For the eager hostess, no time is more exciting than the holiday season. The delight is in the details: Festive garlands, perfectly garnished cocktails and, of course, beautiful invitations and stationery accessories. Below are our recommendations for making your soiree the toast of the town.
The invitation sets the tone for the event. Exquisite printing in vibrant ink on our coveted 100% cotton paper will certainly evoke one of a soiree not to miss.
Place & Table Cards
Create a feast most memorable by making guests feel impossibly special. Table cards, which guide them to their respective seats, and place cards, which greet them once they arrive there, do just that.
A classic personalized monarch card paired with one of our handsomely patterned envelope linings is perfect for the gentleman on your list, while the new graduate will find his or her calling cards quite handy when it comes time to network.
For the charming little lady on your list, only a personalized card or note with a lovely envelope lining will do, and for the inspiring educator worth his or her weight in red apples, a box of our engraved stationery will earn you an A+ in gift giving.
For your staff, jotter cards will make their notes that much more memorable, and last but certainly not least, for the woman on you list with a timeless and classic style all her own, monogrammed stationery is sure to inspire a smile.
Digging through the Crane archives is always such a treat—we have more than a century’s worth of stationery designs, after all. So, in the spirit of the holiday season, we thought we’d share some of our favorite festive cards from Crane’s Christmas Past.
Orange usually isn’t a color we think of as “festive” this time of year, but we love it here, paired with verdant green and elegant gold it’s simply stunning.
The holiday season may still be a couple months away, but our printing presses are already in full reindeer and nutcracker mode. Since this is our busiest time of year, we thought we’d give you a peek onto the factory floor, where the trimmings include lots of red and green ink, shimmering gold envelope liners and more than a few festive trees—on engraving plates, of course. Our paper is 100% cotton, after all!
A copper plate for our Engraved Harvest Wreath card gets ready for printing…
Gears with a touch of garland…
An order of Engraved Santa’s Sleigh Cards out to dry…
An order of Engraved Reindeer and Ribbon Cards almost ready to go to one lucky customer…
Dreaming of a white (sand) Christmas…
The Grinch who engraved Christmas…
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She’s a nurse, a therapist, a chef, a chauffeur, a teacher, an accountant, and sometimes, even a lawyer (who else could negotiate a cookie out of your sister?). Of all the things Mom is better than anyone at, though, we have to say giving advice is right up there with her peach pie. So, in honor of Mother’s Day, we thought we’d share pearls of wisdom from our own.
Marie Lacey, mother of Katie Lacey, president
The back of one is the face of another… Better to be single than to wish you were… A woman who will tell her age will tell you anything.
Jamie Rufo, mother of Stephanie Rufo, typesetter
Make faces… Play in mud puddles… Take bubble baths… Turn off all the lights and watch lightening storms… Read everything you can get your hands on… Run through snow drifts… Spin in circles and roll down hills. Pet puppies, hold kittens, and talk to babies… Take afternoon naps… Stay up to watch the sunrise… Expect the best from life and that’s what you’ll get.
Marlo Livsey, customer service representative and mother of twin boys
Write down the cute or funny things your children say in a journal with their date and age. It will bring smiles to your faces to remember these moments.
Lorraine Jahn, mother of Sarah Jahn, graphic services supervisor
When you have something you MUST do and really dread, just set your jaw, get your head into it and DO it… Keep a clean kitchen and bathroom. No day starts well if started in a mess… Always have some money set aside, just in case.
And a handful more…
Yumi Harada, mother of Chikako Harada, director of marketing for William Arthur and Vera Wang
Have compassion toward every living thing — they all have feelings… It’s more important to be a better guest so you get invited back… Be sure to send a thank you card promptly*… Sit up straight!
Karen Rosier, mom of Antoinette Hajdas, product development manager
You can’t see a trottin’ horse.
Barbara Sorota, mother of Liz Sorota, vice president of marketing
When you use honey, you catch flies.
Kathy Bourque, mom of Meghan McBrearty, assistant to the president
Always take the high road… Learn to pick your battles.
The holiday season is the busiest time of year at Crane. Our factory is bustling with Christmas card and invitation orders, and our printing presses are humming as ink is fixed to paper. Again and again and again.
Once the ink dries, the orders are sent off to the Finishing Department, where ribbons are tied, envelopes are lined and cards are duplexed (a process that involves affixing a smaller sized paper stock atop a larger sized paper stock to create a layered look).
Below, we talked with four women in Finishing — who work hard to make sure every detail is just so — about Presidential inaugurations, letters from loved ones and brand new puppies.
Tell me about how you ended up at Crane.
Nancy Randall: started working for Crane when I was 20 years old. I had worked in retail previously but I like the work schedule Crane offered and the pay was better than retail.
