Steps Toward Hospitality: Creating a Card Box

I’m not sure where she got it, but for quite some time, my mother has kept a big teal box filled with greeting cards for every occasion. It was always so handy to have that card box there at a moment’s notice to thumb through, without having to make a special trip to the store. I can remember running off to a friend’s birthday or preparing for a bridal shower, and her asking me if I needed a card for the occasion. “Look in the card box!”

For quite some time, I’ve had an assortment of stationery and a handful of greeting cards that I’d bought and never used, stored in an empty shoebox. But it was not the same as my mom’s well-stocked collection.

So, I decided to create a card box of my own. It’s not as pretty and polished as my mom’s, but for the materials I had on hand, it works. Cutting the flaps off a cardboard box we’d recently received in the mail, I filled it with filing folders arranged by topic: “Congratulations,” “Birthday,” “Milestones,” “Thank You,” “Holidays.”

And then I went to work stocking up my collection. This way, I can slowly build up my collection when it’s most convenient and then, when the occasion calls for the perfect card, it’s ready and waiting.

In my pursuit of growing more of a spirit of hospitality, I feel like taking the inconvenience out of it and having these simple-but-thoughtful papers on hand is an opportunity to make this desire more effortless in my life. It becomes that much easier to incorporate small gifts of love like this into my routine.

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  1. I've been meaning to start one of these kind of boxes too! It would be so helpful to pull out a card when you need it at the last minute!

  2. I'm horrible with remember to send cards, I am equally horrible buying the cards in advance... so what I have is a box of rubber stamps and a vast collection of card stock and paper. It's my version of a card box.

    P.S. I love your handwriting!

  3. Love this idea! I tend to keep extra cards and stationary around but usually in messy piles stuffed somewhere where I can never find what I need, when I need it. Maybe I should try this out!

  4. PJ,
    Thanks so much for the handwriting compliment. I think I spent a good part of 5th grade trying to perfect my loops and lettering :)

    I love the idea of homemade cards, although I know that the task of having to make them would undoubtedly cause me to procrastinate even more, though!

  5. Carmen this is a great idea!! very creative!

  6. What a lovely idea. I browse cards just because I like to and I find the lovliest ones. But never when I acually need them! I think it's such a sensible thing to buy them becuase you like it and want to give it to someone and not because you need to find anything appropriate at the last minuet!

  7. Cuuuuute filing cabinet!

  8. LOVE this! I am so glad I'm not the only young person with a card box (I kind of have an issue and if I am at a garage sale where I can get a bunch of cards for less than $1 I bite, so I have multiple shoe boxes with cards). They are organized and I love having an appropriate card whenever I need it. Besides helping me send more cards than I would without it, I've also saved some serious cash. I think the Hallmark prices are out of control and that my people feel just as loved by receiving a card with a personal note as they would by a Hallmark card.

  9. I too have a card box. I have printed a perpetual calendar that I keep in the front. I put the name on each card but not the address. Then I put the day of the month in the spot where the stamp goes. I file them by month. Then each week I pull that months out and see which I need to mail. Then I add the address. (I learned not to add the address before because they move and then I've wasted an envelope. Works for me.

  10. Yes! I have several cards and then I have a lot of cards that are blank that I can write a nice little note for the special occasion (and I have a little book that has ideas for things to write for any occasion to give me hints too).

    I have found that you can get cards at Dollar Tree and Dollar General for 50 cents each. I usually pick up a few when I am there...

  11. PS--I keep my cards in a train case (that is the old fashioned overnight case in a luggage set)

  12. Oh, I love the train-case storage idea! That is really utilitarian, too, because then you can easily pick it up by the handle and move it around! What's the name of the book you have? That sounds like a good resource; I can be really stumped when it comes to saying more than simply, "Happy Birthday!"


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