Monday, December 14th

Baby’s First Christmas – Tips for a Special Season

Sometimes adults forget about the magic of Christmas and focus only on the chores of Christmas, setting a hectic schedule for themselves and missing out on the beauty. For adults, Christmas is about decorating, cooking, and shopping. With all the pressure to make a perfect holiday, it’s easy to forget about the magic of the season. But you only need to look at the face of a child to remember that this is a season of love, joy, and wonderment.

New parents can have fun starting Christmas traditions. Maybe these traditions are continuations of their own family’s traditions, or new ones started just for their family.

In some families, all members wear a new pair of pajamas on Christmas Eve. As the child gets older, you can add a snack and a Christmas movie or book to the tradition. A cuddle on the couch in new pjs and a good book — what could be better?

And, of course, everyone needs a stocking with their name on it! In some families, stocking gifts are opened Christmas Eve; other families wait until Christmas morning.

Remembrance ornament can serve as a wonderful keepsake. It’ll be the first ornament each child puts on the tree each year. And it can be the first ornament on their own tree once they’re on their own.

Many towns have Christmas lighting displays in their downtown shopping areas where merchants decorate with seasonal displays. Nothing reminds you of the magic of the season like watching it through the eyes of a child!

A visit to Santa is a must! Things to keep in mind trying for the best picture: go after your child’s nap, bring a toy to distract them, and bring a back-up outfit for baby in case of a spit-up accident.

Make sure everyone is able see what your new little one looks like by sharing your baby’s photo with family and friends with a Christmas photo card

Most important, relax and enjoy each and every day of the Christmas season! And here’s hoping that, with all the excitement and merriment, this Christmas season brings you at least one silent night!

Baby’s First Christmas

Check out Greeting Card Universe’s Baby’s First Christmas Pinterest board for ideas on making this first Christmas for your baby a special one!

Saturday, December 20th

5 Frosty Facts About the Snowman

A favorite winter activity around the world is making a snowman (or snow woman)! From simple stacked balls with a carrot nose and coal eyes to much more elaborate and artistic sculptures, the snowman is instantly recognizable no matter the country or culture.

Here’s more about the snowman’s surprisingly long history.

So far the first written evidence of a snowman comes from a margin drawing in a Book of Hours, an illuminated manuscript from 1380 currently located in the Royal Library of The Hague, Netherlands.

The snowman has been a popular symbol of the Christmas holidays for a long time, particularly in advertising and retail products including a snow cone machine.

The Abominable Snowman (aka Yeti) isn’t actually folk art made of snow, but a hairy, bipedal, legendary monster living in the snowy mountains.

In the late 19th and early 20th century, the snowman became the butt of mean-spirited fun, often shown being abused by children in popular advertisements or suffering embarrassing hygiene problems.

The popular holiday carol, “Frosty the Snowman” was written and recorded in 1950 and has since been covered by artists such as Perry Como, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Jan and Dean and Johnny Mathis.

At Greeting Card Universe, our artists love making you smile with snowman filled with the Christmas spirit! Choose from our large selection of Snowman Christmas cards, order on-line, and we’ll either send your cards the next business day or you can take advantage of our free pick-up service, usually in 1 hour, at participating Target and Bartell Drug stores.

What Are Happy Customers Saying About Greeting Card Universe?
“I have ordered cards from here several times. They are always of good quality and the selection is beyond what you would find in any greeting card store. There is something here for everyone’s taste. Every once in awhile, I buy a selection of cards to have on hand for a variety of occasions. I loved this particular card for Christmas this year because of its simplicity”- Kimberly – December 18, 2014

Thursday, December 11th

Terrific Twisted Facts About Candy Canes

The red-and-white striped candy cane has become a potent symbol of Christmas, but the sugar confection is surrounded by a confusion of legend and historical evidence. Here are some of the truths and myths regarding this favourite seasonal treat.

LEGEND: The candy cane was invented by a 19th century candy maker in Illinois to symbolize the birth of Christ (white) and the scourging and crucifixion (red).

LEGEND: A late 17th century German choirmaster invented the candy cane to help keep the children in his choir occupied during services. The crook-shape of the stick was a symbol of Christ in His role as shepherd.

These folklore tales may be charming, but they’re apocryphal; unfortunately, there is no documentation or historic fact that either of them are true.

Christmas cards and illustrations from the 19th century show the holiday candy as a simple white stick without the red stripes expected to be seen today. The peppermint flavor and red stripes were added by early 20th century American confectioners as an improvement on the product.