Adriene Davine: I came to Crane out of high school.
Becky Riley: When I first started at Crane, I worked in [envelope] Liners. When I was hired full time, I moved to Inspection.
Lori Mulder: My husband worked at Crane and encouraged me to apply.
Tell me what a typical day is like in the Finishing Department.
BR & AD: Very busy!
What is your favorite part of the job?
NR & BR: Tying ribbons.
AD: Making sure the order is correct and watching what people order.
LM: Working with my co-workers — they are a great group of people.
And the most challenging?
NR: Duplexing* a card that has a ribbon around it. It is more difficult to keep it consistent.
LM: Hitting the deadline to ship at 6 p.m. Most orders are time sensitive and need to ship the same day that the order arrived in Assembly.
What do you see most of come through the Finishing Department during the holidays?
BR: Most orders involve ribbons, which are on the majority of orders at Christmas. There are also many photo digital cards.
LM: Digital pictures or photo mount pictures with added ribbon. They come out beautiful.
Describe the most elaborate job you have ever had to work on.
NR: A wedding invitation with the invitation card being duplexed after having a ribbon wrapped around it and the base card was an engraved folder.
AD: The inauguration of President Bill Clinton.
BR: A Princess wedding where each invitation was in a separate box that we tied with a ribbon, tissue closed for 2,000.
LM: A bat mitzvah. We had a program with seven inserts and furnished ribbon. We have to collate on two long tables to make sure that every page was correct. The customer wanted two pieces of the ribbon tied at once with the narrow ribbon on top and wide chiffon on the bottom, then had to twist and turn the ribbon in order for everything to be the same.
What are you doing when you are not at Crane?
NR: I spend time with my daughters and granddaughters, I attend a fitness class, go out with friends and take walks.
AD: Taking care of my four-month-old puppy.
BR: I enjoy cooking and baking mostly. I love animals and find them very entertaining.
What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
NR: The one thing most people don’t know about me is I can be analytical of people and why they are the way they are.
AD: How religious I am.
BR: It is a secret — that is why they don’t know.
LM: I collect statues and pictures of the Blessed Mother.
Tell me about the most memorable letter you’ve ever received?
NR: From my youngest daughter when she was at boot camp for the Air Force. She didn’t have a lot of time to write but she tried to put as much as she could explain quickly about how things were there and re-assuring me that she was okay.
AD: From an old boyfriend that I met on cruise ship.
BR: It was a letter from my niece thanking me for a blanket I made for her son. This made me feel special. She also sent a picture with the baby loving his new blanket.
LM: When I was a teenager, my brother joined the Navy and was stationed in Italy. I loved his letters telling me about his adventures and the people he met there. This was back in the 80’s when cell phones were not invented yet.
All photos taken by the wonderfully talented Dan Morgan.
In an era when we are (whether we like it or not) updated on the lives of our friends and family minute by minute, the idea of writing a letter might seem unnecessary.
Living in a stream-happy society is fun. It’s exciting. It helps us miss our loved ones who live far away a little less. But there are still occasions when sending a text message or posting on someone’s wall just isn’t enough. The holidays is one of those occasions, and the holiday letter is one of those traditions that helps us remember the power of the written (or at least typed) word.
We’ve put together five tips on how to craft the perfect holiday letter. Happy writing!
Make a timeline. Travel back in time and outline all the major events of the year. Be sure to ask your spouse and children for their input as well — you might not remember a soccer goal, but your daughter who scored it certainly will.
Deck the halls with seashells and sand dollars.
Hand Engraved Seaside Holiday Card: Should Santa ever decide to ditch the sleigh, we like to think he’d take up a pair of oars. This nautical-inspired holiday card has us dreaming of wassails among the waves. With Captain Kringle at the helm, of course.
Hand Engraved Playful Starfish Greeting Card: The perfect trimming for a tree by the coast, a gold starfish hangs delicately in the center of this personalized holiday card. Seaside sentiment at its best.
Hand Engraved Palm Tree Greeting Card: For season’s greetings from the unseasonably warm locale, our hand engraved palm tree — appropriately adorned with a red ribbon — is the perfect choice to send cheer to those near and far.
Hand Engraved Anchor Greeting Card: Let’s set sail on a sleigh that prefers dolphins to Dasher and Dancer. Season’s greetings from the seaside, courtesy of an engraved anchor surrounded by all the nautical trimmings.
Hand Engraved Holiday Adirondacks Card: Halls are for schools. We’re decking our deck chairs this year. Sea breeze is the new snow flurry, haven’t you heard? Two chairs adorned with all the holiday trimmings make this holiday card positively beachy keen.
View our entire personalized holiday card collection.