The One with the Christmas Card Ordeal

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A thousand apologies to my friends and family who haven't received our Christmas card yet...
I was so on the ball this year too!
We got our family pictures taken waaaay back in October
At the beginning of December I designed our Christmas card in Adobe Illustrator after a fun one I saw on Pinterest:
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To spice things up a bit I decided to add on a colored paper clip and tie it off with a cute holiday colored baker's twine bow. It's all about the little details! Chris even helped me with this part - he's a keeper.
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Next came the addressing of envelopes - the most time consuming part!
First I shot out an email to those I knew had moved in the last year. Lots and lots of changes!
Then I printed my list, got a .03 Black Precision Pen from American Crafts, and went to town during the kids' naps addressing all my letters cutely like this image I saw on Pinterest (thank you Pinterest!)
Then I added stamps - just a regular "forever" stamp. Since we live on US soil and have a USPS it costs just the same to send things to/from here, letters included. Never mind the fact that when I asked for 100 stamps for my Christmas cards they gave me flower stamps instead of the Christmas ones they had... but I didn't say anything because I thought the flowers were pretty.
Placing stamps on the letters took only a few minutes and then they were all done and ready to make their way to the states!

Or so I thought...

I got to the post office with my bag of 100+ cards in hand and hoisted them up onto the counter. The worker grabbed one, felt around, and came to the paperclip. He asked, "What is that?"
"Oh, just a paperclip."
He looked at me with dismay, frowned, and said, "I'm sorry, but you'll have to fill out a customs form for every single one of these letters. Everything except paper, so including something as small and insignificant as a paperclip, needs to be declared on a customs form."
A.R.E.  Y.O.U.  K.I.D.D.I.N.G.  M.E. !?!?!?!?!?!
I nearly cried.
I think my mouth dropped to the floor and it took me a minute to find and pick it back up.
There was no way in h-e-double-hockey-sticks I was filling out over a hundred of these babies for a STUPID PAPER CLIP! It hurts my hand just to do one!
I called Chris and explained our inexplicable situation.
Chris, being the genius that he his, suggested that rather than fill out 100 customs forms, we put them all in a box, fill out 1 customs form for the box, send it to my mom, then she can put all the cards in the mail because you don't need stinkin' customs forms in the actual good ol' US of A.
So that's what we did! (We did have to fill out about 25 customs forms for the ones we mailed to our friends here in Germany...)
The same employee who broke the bad news to me had a laugh when I brought him the box and looked at the customs form that said "100 Christmas Cards. He said, "Well, that's one way around it!"

But wait! There's more!

Even though we were told the box would get to Idaho by Christmas (where my parents were going to be for several weeks for Christmas), IT DIDN'T!!
And my parents are no longer in Idaho to take the cards to the post office!
Seriously, is this a joke?
Luckily, my parents have awesome neighbors in Wallace, ID that so graciously picked up the box that FIIIINALLLYYY arrived this past Monday and dropped all of the cards in the mail.
That's why they'll be postmarked from Wallace and not from an APO, AE address.

Long story short: Christmas cards are on their way.
And it's not for a lack of planning or trying!
Who knew a paperclip could be such a big hassle?!?
I should call this post: The One with the Paperclip.
Rant over :)
Merry Christmas!


  1. OMGosh! What an ordeal! Dare I say it... Better luck this year? ..x

  2. What an ordeal!! YIKES!!! All that for a paper clip ... craziness!!!!

  3. Lol that's crazy. Mine just went out this week too. But that's because i live in canada and things take forever to get here. I ordered cards from Shutterfly but didn't get them until last week :(

  4. Oh gosh, all for a paperclip. Too funny! Can't wait to see your card! :)

  5. That is such a crazy ordeal all because of a paperclip. It will be one Christmas card that you will never forget!

  6. I think you will be traumatized by paper clips for a long time. Fun story and darling card. :)

  7. That is so crazy! Just wanted to let you know that your Christmas card arrived safe, sound, adorable and with its paperclip today:) Thanks!

  8. This is one Xmas that you will never forget! You ultimately won the battle over the paperclips. And what a clever idea for a card. wish I was on your list.

  9. Yikes!! That is c-razy!! I usually try to avoid the PO as much as possible, because they make my blood pressure go up!! But your cards are definitely adorable, paper clip and all!! :)

  10. We got ours today. Whew! I loved it. Now you should go watch the X-Files episode called "Paper Clip". Just for fun.

  11. You're amazing! I'm so pathetic when it comes to these types of things I would've completely given up. I can't wait to get ours in the mail, although it might be in the box now... I'll check tomorrow ;)

  12. OMG...good thing to know as I will be moving to Germany this summer and can totally see the same thing happening to me. No embellishments going on my Christmas cards next year, lol.

  13. i got this card the day you posted this! sooo cute and def worth the wait.

  14. Hey Paige,

    it was fun to read this post - even though it was not that funny for you. Me - as a german living in Germany - it's the first time hearing it :D Okay, well i had to fill out once something for my boyfriend (to South Africa) but you read you also had to do it for the german letters. i know why the little earring my old babysitter kid did herself was once missing in the letter she sent me - this might make sense, that they just took it out because she did not fill out anything... ;-). be honest...i haven't been here for a loooong while as i'm...unfortunately...not that much into scrapbooking anymore. By accident I read that you live in Germany now and then i thought "okay let's welcome her"

    I really hope you enjoy your time here even though you stay in the region which we germans often like to reduce from Germany ;-). You should definately, if you haven't seen yet, Hamburg (here in the North, where I stay). It's a pretty nice city with lots of tourism attractions. And if you like nature you should definately go to the east to discover "Sächsische Schweiz", where you can go hiking etc. But i guess you already got lots of information what to do and see.

    Greetings from Hamburg,


  15. Ooooh i forgot something: Can you give us a tutorial how you did the year in review page? Love it! Like which fonts did you use, which effects did you use?


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