Greeting Card Universe helps you wish your friends and family a very sweet holiday with unique Candy Cane Christmas Cards from our collection. Choose your cards on-line and we’ll send your warmest wishes on their way the next business day!

What Are Happy Shoppers Saying About Greeting Card Universe?
“I am happy to have found the GCU website. While temporarily confined at home, this website allows me to send paper greeting cards to keep up with birthdays for family and friends. With my first purchase, I was unsure of the service or card quality. I ordered 4 cards sent directly to the recipient and 5 cards mailed to me. I enjoyed being able to enter a personal message. All were pleased with the cards they received. This was a positive experience and am looking forward to placing my next order.” – Glenda – December 9, 2014

Tuesday, December 2nd

5 Fantastic Facts About Christmas Cookies

The Christmas cookie tradition comes to us from medieval times, when the pagan Solstice or celebration of the Winter Equinox was absorbed into the Christian religion to become a time of year honoring the birth of Jesus Christ. Here are five amazing facts about the now commonplace Christmas cookies we make and exchange (and enjoy eating) during the holidays.

Spicing Up the Kitchen: Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cloves, even peppercorns,  dried fruits and nuts like almonds became more available to cooks in the Middle Ages, who used these strong, aromatic spices in both sweet and savory dishes for ordinary dining and for feasts. The smell of these spices has become very much associated with Christmas.

Gingerbread’s Long History: From Greece in 2400 BC to a simple treat composed of spiced breadcrumbs and honey formed by molds into shapes enjoyed by Crusaders, gingerbread became a popular treat in Europe in the 1500s. In the 17th century, spekulaas—a type of gingerbread cookie in the Netherlands, traditionally formed in the shape of St. Nicholas or Sinterklaas—became associated with Christmas time.

The Dutch Again: The word “cookie” comes from the Dutch koekje, meaning a small cake. The first time the America English ” cookie” appeared in print was 1703,

Cookie Exchanges: The first cookie swap advertised in a newspaper took place in 1917. During WWII, the women of many communities exchanged cookies with one another. Associating Christmas with a cookie exchange began taking place in the early 1950, becoming quite popular by the 60s.

Animal Crackers On Your Tree: The popular animal or circus crackers were first produced in 1902. The colorful cardboard box printed all over with a circus wagon theme was sold during Christmas of that year as an edible tree ornament and continues to be produced and exported all over the world.

Greeting Card Universe wants to sweeten your Christmas holiday with our unique selection of Christmas Cookie cards, Gingerbread Cards, and Christmas Cookie Exchange Invitations for your special holiday needs. Order on-line—it’s easy—and we’ll mail your cards the next business day.

What Are Happy Shoppers Saying About Greeting Card Universe?
“Awesomely beautiful and free customizing to make them personalized! Shipped amazingly quickly. Have Never found a Company this flexible and everything shipped immediately – try them!!” – William – November 19, 2014

Thursday, July 17th

Christmas in July for Troops Overseas

It’s the height of summer and Christmas is still months away. However, a deployed soldier, sailor, airman or Marine is still in need of home comforts and the small necessities and treats that make life in a war zone a little easier as well as reminding them of their loved ones at home.

Why wait until Christmas when you can send a “Christmas in July” package? Get friends and family involved, too.  Some of the most requested items are:

  • Powdered energy drink mixes & energy bars
  • Individual servings of condiments (ketchup, mustard, relish, hot sauce)
  • Travel size toiletries
  • Foot care items
  • Batteries

And here are more suggestions for What to Send to Someone Who Is Deployed as well as important Tips for Sending Care Packages to the Military Overseas.

Include a selection of greeting cards for the serviceman or woman to give to their comrades. Greeting Card Universe makes it easy by offering special discounts on multiple card orders almost every day! Choose from unique designs in our collections such as Christmas – Armed Service/Military Service cards, or Birthday – Armed Services/Military Service cards. And that’s just the beginning!

Surprise your loved one overseas with a thoughtful and delightful package of goodies including greeting cards to make it a true Christmas in July.

What Are Happy Shoppers Saying About Greeting Card Universe?
“My card was stunning: beautifully printed, nice card stock, quick delivery. While editing the card I typed in the wrong date for the auspicious event on the front of the card (2004 instead of 2014). When I called to explain my error, the woman was generously helpful and took care of all my needs for changing the date and reordering. She was helpful, patient and good humored. (Her name may have been Dorothy?) Now, all I have to do is hope that the reprinted cards get to the East Coast in four days!”- Paulette, July 14, 2014

Tuesday, December 24th

Last Minute Christmas Card Solution

The horrible holiday question rears it’s head: did you forget to get a Christmas card for a friend? Family member? Teacher or coach? Co-worker?

