmer’s market and the ever-popular St. Martin’s Day celebration.

(Images by Katie for Making This Home)