As December approaches, I feel that pressing weight of that one needed image to represent our year. My goal was to grab it during the first snow, but then we had a year without December snow and it completely stressed me out. So I threw the kids against a white wall of our house in their gear and that represented 2012. OR in 2004 when we dressed our oldest (an only at the time) as baby new year because it was so late.
The first year we had 3 kids, our cards came out Jan 4th, the 12 days of Christmas were almost up, but we made it! Last year was the first time I hosted my extended family of 20 and I never sent any out.
Cards get me worked up and after you get the image, you gotta go through all the provider choices, then all their options to find the most aesthetically pleasing with the image you have determined to use. Then there’s ordering, printing, getting them addressed, buying enough stamps, stamping, decorating and mailing. And yet, when the cards start to flutter into my own mailbox, I delight and look at the detail in each one and am so glad I did it. They are hung on ribbon on our kitchen wind, blocking the drafts and sparking a smile.
Reason 1. You show people you care. So simple, I don’t even write in them. In fact, I printed labels so some my kids assembled for me. The effort though was made and I know someone we care about will check the mailbox and see something fun.
Reason 2. You maintain connect with old friends and family. It’s always fun to look back and see families grow up, and then remember fun you had together when that 15 yr old in the card was 3.
Reason 3. They force you to capture your family. Professionally or not, each family needs more images! And they give a personal spin to your holiday greetings.
Reason 4. You see how your own family has changed. Of course I have a ton, but some of my favorite and most often posted photos were also those I used for our cards. That image at the top of the 3 in the snow is framed and printed on our hall wall, but also on my mousepad at my home office and matted at my work desk. One of my all time favorites and only came about because it was a make them today or forget cards this year day.
Reason 5. Displaying cards is one of my favorite Christmas traditions. Visiting others’ homes, it’s fun to see their collections as well. My mom gathers hers in a basket which I curiously poke through. Some people put them on the door frame or make displays.
So incase we didn’t get one out to you through snail mail, here is our 2017 family card. And below our awesome outtake.
One last thought is sending a card to a recovering American Soldier…
A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Read Army Medical Center, 6900 Georgia Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20307-5001