We have hosted an annual Christmas Open House for about 20 years. I’m not sure when the first one was, though I do know we held it for missionaries our church supported. The open house became an annual tradition. I told DH we’d have a hard time canceling it at this point because people would show up even if we didn’t send out invites. Many of our guests have told us it is the opening of their holiday season.
One of our blog readers asked for pictures of our past invitations. I began sending official invites in 2000. Prior to that, we just asked people to come as we saw them, included a hand-written note in our Christmas cards, and put an announcement in the Sunday bulletin for our church family.
2001 ~ This invitation has an embossed ornament with the pine and bow stamped over. The invitation was printed on speckled paper and matted on red card stock. Pretty simple!
2002 ~ The grey-shaded paper is actually silver. The stamping is embossed in silver. The invite is printed on paper, then matted on dark blue paper with torn edges.
2003 ~ The invitation is printed on red paper, embossed in gold, and has a little tag affixed. I printed the “Please Come!” on red paper and then, after stamping, cut it into a small rectangle and used a corner rounder on it.
2004 ~ I especially liked this one. I used gold, red, and green glitter glue on the gold embossed lantern. The invite is printed on ivory card stock. All three pieces of card stock are embossed in gold on all edges.
2005 ~ I was in a hurry this particular year and used a postcard picture. I imported it into Print Shop, added the invite and printed the whole thing on ivory paper, cutting the picture with a bit of ivory border. I added silver glitter embossed highlights on some of the snow, then matted it on dark green. I embossed the edge of the green with silver.
2006 ~ It is printed on white cardstock and embossed with silver. I embossed snowflakes on the left edge of the dark blue, embossed the edges of both pieces of paper and tied it together. Very easy!
2007 ~ This year’s invitation was easy to make. The stamping and edges are embossed with gold. I used one large stamp with Christmas greetings on it about 3/4 of the card. I covered the edge of that stamping with a gold ribbon, then stamped the smaller holly piece in the lower part of the right side. The invitation itself was glued over the ribbon. When the assembly was done, I finished them with spray glitter which this picture doesn’t show. Pretty!
2008 ~ It took a while for me to figure out what I wanted to do for 2008. Finally I settled on this large stamped “tree.” I used green embossing powder for the stamp, then used glitter glue for the red words and the gold star. It’s double matted with red and green card stock.
I try to keep the invites small enough to slip into our Christmas cards, which I try to mail the day before Thanksgiving. That gets the invites out a week before the party, which is always the first Sunday in December. It’s never too early to start thinking about what to do for the next open house. The best years are when I have them done early!