Funky Frugal: Exhibit of encouragement

by Tanner Cangelosi

I love a good Christmas card. Who doesn’t? In fact, every year I have a contest to see who has the very best Christmas card. And what do they win? A congratulatory phone call from me. I only wish I could give a cash prize, but all our cash goes to buying diapers.

Wanting a fun display, I looked around my house for things I could use to create a Christmas card celebration. I found an old canvas that Jacob Owen had painted and was collecting dust and paired it with some twine and safety pins. All of these things were found around my house, so this project was essentially free, which is good because, remember, I need to save my cash for diapers.

To begin, I painted the canvas with a simple Christmas carol verse, “a thrill of hope.” I’ve always loved that old song, and wanted it displayed on my walls during the holidays. Being partial to an artistic, not symmetrical design, I hung my quick art and the twine around the art. If you love symmetry then you might not love my design, but you could easily make yours symmetrical with some quick measurements. Then I used the clothespins to hang the beautiful Christmas cards that poured in.

Another easy touch (that is helpful for Santa) is finding cute printables on Pinterest for letters to Santa. These are precious memories to display and allow Santa to clearly know what is obtainable and what isn’t. My 6-year-old has asked for the gift to fly like Peter Pan; I will have to discuss this with Santa, but I don’t know if this request will be obtainable.

After the holiday season is over, I take down the cards and my display. Then I cut out each picture and hang it in my “war room” — my closet. These serve as a reminder to pray for my friends and check in on them. I love looking at these pictures each morning; it reminds me of how blessed I am to have friends like this.

So, I challenge you to make an exhibit of encouragement in your own home. Be reminded that you are well loved with each card you receive. It would make our hearts so happy to receive your card here at 501 LIFE. Send it to:

501 Christmas
701 Chestnut St.
Conway, AR 72032

Who knows, you might receive my congratulatory phone call for a contest you never knew you entered. I will work on getting a cash prize for you, but we need to potty train our triplets first.


A graduate of the University of Central Arkansas, Tanner Cangelosi owns
her own business – – and has done a variety of projects, from individual home décor items to painting murals in private residences. For more information, Tanner can be reached at 501.908.1338 or[email protected].