Although it’s supposed to be a time of reflection and gratitude, the holiday season no doubt has a distinct competitive edge. For many, it’s all about who is the first in the neighborhood to festoon their home with an energy-sucking light display, who is the first to have a fully trimmed tree standing in their home (I died a little inside when a Facebook contact announced that she had two trees up the day after Halloween), and who can score the best deal at one of those scary (and often fatal) Black Friday shopping stampedes. And then there are those who pride themselves on being the first to complete a stack of holiday greeting cards and toss ‘em in the mail.

Paper consumption be damned, I like the tradition of sending out holiday greeting cards and I’ve been doing it most of my adult life. It’s a great, old-fashioned way to wish friends and family members that you may not connect with on a regular basis holiday a happy and healthy New Year and to say, “Hey remember me? I’m not dead!”

While handmade greeting cards are by far the most special, those of us who don’t have a talent for working with stencils and glitter opt for store-bought greetings. Personally, I get mine from La Familia Green, an indie card-making outfit based in Chicago that uses post-consumer recycled paper and envelopes and donates a portion of sales to no-kill animal shelters.

If you're planning on sending out holiday greeting cards to a select few (particularly those with greenthumbs) and would like the cards to double as gifts, behold the Winter Wonderland card from PostCarden. I featured U.K.-based PostCarden’s charming pop-out postcards that serve as a backdrop for small, edible gardens in a post last March when there were three designs available: Allotment, City, and Botanical.

The Winter Wonderland PostCarden like the other PostCarden designs comes with a cute pop-out card that’s designed by Krista Nyberg and printed on FSC paperboard, cress seeds, a recyclable plastic tray, and growing instructions. According to the folks at PostCarden, once you sow the included seeds, a “festive forest” will sprout in a matter of days and keep for a couple of weeks.

Although PostCardens are ethically made in Wales and readily available at retailers across the U.K., you can get ‘em at Brooklyn5and10 for $12.95 a piece. Sure, that's a bit steep but how many greeting cards can you actually harvest and add to your salad, eh?

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

PostCardens: Holiday greetings that grow
Instead of sending out a holiday card that includes a picture of yourself at Disney World and a two-page 'update,' drop a Winter Wonderland PostCarden, a pop-ou