Happy Pfeffernüsse!: It's Never Too Late To Send Imaginary Holiday Cards

Did you manage to send holiday cards out on time this winter? I didn't - I never do! Some years I send "Happy Winter" cards because that buys me a couple of months to get them out, and maybe someday I'll send hundreds of Valentines like Julia & Paul Child did. This year I removed all deadlines, however vague, and made nonsense holiday cards…

In college, my friends and I celebrated Chanamas, a big mash of all of our traditions. The only rule was that Chanamas was not allowed to cause any stress, so we celebrated however and whenever worked for us each year. I believe my senior year we didn't get around to having a party until March, but it was a damn fine party...

Last winter, my dear friend & pastry-boss and I kept threatening to bake pfeffernüsse- traditional German spice cookies- mostly because we enjoyed saying "pfeffernüsse". It soon became our private holiday salutation ("Happy Pfeffernüsse", "Merry Pfeffernüsse!"), especially handy since she celebrates Hanukah and I very casually celebrate Christmas.

When it came time to make my cards this year, I carried our in-joke one step further, adding the French "Bonne"- and on a few cards, I even added the Spanish inverted exclamation point, for added sabor. Nobody can complain that their "¡Happy German Spice Cookie!" card arrived late this year, that is for sure.

  • I drew a cakestand full of spice cookies on tracing paper, rubbed the pencil onto a rubber block, and carved away- for full instructions, please see my post, How To: Make Your Own Rubber Stamps.
  • I wanted the cards to have the timeless brown-paper-packages-tied-up-with-string feel of kraft paper, but of course they would need to be much sturdier. All the options at the art store screamed "stationary", until I found a 32"x40" piece of chipboard for $2.79. It was thick, homespun, and large enough to make a ton of cards.
  • Measuring...really didn't happen, which is why all of these are different sizes. This is the joy of having a big sheet of cheap paper to work with.
  • I stamped the pfeffernüsse in white ink, then sprinkled on Martha Stewart Flocked Embossing powder. I fully realized that most of it would come off in the mail, but it made me happy. A few cards got glitter as well.
  • I wrote the greeting, address, and a little note on each one with a white gel pen. I was concerned that the Post Office would be able to read them, but they seem to have all reached their destinations safely. Of course, I still have a big stack yet to send out...no hurry.

(Images: Tess Wilson)

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