Better Late Than Never

Better Late Than NeverI just mailed out our Christmas cards and gifts.  This is hardly considered news because plenty of people do this every year.  What makes this year different for me is that I did the mailing on Tuesday, January 3rd, and not before the holidays (gasp!).  Unheard of for me.  I always get the cards in the mail and gifts packaged and sent in plenty of time.  This year?  What can I say?  Too much going on and guess what?  It’s fine.

This is my better late than never attitude.

Don’t sweat it
Eventually is good enough.  We make all our cards each year and sign them.  Yes, we send a lot of cards but I love to send cards with a little update and to keep in touch in this very low-tech way.  I’m helping the US Postal service stay in business, too.

Better Late Than Never

This year’s design involved using old map scraps.  I love how they turned out.

Better Late Than Never

Even our kids sign the cards.

Better Late Than Never

Time is a luxury
There are only so many hours in a day.  No one can do it all.  I could have stayed up late and skipped doing some fun activities but I didn’t want to miss any opportunities to be with my family.  Or to take a nap.  Or to read, play a game, relax, and enjoy.  Time is a luxury and one that should be valued.

Next year, plan to do it differently
I may do this or not.  Things don’t always go as planned, do they?  I was busier with my site than I had planned in December (which is a good thing!) and we had started to re-do our main floor bathroom ourselves which really put a crimp in our time.  With those activities plus the additional holiday cheer I wanted to share, I didn’t want to spread myself too thin.

Better Late Than Never

And so, yes, dear family and friends the cards and gifts are on their way.  Next year, I’m sure they’ll be arriving earlier in the month of December.  Or perhaps not…there was no line at the post office, I didn’t pay additional fees to expedite packages, and the postal clerks were extra friendly and cheerful.  I may be on to something.

How were your holidays?  Enjoyable and peaceful I hope.

Go Gingham related links:

Kid’s birthday party gifts that are budget friendly and very sweet
Frugal gift ideas for teachers – lovely and homemade
How to handle the group gift for teachers – bowing out gracefully
Frugal and easy gifts to give – very easy
Frugal and green wedding gifts – simple gifts with an upgrade element, too
Wrapping paper alternatives – old maps!
Mother’s Day gift giving – frugal and fancy gifts to give
Displaying holiday cards – don’t put them away, just leave them out to enjoy


Sara, creator of Go Gingham, is passionate about cooking and feeding her family healthy, real food. She's a green enthusiast, too, who loves to grow food organically. Sara loves to travel - especially by trading houses. An avid runner, she can also be found chasing after her chickens in the backyard.


  1. I feel like so many people were behind this year including me!!
    I love your card design. I thought about making cards with the family this year, Ed and I always used to make them together, but we had some nice photos to share next year for sure!

    1. Hi Petra! It’s ok to be a little behind. I’ve really enjoyed receiving cards in the mail this week. One year we received a Valentine’s day card from some friends. That was very creative and totally embracing the better late than never attitude! Since having kids, we’ve always made our cards. Well, one year we didn’t but that year we had a newborn for Christmas! Happy New Year and thanks for leaving a comment.

  2. My family also “makes” their own card, which starts with a Photoshop collage of the year on the front of a Winkflash-printed 5×7 folded card. We glue a short printed Annual Report into the inside top half, add a handwritten note on the inside bottom half, and glue a legend to the photo collage on the back. For 9 years, I have been the main driver behind this “family” project. It takes a lot of time and money, and every year I consider ditching it. But the favorable reviews (“Best card ever!” “Love the update!”) keep me going, and they are convenient family summaries we can review when we (I) forget when something happened.

    However, back to the cost. How do you reconcile the cost with your frugality? Do you get your cards and envelopes on the cheap? What about postage and the environmental (paper) price?

    1. Hi Liana! Like you, we go with an annual report with a short update of each person and a picture. I try and keep my costs low on the cards by doing the following: all envelopes and paper come from a local store (that is sadly going out of business) and I purchase in bulk meaning I buy a large box rather than a small package. The “cards” are 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of paper cut in half and folded. I can get 2 “cards” for each sheet of paper. I buy a ream (500 sheets) to keep the cost down. I try to use neutral colors for the paper and envelopes as we make all of our cards here – birthday, anniversary, etc. Our family all helps make the cards and the kids usually trade off on the design of it. As far as postage, I’m ok with paying the postage because I want to be in touch with people who live far-away. I do always use paper that is made from recycled products and our cards can be recycled. There is something to receiving a card in the mail that’s so special, isn’t there? Thanks for the comment and excellent questions – as always!

  3. This year, we had a photo taken with our new puppy, Harry. We got the prints made, Roger got the letter written, but based on what I see up by the computer, I’m not certain too many of them have been mailed yet. That’s coming soon. Time is a factor at our house also! Have a great year, and keep those bathroom pics coming!

    1. Thanks Cathy! I’m sure the photo with the puppy is adorable. There’s another round of bathroom pictures coming soon…I’ve been hunting down a claw foot for the claw foot bathtub today…Happy New Year!

  4. Sara,

    I applaud you for doing all you do. I am so glad, that potentially, I too, will be getting a card. When I didn’t receive yours in December, I was a bit worried. I do love catching up with your family. How are the chickens, kids, Brad and yourself?

    1. Thanks Mrs. Fisher! Hopefully your card came in the mail yesterday. Happy New Year, Naomi!

  5. Sara, I love your card design and that you have your children sign the cards, too. We have made our own cards for several years; and we have also had our children sign the cards with us. When they were very young, we would discuss who the cards were going to; it was an opportunity to remember those who were important to our family. Now, even though our two younger “kids” are in their mid-twenties, they still sat around the table with us and signed the cards–discussing the recipients. I love the tradition! A couple of years ago I did change from hand-written notes to a type-written letter – but this year I had everyone edit their own paragraph of updates…really a group effort! I’m sure your family and friends will be happy to receive your cards–especially after the new year!

    1. What a great tradition, Patty. I love the family involvement. Happy New Year!

  6. We’ve made a ritual to send a new year’s card, instead of the high pressure to get xmas cards out on time. Now we just have to get those cards out before Valentine’s Day! 😉 I’ve been thinking maybe a midsummer card would be nice. . .

    1. Valentine’s day cards are very sweet! No pressure is a great attitude. We received another Christmas card in the mail today. Better late than never…Happy New Year, Kristin!

  7. Sara, I ALWAYS look forward to your card! It is seriously one of my favorite every year. You strike just the right balance with your “Annual Report” – never braggy, always funny and self-effacing. You should share what you write with your fans, as I think it is a really good example of how to keep in touch. The card design this year was terrific!!!

    You also have a wonderful return address stamp which I think people would love to hear about. So many great ideas! Thanks!!!

    1. Thanks Annie! Your encouragement is so heartfelt and I truly appreciate it. We try to keep the “annual report” short and sweet. Happy New Year!

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