Oh, no!

It’s Christmas Eve.

The stores are packed with last-minute shoppers.

The selection of Christmas cards left on the shelves has lost most of its glitter or the designs  just aren’t what you’re looking for, but you don’t have the time or the inclination to battle the holiday hordes through more shops searching for the perfect card.

Don’t worry! Greeting Card Universe has you covered with two simple steps to renewing your seasonal cheer.

1. Check out our huge collection of unique  Christmas greeting cards and place your order on-line.

2. Pick up your order, usually in 1 hour, at most Target and Bartell Drug stores.

That’s it!

Choose from Photo Cards, relationship specific, birthday on Christmas, anniversary, design themes like beach or reindeer, state specific, and a whole lot more.

Greeting Card Universe sends our warmest wishes to you and your family this holiday season!

What Are Happy Shoppers Saying About Greeting Card Universe?
“First, I want to thank you for your prompt delivery. It’s difficult when ordering on line you can’t see the item in person. But the cards were absolutely gorgeous, more than I expected. I will certainly order more cards from GCU.”- John Salatino, December 23, 2013

Tuesday, December 17th

Hang Your Stocking with Care – 5 Christmas Traditions

One of the great traditions of Christmas is the stocking “hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas would soon be there” according to the 1823 poem attributed to Clement Moore. Today’s Christmas stockings aren’t the kind you wear, but over-sized creations decorated for the holidays. Where and when did the custom originate? Check below to find out the answers to five common questions about Christmas traditions.

1. What’s the Deal with “Figgy Pudding?”
In the song, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” the carolers demand “figgy pudding.” What is it? “Pudding” in this case refers not to a sweetened, thickened dairy dessert, but an English-style steamed cake. A figgy pudding contains dried figs, dates, and raisins. If you want to try making this classical holiday treat, here’s a recipe.

2. Why Hang Up a Stocking?
The truth is, the origins of the traditional Christmas stocking are shrouded in myth. Prior to the mention of the custom in the 1923 poem, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, there’s no written record of hanging stockings at Christmas time. In other countries, children put out their shoes to receive small treats like candy, a piece of fruit, and/or toys.

3. Who Invented Eggnog?
Love it or hate it, eggnog — a holiday drink made with eggs, milk, sugar, and spices like cinnamon and eggnog, and which may or may not contain alcohol — began as “posset,” a hot beverage enjoyed by the medieval English which was made from heated milk curdled with ale or beer. Later, eggs were added, but the drink became less popular until early settlers in Jamestown in early 17th century America rediscovered the brew and deemed it delicious. Even George Washington had his own special recipe for a boozy eggnog.

4. Why Do We Sing Carols at Christmas?
Traditional Christmas Carols like God Bless Ye Merry Gentlemen have their origin in the 19th century, when Christian folk music, old church hymns, and new Christmas-themed music began to merge in Britain. Music publishers picked up on the trend, allowing people to combing visiting friends and family with singing the popular songs, creating the custom of caroling at Christmas-time.

5. Why Do We Hate Fruitcake?
Fruitcake is the butt of many holiday jokes, but the truth is, a good homemade fruitcake is a mouth-watering delicacy stuffed with dried and candied fruits and moistened by rum or brandy. Since the Middle Ages, people have enjoyed making and eating variations of fruitcake. Why did the Christmas staple decrease in popularity? The blame can likely be placed on mail-order bakeries which sprang up in the 20th century to feed the demand for convenience. Unlike homemade treats, these commercially produced fruitcakes were often dry, dense, lacking flavor and fruit, and just plain terrible, which caused fruitcake’s reputation to decline.

Greeting Card Universe’s collection of one-of-a-kind  Christmas cards help you celebrate your own traditions in your own way with thousands of unique, customizable designs for everyone on your list. Need cards at the last minute? No problem! Order on-line, get free in-store pickup, usually in 1 hour, at most Target and Bartell Drug stores.

What Are Happy Shoppers Saying About Greeting Card Universe?
“The cards that I ordered were very tasteful and easy to order. I found that there was a great selection of cards to chose from and I intend to continue to order cards from Greeting Card Universe. I just referred a friend to this site and I know that she will be able to find what she is looking for. The price is reasonable and saves me a lot of time shopping for that special card. Brenda M.” – Brenda, December 16, 2013

Wednesday, December 11th

Wedding Bells and Anniversaries at Christmas

A winter or Christmas wedding can be a bride’s most cherished fantasy. Pristine snowflakes, the scents of pine and candles, holly and ivy, poinsettias and roses, twinkling fairy lights, glittering ice jewels, dashing through the snow with a romantic sleigh ride. Adding festive Christmas cheer and holiday enchantment to an already magical occasion makes this a tempting time to get married.

In years to come, when family members gather at Christmas time, the season will be made even more special by the memories of a beautiful ceremony joining two hearts in a winter wonderland.

Greeting Card Universe wishes happy holidays to those celebrating a wedding anniversary at the most wonderful time of the year with special  Christmas Day Anniversary cards.

What Are Happy Shoppers Saying About Greeting Card Universe?
“I love the cards from Greeting Card Universe! I don’t purchase any cards from any other source. It is impossible to find this kind of variety and creativity at a store.” – Darlene, December 10, 2013

Tuesday, December 3rd

5 Fanciful Facts About Gingerbread

December 12 is Gingerbread House Day, celebrating the creativeness and joy that comes from baking, building, decorating, and finally eating a gingerbread house during the holidays. Gingerbread houses take their inspiration from the fairy tale Hansel and Gretel—see many examples of this delicious and beautiful art on Pinterest. For your delight, here are some interesting little tidbits about this treat.

5 Fanciful Facts About Gingerbread

  1. Gingerbread can be a crisp cookie or a soft cake. Both products are flavored with ginger and other spices like cinnamon and cloves, and both products are sweetened with molasses (treacle).
  2. The original European gingerbread was a paste of bread crumbs, ground almonds, ginger, sugar or honey, and rosewater pressed into an elaborate mold with the details of the finished product picked out in gilt or royal icing. The recipe for these popular presents changed around the 16th century to include eggs and flour, turning it into a baked product more like a modern cookie or cake.
  3. Queen Elizabeth I of England is credited with being the first monarch to present gingerbread man cookies to foreign emissaries to her court as well as her courtiers. The cookies are said to have resembled the nobles themselves.
  4. The idea of the edible gingerbread house — or lebkuchenhaeusle — was carried to America by German immigrants, who had themselves been inspired by the story of Hansel and Gretel in Grimm’s Fairy Tales.
  5. One of the largest contests for gingerbread houses is the National Gingerbread House Competition held in Asheville, North Carolina, which has been held more than twenty years.

Keeping with the holiday spirit, Greeting Card Universe offers gingerbread themed Christmas cards in unique, colorful, imaginative designs so you can with a Merry Christmas and send your season’s greetings with style.

Need cards in a hurry? Order on-line, get free pick-up – usually in 1 hour – at most local Target and Bartell Drug Stores.


What Are Happy Shoppers Saying About Greeting Card Universe?
“I was extremely pleased with my cards, the best thing about it, is that your in complete control of what the end product is going to look like, and they give you the opportunity twice to review the end results before you close your order. The quality of the cards are superior.” – Jacqueline, December 2, 2013

Friday, December 21st

Last Minute Holiday Cards for That Favorite Teacher

The holiday season just wouldn’t be the same  without some last minute scrambling.  Despite my best planning and intentions, there was someone overlooked, a special teacher.  I thought our standard family Christmas card would suffice but my daughter felt otherwise.

“But mom, she’s my FAVORITE teacher!” she insisted.

Okay, okay, I get it but with this being the last week of school, this needed to happen today and only today.  Gads!

So last night I ordered the card online from home (personalized with the teacher’s name).  On my way to work, I swung by the Target store near my office (beating the afternoon crowds was a relief), picked out a festive mug and chocolate treats before heading over to the photo department.  Voila, there was my card and envelope – printed to perfection!

Here's the card, a real holiday winner!

As I headed to checkout I felt quite smug as I passed a small crowd of last minute shoppers pulling cards from the card display with distressed looks on their faces, trying to find that “perfect card”.  and I thought … if they only knew.  Gosh, I wish they knew!

Happy holidays and thank you to all of those special teachers who go the extra mile to make their students feel important, capable and proud to be smart – that means you Ms. Muse.  For you, the extra effort was my pleasure!

My daughter's happy ... and so am I!

SPECIAL: All cards $1.79 each, use code 2012DEC179 at checkout!

What Are People Saying About Greeting Card Universe?
“This is the second time I’ve ordered from Greeting Card Universe, and have been very satisfied with both orders. Beautiful cards, with well-written, meaningful sentiments. And especially important for me, the ability to order them online and have them mailed to me. They arrived in sturdy cardboard-type envelopes. So convenient!” – Patricia, December 19, 2012

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